The Bruery "Mash & Vanilla" Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine w/ Vanilla Beans, California (750ml)
Aged in Bourbon barrels with fresh vanilla beans added, this opens with those notes at the forefront, continuing through to the rich palate and becoming more intense as the beer warms. The roasty, malty palate boasts medium carbonation, which helps to lift some of the beer’s inherent richness. The oaky spice and vanilla are certainly the beer’s dominating characteristics, though background accents of dark plum, fig, date and raisin suggest that they are ready to take a more prominent role once those oaky tones subside a bit. Try cellaring this bold brew for a little while, and try after 2019.
Th Bruery's "Mash" barleywine is already quite the winter warmer, oaky, sticky and sweet from bourbon-barrel aging. Then they kick it up with fresh vanilla beans, a fine complement to the woody oak and bourbon flavors. The Bruery advises that it's best enjoyed fresh, while the vanilla bean flavors are optimal.