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

Not Rated.
Saint Botolph's TownSaint Botolph's Town

Educational use only; do not reuse.

590 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 590
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 87
Gots: 72 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 590 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Sapsucker's, Huntington, New York.

Poured a dusty brown hue with a one finger foamy of white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft caramel, cocoa and a light earthy smokiness.

The taste consisted of a smooth earthy malt with a clean nuttiness a light smoky finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty brown ale. Not an overly exciting style, but good in its simplicity.

Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saint Botolph's Town
22 oz brown bottle
Bottled Nov 2010 - Batch 8
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a deep dark brown with some ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. Fluffy khaki colored head on top with trails of sticky lacings all over the glass.

The nose is malty and nutty.

A super smooth and drinkable brown ale. The mouthfeel is creamy with hints of milk chocolate and chopped nuts. This beer has a huge malty profile. A hint of oaky wood and syrupy molasses provide some additional flavors with a baby hop snap on the finish.

A solid English Brown Ale and among my favorite offerings from Pretty Things. Good beer.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Gosox8787 for this one!

22oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Raisin brown, no clarity through the dark pour. Pillow-like off white head rises up. Give it a gentle pour, as a standard one will yield a far too heady pour. Good lacing.

Mild roasted nature with a tad of sweetness on the edges, which plays against the funky yeast. Intriguing...

Toasted malt comes off a tad sweet with a strong nutty presence towards the end. Hops are there, adding a good balance with a refreshing grassy note. Yeast is there again, providing a nice near peppery spice. Complex, to the say the least.

A bit high on carbonation, but it adds a nice near effervescent character that is well played. Incredibly drinkable. A great brown ale and one of the best I've had thus far. Very enjoyable.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/2/2011 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains roasted malts, maple, caramel, nuts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out malty, then sweet flavors of caramel and maple come in quickly along with some nuts in the background. The hops presence if mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer with flavor and substance making it worth drinking for a long time if you're in the mood for the style.

Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 12/30 at Deep Ellum
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a nice deep brown with minor reddish hues around the edges. A one finger of light brown head sits on top that recedes at a moderate pace. Nice sticky lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is chocolate, plum, raisin, and hazlenut.

T: Taste starts with a bit of dark fruit - lots of plum notes, some date and fig. Light toffee comes in with some caramel and hazlenut. Finish has a good dose of chocolate notes with a bit of raisin.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, rich but light at the same time with a slightly slick finish.

D: Goes down very easy, very tasty, somewhat filling, nice kick and nice representation of style. This is a damn fine beer to enjoy for a while.

Photo of getgetgettleman
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov. 2010 Batch 8

Reviewed from notes of 12/17/10

A = Reddish brown color. Similiar to the look of a pecan pie. Good carbonation with thick froth and robust lace.

S = Sweet and malty. Roasted carmelized nuts and natural thistle.

T = Smokey malts. Again, roasted nuts, carmel and butter. Very pleasing.

M = Buttery smooth on the front and back ends. With a warm yet dry, almost pithy finish.

D = Really a pleasing warmth to this ale. The pecan pie references make me want to come back for more. A real winner!

Photo of nrbw23
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown color with foamy light brown head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- A bit of fruits pear, raisin and a hint of banana. Bready malts and a touch of nuts too.

T- Taste is a bit of fruits with a strong malt back bone. A bit of a raisin taste too.

M- Medium in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Pretty easy to drink. Nothing out of this world or crazy just plain old solid.

Photo of gdrydenc
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with itsfreeasinbeer, cheers!

A - Color is caramel brown. Head is a 1 finger light brown that stays for a while and coats the glass as I drink it.

S - Very sweet smelling. It smells like some characteristics of a stout, without the chocolate. I would say it's very malty.

T - Similar to the smell. Very malty, caramel, nutty. It's a delicious beer. I would maybe call this a stout if I had my eyes closed. The flavor lingers on my tongue, which isn't surprising given how it's fairly syrupy.

M - Like I said before, quite syrupy. The flavor lasts a long time in my mouth, which I don't mind. The carbonation seems a little too low, but if the carbonation was much higher I could see it detracting from the flavor. I would like a little more though.

D - Too syrupy to session this beer, but I can absolutely finish one bottle.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep walnut brown with lighter edges and a thick tan head that retains nicely.

Smell: Caramel, pecan, hazelnut, and cocoa are the main aromas I take away from each sniff. Sweet, but for some reason it does not really drive me far beyond ok.

Taste: Mr., excuse me, Saint Botolph's Town starst out with a sweetness that reminds me equal parts of caramel and molasses, with some cloves and other spice and hazelnut providing some character. Especially as it warms, dark fruit - dates and figs mostly - step in, really giving it more of a Belgian quality in my mind. Fairly deep, the more I think about it the more I like it. Not much balance though, just tons of sweet malt and flavor all around.

Mouthfeel: Soft creaminess with gentle carbonation. Even though this is nice for the style and ABV, my palette is adjusted just too far upward. I want bigger and bolder.

Drinkability: Drinking a glass or two of this is easy. Putting this on my Christmas wish list is not going to happen.

Photo of claspada
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice dense creamy head with great lacing.

Aromas of toffee, caramel, cocoa, hazelnuts, with some earthy and grassy hops.

The tastes are initially toffee and caramel malts, with underlying hints of light cocoa and vanilla sweetness. Slight fruity bitterness; the hops come through in the finish helping to slightly dry the palate. Nice creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and as the beer warms the alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Overall this is a very solid brown ale, especially nowadays where I feel this category is skipped over/mailed in by many breweries. A little heavier in style, almost bordering on being a brown porter, but without the astringent qualities. This beer has nice layers of flavor with a rich creaminess that works wonderfully.

Photo of abrand
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber acquired in a recent trade poured into a pint glass

The Saint Botolph's Town pours a deep cola brown color with a huge pillowy tan head that never goes away. Smells of sweet malts. Some chocolate and coffee come out as it warms. Also a nice nut aroma throughout. Taste is delicious. Plenty of roasted malts with hints of cocoa and hops. Quite refreshing as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with solid carbonation. Drinkability is spot on. Great tasting beer from a new brewery for me.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After hearing about what a deal Pretty Things are in a recent topic I decided it might be time to drink the St Botolphs town that has been in my fridge for some time. I have to say I was overly impressed with this one as I have not been in the past with some other PTB&AP brews. Good job I say this time!

Pours a nice english chestnut brown ale color with a decent tan head that led to just lacing in a few minutes with a few stormy areas on the top of the glass.

Smell of delicate brown sugar (not overdone) nut brown aromas mixed with lightly roasted malts and cocoa.

Taste was spot on for the style and I cannot say I have had many of this style that I really thought were great. Perhaps it is the cocoa that really took it over the top and made this one of my bigger surprises recently, or perhaps it was the fact it has been in my fridge for the past two months as I passed over it for whatever else was next to it... Either way, this is a great english brown ale and I recommend you go and get it while it is still cheap!! (sorry had to)

Anyway, lots of nutty english ale flavors , a good amount of carbonation, and a light mouthfeel. All very good things for this style. Cocoa is not overpowering and doesnt need to be with a 'lighter' ale here at 5.9%. All things considered I would definitely get this again.

Photo of deafcat
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/6/10 On tap at Sunset Bar and Grill in Allston, Mass.
13oz pour into tulip glass

a - dark brown color - 1/2 inch head with decent retention. A little hazy. Surprisingly darker than I expected.

s - not much to the nose, little bit of spicy tones. Not very distinguished.

t - wow - sweet, delicious, full-bodied brown ale. Not usually a big fan of this style but this one is a pleasure to sip on. Delicious, slight malty character with strong hop presence.

m - decent carbonation - heavy feeling on the tongue.

d - very drinkable beer - a good warmup to a night of sampling some different brews.

Overall this is a solid choice - if you're going to drink a brown ale, this is the way to go. Full-bodied with excellent, hoppy attitude. Choice in all respects.

Photo of mjrod2142
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer with Sunday brunch and I loved it. I'm disappointed that I didn't keep better notes, as it's been a while and my memory of the details has faded.

The beer was poured by the bartender into a red wine glass, which I found very interesting. The color was rich and dark brown. The head was small and slightly bubbly.

This beer has a delicious nut brown flavor. It wasn't hoppy or over done. Just a classic nut brown that I haven't been able to find lately. I picked up a hint of chocolate on the finish.

This is very drinkable brown ale that I'm looking forward to having again.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle picked up at Cook St Liquor in Victoria, pours a ruddy brown with a lovely creamy head, leaves rings down the glass.

This is a delightfully complex beer. Earthy tones meld with cocoa powder, dark fruit sweetness, a hint of citrus hops in the finish, wood and nuts, hint of licorice. Biscuity malt, brown bread, almost as blend of brown ales and Belgian darks. Highly drinkable, smooth mouthfeel with just a prick of bubbles to kick it up a notch. Really the top tier in browns.

Photo of Daktyls
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a huge foamy three finger head which slowly dwindles to a nice sea foam leaving a lacing on the glass as it diminishes.

S: Most definitely a nutty smell to this beer, accompanied by some sweet roasted malts with a little bit of caramel and a "bready" smell.

T: Dark malts a present followed by the nuttiness noted earlier. I also detect some molasses, a little bit of cocoa and coffee followed by a tiny bit of bitter malts.

M: Feels nice on the tongue, fairly light with a distinct "earthy" feel. Light to medium carbonation suits this beer quite well.

D: Very drinkable. Actually sampled this one at my local store and enjoyed it enough to buy a bottle. Quite good, will definitely be finishing the bottle.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Head of this beer built up quite thickly and tight laced. The beer itself is a very dark brown. Must have been a whole lot of dark malts in this one.

S: Nose is of roasted barley, chocolate malts some dry cocoa and a small amount of alcohol. Not sure what "eclectic" yeast was used here, but it is lending an interesting sweetness to the beer.

T: Dark malts, some sweetness like a caramel. Definitely well executed as far as style goes. Just the slightest bitterness on the end, but the sweetness of the malts and the yeast take the cake here. Nice beer.

M: Just light enough. Has a good, creamy body and the low carbonation you would expect for an English Brown.

D: Very easy drinking, and I look forward to trying some other offerings from Pretty Things. If they are as good as this one, I won't be let down! Abv is low as it should be, making this one a perfect beer for a chilly fall day.

Photo of micmillon18
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Possibly my new favorite brewery. Had this one previously, thought I'd actually review it this time. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Labeled as Batch Four, bottled December of 2009.

A - Poured a thick, creamy beige colored three finger head. Lots of lacing around the glass. Head subsided slowly after I took my first sip. Very dark reddish brown; almost mahogany in some areas where the light is able to shine through the glass.

S - Roasted barley and nuts. Sweet at times. Scents of caramel. Dark chocolate is also there.

T - Roasted barely, nuts and coffee are present. The taste of dark chocolate is there, really delicious and this is from someone who doesn't like dark chocolate. It seems to mix well with the other flavors, creating a sort of roasted chocolaty, coffee goodness with a nutty undertone, if that even makes sense by anyone else's logic. It ends with a nice hoppy bitterness that adds to its complexity, rounding out the great flavor.

M - Very smooth and clean, one of the bests I've had in terms of the style. It knows how to stay on the pallet just long enough to keep you wanting more without becoming too present.

D - Definitely something thats great to sip on a chilly Autumn night. The rich, malty flavors made for a real treat, almost warming in fact. The bottle was easily finished. Another great from Pretty Things.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BigBalls for this extra. Cheers!

Appearance -- Pours a deep mahogany brown with ruddy highlights and one finger of sudsy khaki head.

Smell -- Chocolate, brown sugar, coffee grounds, roast malt, and earthy herbal hops. Overall, rich malty sweetness tempered with dark roast bitterness and some minty/herbal hop character.

Taste -- Molasses, cocoa, coffee with cream, licorice, and crusty whole grain bread. Hop bitterness is pretty substantial and, along with the dark roast malt presence, lends an earthy counterbalance to the malty sweetness. Finish is char and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with mild carbonation, a bit creamy. Some mild tannin dryness in the finish.

Drinkability -- Pretty Things, pretty good! Tows the line between a traditional English Brown and a robust Baltic Porter with an extra boost of roast flavor. Very unique, very tasty. Definitely an above average brown.

Photo of Axic10
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Robust, dark brown with a finger and a half of foam on top.

Smell: Caramel, coffee, nutty aroma.

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, bready malt, bitter hops come through and a subtle bite of the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and quite smooth.

Drinkability: Very impressive take on the Brown Ale. I've been drinking a lot of this style lately and this is one of the better tasting ones. I will definitely pick up again and not hesitate at all.

Photo of busternuggz
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. Labeled as bottled on December 2009 Batch Four.
Dark ruby brown, nearly opaque, with an impressive 1 1/2" light brown, thick, foamy head. Leaves thick lacing. Settles down to 1/2" with awesome head retention.
Smells are a little subdued, but I smell some maple/brown sugar, caramel, some kind of nuttiness, a little spice- anise or nutmeg maybe.
Rich tastes of brown sugar, roasted malt, some breadiness, light smoke, a hint of caramel and cocoa, some oak, and an interesting earthy and nutty finish with a nice bitterness. Malt forward but nicely balanced with some slightly spicy hops. A little sweetness comes out as it warms up.
Nice texture, medium bodied, ends light and clean.
For its complexity, its still smooth and engaging, easy to drink the bottle by myself.
This is a pretty awesome beer. Has some stout-like qualities mixed in with the great brown ale qualities (the bottle calls it a "rustic dark ale", which seems fitting). Complex and unique. I look forward to having it again.

Photo of Duhast500
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch six bottled in May 2010

Poured from a 1pt. 6oz. bottle into a Clown Shoes Pint glass.

The color is dark black some maroon highlights and about three fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is filled with some dark malt flavor. There is a bit of brown sugar that comes out in the nose and teases at a sweet flavor to come. There is a bit of a dark fruit flavor like prunes or raisins.

The taste is a bit black licorice with some sweetness that is interesting. There is a nuttiness that is there but is just a small hint before going into a dark malt flavor.

The feel of this beer is a bit medium bodied but never knocks you off balance. There is a nice even feel to this beer it seems to just go down so well.

Photo of BigMike
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2009 Batch 4

A: Dark brown rootbeer color. Mohogany with some ruby highlights. A soft fluffy head of about two fingers that matches the bottle lable in color almost exactly.

S: Tons of roasted nuts and malts. Chocolate and a small amount of coffee. Some dark raisins also. Smells great.

T: Starts off with a dark fruitiness. Followed with roasted hazelnuts, chocolate and finishes with a light touch of coffee.

M: Smooth, creamy and medium bodied. Perfectly carbonated and easy to drink.

Overall: Brown ales are usually one of my least favorite styles of beer. They tend to be bland and somewhat boring. This beer from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project changes all of that. This is a terrific beer with tons of amazing flavors and mouthfeel. I'm completely impressed with this beer and will seek out more asap. I highly reccomend trying this.

Photo of crusian
3.44/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle from awesome girlfriend from boston area.
batch 5 april 2010.

pours a deep rich brown, almost black color with about an inch of head, nice.
Carmel malt and some brown sugar on the nose, but not much, very faint to be honest...
a lot of caramel malt, hmm, just noticed some mold or something under the cap, great. doesnt seem to have any affect on it though. has a bitter finish... this is very dark for a brown ale, not bad though. not great, as there really isnt much here, roasty etc... but all seem a bit subdued. Not bad for a session.

Photo of bruachan
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the beer pours a deep mahogany color, which translates even to a somewhat reddish head (which seems to have good staying power). good lace

floral hop aromas and a touch of caramel. the nose really doesn't get the treat to which my tastebuds are party

deeply rich and roasty flavors...deeper and more robust than i would expect from a brown ale. we're almost into porter territory, folks. in fact, we're definitely in porter territory. bitterness finishes strong and coarse, along with some almost woody tartness. dry finish

there is something wrong with this beer and i think is has to do with the hop choice: something harsh and even medicinal. makes for a weird tactile experience. you know, this thing is fading, but endures. it can be experienced as blackcurrant in the hops right up until the end, when it gets a little iffy. yet it is still only so offensive

Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
91 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.