Saint Botolph's Town - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Saint Botolph's TownSaint Botolph's Town

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294 Reviews

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Reviews: 294
Hads: 614
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 89
Gots: 82 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: morebeergood on 02-12-2009

A big malty brown ale fermented open with Yorkshire malts and eclectic yeast strains.
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 614
Photo of paco1029384756
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to jlindros.

Pours a deep burgundy color with a slight ruby tint and a small creamy off white head.

Scent of brown sugar, yeast, some dark fruit, tobacco, and sweet hops. A good amount of complexity and different than the norm.

Taste of chocolate, light coffee, oats, brown sugar and faint bitter hops. Very tasty and unique, try this if you get a chance.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat flat. (419 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Bottled April 2009, Batch Two." Pours an opaque dark brown with a large beige head. Clumpy lace droppings.

Aroma is of woody hop, chickory bitter, brown sugar and molasses.

Woody campfire hop compliments a black chai bitter twang. Brown sugar and light roast esspresso fade. Rich and creamy this beer is incredibly complex and flavorul for %5.7 abv. (352 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from PEBKAC, cheers Adam!

Pours a chestnut tinged brown with a thumb of bubbly beige head. Near zero lacing & head retention

S: Toasty malt, faint brown bread aroma & leafy hops

T: Toasty malt, slight charred grain character, dryness & brown sugar up front. Slight coffee & charred grain flavors as this warms, along with more toastyness. Finishes dry with a little too much coffee taste hanging around for me to love this one

MF: Medium bodied & near carbonation

Drinks alright, the coffee accents cost it points in drinkability & flavor (556 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, mahogany color with ruby highlights. It had a two-finger, tan, bubbly head of foam that left soapy patchy lace.

S - A very nutty aroma with a touch of vanilla. Also, a nice caramel smell.

T - It taste very nutty and had a nice roasted malt caramel taste. Just a touch of bitter hops balance out the sweet caramel and nutty flavor.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied brown ale.

D - Great representation of the English brown ale style. They really nailed it with a great nutty taste. (519 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Batch 2, bottled April 2009 sayeth the cap tape.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" light brown head over the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Frothy head recedes slowly, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is sweet and lightly chocolatey. Taste is rich grain character from beginning to end, overwritten with nutty chocolate and complementary hops. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth, low carbonation in a good way, with drinkability oh-so easy. Let it warm a touch out of the fridge, and you've pretty much got a cask-like experience. Yay! (594 characters)

Photo of Bounty628
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Botolph's Town comes in bomber bottles and has an ABV of 5.7% which makes this beer a great offering to wind down the end of a long day with.

Upon pour, a rich milk chocolate brown color fills the glass and a tan head gracefully waltzes its way to the top of the pint glass. There does not seem to be a ton of carbonation within the pour but the color is the real winner in the pour. The visual appearance alone leads one to believe that this English brown is going to be a dynamite offering with a visual thickness recognized in the pint glass.

The smell is jam packed with some of the richest roasted malt and caramel notes than I can recall noticing in quite some time. There are hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the nose that at times pairs nicely with a dark chocolate undertone. The nose of this brown ale is quite remarkable and ultimately gives the drinker an impression that the taste is going to be jam packed with flavor.

The quality of a good beer obviously relies heavily upon what is exhibited in the taste. One can rest assured that the taste the comes out of the St. Botolph's Town bomber is so amazing that you will be running back to your local package store of choice to grab an armful of more bombers. Immediately there is an emphasis on the roasted malts that give this beer its deepest base. Those roasted malts are ideally balanced and do not exhibit any over roasting or burnt qualities and with the quality malts meeting up with the right amount of caramel tastes, as well. There is a great relationship at work here in the taste and the cinnamon that was in the nose seems to slip on through in the taste, as well. The taste weighs the balance between roasted malts and sweet caramel ideally and the end product is one of the top brown ale tastes around.

The mouthfeel exhibited within St. Botolph's Town features the same top quality all other aspects of the beer carries. Pretty Things crafted this brown ale nicely and ensured that the mouthfeel fell somewhere a little bit more robust than most brown ales but not as heavy as say a smoked porter or a stout. There is a really whole beer mouthfeel to this ale in the sense that what you can tell just by the mouthfeel alone is that the entire bottle and all that has gone into making this ale is nothing short of brilliant. (2,309 characters)

Photo of almychristopher
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a dark brown with red highlights that support he tan head beautifully. the aroma is caramely malt all the way. i'm wondering if the color and aroma was from the grain or carmalization in an extended boil. very tasty either way. the sweet tasty malt flavor works well with the roasted malt astringency. the medium body and good co2 make this a really drinkable brown. (382 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful chocolate and roasted malt scent along with a dry nutty feel. The taste is good. It has a nice dry roasted feel with a light crystal malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average brown, but nothing too special. (418 characters)

Photo of albern
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant surprise. The beer pours a dirty brown color with a hazy cast. The head is tannish and creamy and a bit foamy. There is minimal lacing a decent retention. The nose struck me as being quite boozy. I thought I was in for a wallop of a beer with a high ABV, but alas no. The nose has caramel, roasted notes, some raisin, some boozy toffe aromas.

The taste is quite good and surprisingly mild given the nose on the beer. The beer is sweet, a touch cloying so, there are definite molasses notes, caramel notes, some brown sugars, some dark chocolate notes, some raisin flavors, some spices maybe a touch in the coriander family. This is a substantial brown ale, very nice, not too carbonated, medium bodied, reasonably complex. Worth seeking out. L'Chaim. (772 characters)

Photo of vrazionale
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl. oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. Bottle reads "April 2009 - Batch Two."

A - Pours a very dark brown body with a full light brown-colored head.

S - Caramel, roasted nuts, dark chocolate, the faintest hint of coffee, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon. Very nice balance between the sweetness and roastiness of the malts.

T - Again, I'm struck by how well-balanced this brew is. The roasted malt flavors come out here in full force: chocolate, caramel, molasses, dark spices, a touch of dark fruit. The finish is sweet but not cloying.

M - The carbonation doesn't make itself known here, but that's probably for the best. This brew feels a little too light-bodied for me - which is surprising, considering the dark roasty flavors going on here.

D - A very well-crafted brown ale. Nice balance, with no one element coming to the fore and overshadowing the others. I would love this brew with BBQ - beef brisket or spicy pulled lamb with this brew would make you very happy. (1,003 characters)

Photo of SUjunkie
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottled April 2009 - Batch Two

A: Dark brown with a reddish tint. Thick caramel colored head with some nice lacing.

S: Caramel, figs, fruit.

T: Breadiness and sweet. Some caramel. Nice and thick.

M: Low carbonation. Smooth. Light for a brown.

D: Very drinkable. I've tried the entire line since the ACBF. They are a solid brewery. (343 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/04/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a cloudy brown. It has an aroma of indistinct sweet malt. The flavor is of super sweet caramel malt. I found it to be pretty bland, overall and much too sweet for me (like many poorly made brown ales...). (264 characters)

Photo of williamherbert
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is cloudy reddish brown, like prune-juice. Decent light brown head. A nice-looking, formidable appearance.

The smell is dark malts. Prunes and dates. Pungent and earthy/grainy. Harsh.

The taste is a grainy malt, earthy and gritty. Punctuated by dark grapes, sugary raisins. The sweet breaks out more as it warms up. It's solid.

The feel is smooth at first, then dry, earthy and ashy on the back end. It's a decent dark ale. Sugary, sweet and grainily dark. (474 characters)

Photo of goblet
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 1 pint 6 oz bottle into my glass .

right out of the bottle i got a 1 inch thick tan frothy head that didn't last long. the color is coffee with a little splash of milk,its light brown and unclear ,no lace ,alot of carbonation.

the smell is very earthy with hints of dark fruits and roasted lite malt .it also has a coffee aroma subtle though noticeable .

the flavor is lite roasted malt and dark fruits like dry figs or raisins it's got a bit of a porter quality to it ,earthy and some grains .

the feel as it coats my palate is a mild spice, roasted and a tad bit bitter after taste.

i find the brew to be very enjoyable and ease to drink, full smooth flavor ease on the palate . (699 characters)

Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a brown coca-cola colored body with a big dark white/tan head.

Nose is really a mystery. It's a dark ale for sure, but there are these passing whiffs of German malts, then touches of coffee and chocolate, then some swishes of English caramel notes. Sweet and bready, but earthy and dry. Interesting for sure. Very subtle though.

Taste is medium thick with an immediate dryness. Very very bready, like eating dark rustic rye bread. Dark malts, some subtle chocolate. There's a strong, but extremely muted, hop bitterness throughout. It's the sort of bitterness you don't taste unless you're paying attention, but when you do it's very much there. There's a granite like, stone earthiness to the hops that meld well with the toasted and burnt malts. Sort of a dance between the two. Ends with a soft lingering earth hop flavor.

It's a rustic dark session ale. It borders on so many styles without deciding to choose any one style. Not my favorite of Dann's new beers, but a killer session beer for sure. (1,022 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled April 2009. Batch Two.

Picked up a bottle from Abe's Cold Beer after enjoying their saison. This beer, unfortunately, is less impressive. I suppose it's a little rustic in the sense that the malts have an earthy, dry bitter taste that's certainly not unpleasant. Still, this beer just seems to linger between and brown ale and a porter for the dry roasted malt that consumes the aftertaste. The aroma has more of a candy dark chocolate character, but the flavor and feel is very dry. I guess that aspect is more Belgian. Still, a pretty tasty beer, I'm just not sure what's going on. (592 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

EDIT- RE-reviewed from Bath 3, 12/08/09. Changes made as needed.
Poured from 22oz bottle into .5L gold-leaf swiss boot. Label notes this was bottled in April 2009 and is from batch two.

A- Pours a chestnut brown with a tinted, rich head. Very nice looking brown ale. Very dark, porter-like in appearance.

S- Very inviting. Malt sweetness is very prominent. Mild toasted grains and a hint of cinnamon (just a hint).

T- Very good. A very rich, robust, and deep brown ale. This is the real deal. Smoky (well, hefty) malt and bitter baking chocolate, a bit of coffee, and a nice caramelized sugar sweetness combine for a really flavorful beer. Pretty Things describes this as a rustic dark ale. I think it's an apt description. This beer is a 'classic'- while distinct, it shares a lot with the traditional English Brown Ale, only moreso. Very deep, dark, and hearty for the style. I like it.

M- Unique. Healthy carbonation, a rich flavor profile, yet the beer comes across lighter than expected, which is a good thing. A well-crafted brown ale, prob. the best Am. Brown I've had... although I do like DFH's Indian Brown... this is top 3 at least.

D- Very good, although this beer will fill you up. Still, I enjoyed this beer all the way down.

An excellent beer, I came back to this after a few months and found it to hold up to my lofty expectations and hazy memory. Well worth seeking out. (1,397 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle, capped and sealed with a paper strip. Bottled in April of 2009 per the paper strip. Poured into a 22oz Sam Smith Tulip.

Darker shade of brown than I expected with a lovely off white head that lasts. Smell is light with hints of chocolate, malt and dry chalk.

Taste is much bigger than the smell. Perfect level of carbonation as I like it on the lower side. Very complex flavors come through. Loads of malt and chocolate as expected but also hints of nuts and even figs. Half way through the hops deliver a green flavor that adds depth. I also pick up some toast and something cinnamon like. Fuller bodied but yet very easy to drink. After taste is easily 15-20 seconds.

This is an Brown Ale with some balls. I am not talking extreme, just a bigger beer with loads of flavor yet still remains easy to drink. A pleasure. (842 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St Botolph's was round 2 of the Pretty Things tasting for Artied2 and me yesterday. This bottle was from batch #2.

Poured an attractive, deep, dark, clear chestnut. Head was tan, smooth and tight, with decent lacework on the glass. Some sweetness was found in the subdued aroma, with a bit of caramel and some brown sugar. Medium bodied, St B was also fairly smooth while traversing the palate.

Flavor hits you up with some caramel and toffee, with light sweetensss. A smidge of choco is present, and it hints at having some burnt brown sugar lurking about. Also present is a touch of dark fruit, like raisin. Solid and sessionable. Thnx again to Artied2 for bringing this by, and kudos to Dann P as well!

Zum Wohl!
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

1136 (781 characters)

Photo of damienblack
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich medium brown, like a typical nutty brown ale. Huge head billows up with a flourish of bubbles. Great retention, and leaves some intricate lacing. Has kind of a belgian yeasty smell to it, and the sweet aroma of slightly darkened malts along with molasses. Bit of toffee as well. Taste... this is a flavorful yet mellow sessionable brown. A bit of toasted toffee, some nuttiness, a bit of coffee. Some more flavours as it opens up a bit, I noticed something fruity in there as well. Maybe some burnt caramel. Nice gravitas, filling and bready, goes quite well with dinner tonight (sirloin tips). On the heavier side of medium body while lacking the density of a porter or stout. Nice and drinkable, but had a bit of funkiness at first. I hope Pretty Things becomes a New England staple, Dann deserves it. (816 characters)

Photo of natasharai
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a large foamy creamy tan head that dissipated leaving very little lacing. The beer is clear with a dark brown color. The head is easily aroused by swirling the glass.

Smell: Fruity, citrus, toasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Fresh cherry, other fresh fruit, toasted malt, some bread flavor and yeasty character, roasted coffee, slight licorice, and a roasted nutty flavor

Mouthfeel: Tingle on the tongue from carbonation, medium body, slightly syrupy, small dryness afterwards.

Overall: Really good drinkability, nice roasty flavors, and a nice moutfeel. This beer has some really nice subtle flavors. (641 characters)

Photo of digr
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark Brown Opaque Pour.
1/4 inch head to start with smallish bubbles. The foam diminished to a small residue after about 3 minutes.

Smell - mild toffee, slightly "sweet"

Taste - smooth dark toast, slight bite of burnt caramel. Mild bitter aftertaste of hops. Slightly sweet is fairly balanced by toffee and bitterness. I can taste the dark malt, almost like I am chewing it.

Feel -Medium mouth feel.

Alcohol - no alcohol bite.

Subsequent sips evoke coffee tones.
Stronger than an average brown, and milder than an average Porter. Would go good with a hearty breakfast of sausage, eggs, and baked beans!

22 oz bottle says it is the first batch! (652 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled April 2009 Batch Two indicated on a paper swatch covering the cap. Poured a murky chestnust color with very little light penetration. One inch, tight, frothy off-white head with good retention, eventually settles into a thin, consistent cap. Some thick stands of lacing coat the glass during the session. Nose is malty and suggests dark fruit, perhaps prunes, and maybe a little cocoa. Taste consistent with nose, but some roasted coffee flavors also come out and a kiss of hops is revealed at the finish. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a nice, consistent level of background carbonation. Nice English Brown with a decent amount of complexity, particularly in terms of the abv. Too bad it's not available in sixers; it would make a great session brown. (826 characters)

Photo of selecter70
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh the glee when I saw this....First Batch! ...Dan Paquette brew!...St. Botolph (aka the great label depicts- well from the colonial period)...Nice big bottle that poured an unfiltered opaque, hazy ruddy-brown, leaving a thin whitish head for a short bit. An aroma full of wet grasses, dry grains, sour fermenting and lemon peel. The aroma had a bit more of a nutty malt to it and a nice mildly sour rustic farm ale taste, hearty and full of denseness. I really should've brought out the stein for this, to find it on draught! (550 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown with ruby highlights and a big bubbly head that sticks around for a bit before sticking itself to the glass. Smells of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and sweet malts. Tastes is sweet malts with lots of brown sugar and chocolate. has a hint of spicy yeast in there as well. Crisp carbonation, medium body, light syrupy mouthfeel. Great little session brown, I wish they put this in a six pack I'd buy it all the time. (444 characters)

Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
90 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.