1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

547 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 547
Reviews: 286
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 79
Gots: 57 | FT: 1
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:
A big malty brown ale fermented open with Yorkshire malts and eclectic yeast strains.

(Beer added by: morebeergood on 02-12-2009)
View: Beers (20) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saint Botolph's Town Alström Bros
Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of errantnight


4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful deep mahogany with a pale tan head that is lusciously creamy, moderate lacing and excellent retention.

Aroma brings a waft of satisfying nutty roast, backed by a light fruit character (cherry?) and chocolate.

On the palate this has pleasing complexity, a tart finish that's a bit sharp (maybe the dark malts could be dialed back just a touch) on a medium bodied beer that's otherwise quite smooth. Fresh medium toast and nuts carry through to a lingering malt sweetness before the faintly acrid and tart notes swing in.

It's delicious and superbly drinkable now, and perhaps a delicate tweak or two away form being masterful.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 06:58:22 | More by errantnight
Photo of tronester


4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Rattle an Hum in Manhattan.

Served cool in a 16oz pint glass. Hazy reddish brown in color with a very small tan head. Smell was of an English yeast strain and a hint of chocolate. Taste was velvety smooth toasted malt flavor, with a ripe fruit middle and finish. Hint of earthy hops in the finish. Mouthfeel was super rich and smooth, very low carbonation. Excellent drinkability, an excellent beer to have on cask, even though it was slighty cloudy with yeast.

Serving type: cask

07-17-2010 23:00:06 | More by tronester
Photo of Deuane


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden

A-Ruby tinted, deep, dark brown with a medium frothy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves impressive ringing lace.

S-Cocoa powder, pumpernickel and roasted malt with a touch of dry nuttiness.

T-Solid dry roasted malt with touches of apple, cocoa, hearty dark bread and even a nudge of earthy hops.

M-Medium bodied and quite smooth with nice lingering flavours and a light nutty dryness in the finish.

D-A solid offering whose body of work equals up to one mighty fine drinking brown ale. Plenty of flavour and a pleasant smoothness makes this one go down easy.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2010 21:46:11 | More by Deuane
Photo of CHADMC3


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany body with ruby hues and a generous, foamy tan head that is really persistent before giving way to a sticky lacing.

Aroma consists of sweet toffee and caramel malt, as well as sweet nuts and yeast.

The flavor is very similar highlighted by the toffee and caramel, with a more pronounced nuttiness, and just faint earthy hops at the finish.

This beer is medium in body and carbonation with a pleasant creamy finish.

Quite a tasty beer with plenty of character to offer the palate. Great traditional brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 02:24:36 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of garuda


4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a mostly clear ruby brown with a big billowy off white head that has great retention, and decent web-like lacing down the glass.

S - Creamy coffee, with grassy herbal hops in the back.

T - Creamy mocha and coffee flavors and a touch of both nutty and burnt character with a good herbal, grassy hop bite in the finish to clean it up.

M - On the light side of a medium body, perfectly low carbonation level that I enjoy in a brown ale makes it nice and smooth across the palate with a clean finish.

D - Well rounded, fairly complex for the abv, and well balanced. Easily just found my new favorite brown ale.

Serving type: growler

07-08-2010 23:32:43 | More by garuda
Photo of glib


4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has rapidly become one of my favorite beers. It has a powerful, but not overwhelming malty taste, and a very clean finish. There is not a lot of competition between hoppy and malty tastes, so each flavor can be savored separately. An extremely fine and drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 17:16:30 | More by glib
Photo of Walken


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project: St. Botolph's Town (Bottled: May 2010) (Tasted 07/04/10)
22 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Very dark brown beer, capped with a glorious brown head, speckled with bubbles. Monstrous retention and lace.
Odor: Full force yeasty nut character, backed by subtle fruity notes and a big whiff of lightly toasted rich brown bread.
Consistency: On the light end of medium body with an aggressive but fine carbonation that lifts the flavors into view without scrubbing the palate entirely.
Taste: Dry, nuttiness up front, baker's chocolate comes on next with a fruity alcohol character in the mix. Balance comes in the form of a roasted bitterness that runs alongside the chocolate flavors, flourishing in the finish, lingering with that same dry nutty flavor.

This is definitely a mashup, English brown + old ale, and it captures the hallmarks of either style perfectly. Stylistic nonsense aside, this is a well-envisioned recipe that is also brewed well, with a kind of voodoo magic that few can fathom. The flavors are intense and well-integrated, everything about this beer screams excellence to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 22:32:04 | More by Walken
Photo of thain709


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A deep, dark brown body with some ruby highlights around the edges...a thin, light brown head that showed a little retention...some lacing

S - A fairly sweet nose with notes of caramel, toffee, some dark fruits, and the roasted malts

T - The flavors mirror the nose with the sweetness from the caramel malts and the roastiness from the malts as well...the difference in the flavor is the addition of dark chocolate coming across the palate...it provides another level of sweetness but also adds an extra bitterness since the hop bite is very subtle at the end

M - Medium bodied...creamy, smooth, nice and balanced finish

D - This was a very nice brown ale...definitely on the English side with all the malts and very little hops...the low ABV makes it sessionable and I liked the chocolate flavors as well as the balance of the beer

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2010 19:45:31 | More by thain709
Photo of Gobzilla


4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber shared at woodshop 5.1

Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. Great roasted malt aromas with caramel, and nutty accents. There was also slight faint toffee and hop notes. The roasted malts dominate the flavor with a nice almond nutty accent and faint caramel , toffee, and slight hop character. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet nutty and slight hop bitter finish. This beer style reminds me of high school cause I use to drink lots of english brown ales. It still drank pretty good and took me back to the good old days. The beer did justice for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 07:09:13 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Damian


4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a stemmed glass

Murky, muddy brown in appearance with a thin cap of light tan froth atop the liquid. The head faded to a lasting ring. Steaks of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet and full with notes of brown bread, raisins and caramel. Plummy. Brown sugar was noticeable as well.

The taste was similar to the aroma. Semi-sweet and malty rich. Plummy and fruity with subtle cocoa notes. A bit nutty as well. Some earthy hops appeared on the finish.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied but super creamy, frothy and smooth with a fine, moderate, tongue blanketing effervescence. Quite impressive, especially for a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability was quite good. This is a tasty, well balanced brown ale with a rather intriguing flavor profile. It would likely pair well with most any pub fare.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 23:03:02 | More by Damian
Photo of womencantsail


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a few notes of red when looked at in the right light. A mild tan head forms on top.

S: There is a nice toasted malt note right off the bat along with some nuttiness. Certainly sweet, but not overly so. Fairly well balanced all around.

T: The nuttiness and toasted malts are the main flavors of this beer. There is a nice caramel and toffee sweetness as well that works nicely with the very mild bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a somewhat light carbonation to it.

D: A very easy beer to drink. Before knowing the style, I thought it could have passed for an English Mild, and could easily drink this like it was.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 21:28:28 | More by womencantsail
Photo of drpimento


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bartender was very enthusiatic about this so I hated to let him down when I didn't find it to be so fantastic. Poured with a thick foamy frothy tan head and plenty of lace. Color was an opaque brown black. Aroma was very malty a bit roasty and a bit of sour. Flavor was the same. Tartness seemed inappropriate unless it woulda been a Flemmish brown. Body was good and ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor and I was noticing the tart more. Not a session.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 03:27:53 | More by drpimento
Photo of Manoftyr

New York

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from growler into glass

Appearance-Pours a rich chocolate colored brown into the glass with red highlights around the bottom and top edges of the glass. A soft off-white fluffy head rises and lasts for quite a few sips before finally receding leaving some nice lace along the sides as it goes.

Aroma-Cocoa, caramel, nuts, dark malts and maybe the slightest hint of clove which I assume is from the Belgian yeast they used. It smells very nice actually, like a very high quality English styled brown ale but with a little something extra.

Taste-A bit darker than average for the style with some slight flavors of black licorice and dark bitter chocolate in addition to the typical English Brown Ale flavors; dark caramel, nuts, dark fruits etc. I also detect some flavors reminiscent of a dark Belgian, probably due to the Belgian yeast strain and the sugars used in the brewing.

Mouthfeel-Appropriate for the style, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability-It's a bit too dark and bitter and it's flavors a tad too strong to be considered very drinkable, especially when compared to others of its style; it drinks slower than average, at least for me anyway.

Serving type: growler

06-26-2010 00:27:30 | More by Manoftyr
Photo of meatyard


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 , bottled April 2009

A: Pours a murky, dark, ruby/brown with a 1-finger, light brown head that falls quickly to a cover without lacing.
S: The aroma is a nice, sweet, malty scent that is my favorite part of this beer.
T: The flavor is very similar to the smell but on the mild side. Maybe it's the age, but before it warmed a bit I got a tanginess in the finish which mostly disappeared later.
M: Is on the thin side with light carbonation, some creaminess would have been nice though not a problem.
D: Fairly low ABV plus a pleasant mild taste makes it very drinkable. Given the opportunity, I would like to try this one on cask.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 22:35:27 | More by meatyard
Photo of Kallessin


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color, very clear with coppery highlights. Has a huge billowing, light tan head that looks like a dollop of cream on top with great lacing as it settles.

Has a mild sweet maltiness with a little caramel and some toasted notes.

Has a sweet malty taste with caramel and a light fruitiness. There's some light roasted notes with a smokey quality and some toasted dark bread. Mildly bitter on the finish with a lingering toasted flavor.

It's medium bodied and smooth with light carbonation and a slow dry finish.

This is a really good beer. It looks fantastic, but a little light on the aroma. The flavor is mild and well rounded. My only real complaint is the lingering dryness.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 19:09:51 | More by Kallessin
Photo of wisrarebeer


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Minneapolis for $7.49 (Bottled August 2009, Batch Three)
A: deep dark color, great rocky head that stuck around
S: Belgian yeast, roasted malt
T: very good taste, almost like a dubbel, roasted malt, Belgian yeast, slight astringency
M & D: very good

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 16:03:54 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of far333


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch Four, bottled December 2009
Dark brown, not quite opaque wth streams of fine bubbles rising up through the dark liquid to a one inch head of high and frothy dimpled foam.

Low aroma of toasty malt and dark cereal, some pumpernickel and fig.

Flavors of toasted malt, understated cocoa, leather and mild smoke, plus some dried leaves and dark fruits. Smokiness increases in the finish. No one flavor dominates, very balanced. Gets more interesting as it warms. Notes of port emerge.

Full mouthfeel, a little tingly, finishes a bit tannic. Tasty and drinkable, good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 01:44:25 | More by far333
Photo of thetomG


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber - Bottled Dec 2009 - Batch 4

Pours a dark brown with HUGE super foamy bubbling tan head. Smell is quite malty & nutty with some dark fruits coming through as well.

Taste is phenomenal. Mirrors the aroma quite well but with an added bonus of some bittersweet chocolate notes. The main thing that comes to mind here though is BALANCE. There are several interesting flavors going on, but it is all SUPREMELY balanced. No one flavor overpowers the other - it is perfectly carbonated as well with just the right amount of bubbles creating a very nice feel in your mouth as you drink.

This is an exquisite beer and something I cannot wait to try again... along with any other Pretty Things creations I can get my hands on!


Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 01:28:35 | More by thetomG
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Stella glass
Bottled Dec 2009, Batch 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown with slight ruby red highlights around the edges. A large, fluffy tan head that left loads of lace all over the place.

Lightly toasted almonds up front with a brown bread malt base. Burnt brown sugar, raisins, and soft fruits. A rather broad english brown, but very pleasing.

Wow, so this beer took me by surprise. Toasted almonds, hearty malt and burnt brown sugar dominate. Soft cherries and raisins peek through in the middle. A dose of herbal hops help do a real good job of balancing things.

A smooth, lush medium body with a residual sweetness from the cherries and brown sugar. The finish of this beer is fantastic and only gets better as it warms.

This is pretty complex for an english brown; it brings a ton to the table. I really enjoyed the flavor profile and mouthfeel. I will definitely seek this beer out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 23:07:15 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark brown with a small reddish tint. Head was a light caramel color that clung extremely well, but didn't last long at all. Aroma was of molasses and burnt sugar with small amouts of acidic bitterness. Taste was slightly sweet, rich vanilla flavor. Reminded me a burnt rye or other strong grain. Mellowed out very nicely. Coated well, a bit thin, and perhaps slightly overcarbonated, but not bad. A very drinkable beer. Needs a few minutes to mellow out and breathe before drinking.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 22:34:24 | More by mountdew1
Photo of ZeroSignal


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle dated Dec 2009

A - Pours a dark cherry color with tones of brown and red throughout; billowing tan head with good retention and spiderweb lacing

S - Big malt nose, bread, yeast, sweet fruity ester

T&M - Roasted malt, green apple, slightly nutty with a big heap of sour bitterness. Medium bodied and somewhat chewy, with the sour notes staying on the tongue long after swallowing.

D - Bigger, bolder flavors then I'm used to with brown ale. Complex, but very drinkable; strength of flavors makes it a slower drink for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 02:34:41 | More by ZeroSignal
Photo of cbutova


3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours out dark brown with a creamy light tan head that retains extremely well and is very creamy/foamy in texture. Large chunks of it can be scooped off like whipped cream and a massive pillow sticks around on top. Huge pieces of lace stick to the glass in a thick coat.

S- Nutty malt that is slightly roasty. Very reminiscent of a nut-brown with a roasty edge to it. The malt has the slightly rusty scent to it like I find in many English ales and other brown ales. The strength fades a bit.

T- Like a bit of a stout mixed with a good brown ale. The nutty malt characteristic of many browns is there. The roastiness of stouts is also present. There are some hops in it and they lend earthy and a bit of fruit (dark) to the ale. Some residual sweets as well. Probably the best brown ale flavor I have come across, no metallic notes. Some smoke too.

MF- Body is light-moderate with a good moderate level of carbonation that slightly stings the tongue. The body is not very watery and has a good amount of creaminess. A coat of nutty malt and slight hop flavor coats the palate.

DB- Great price for 22oz. Awesome brown ale flavors. I really like the blend of the flavors. The only flaw is the semi-weak aroma. Not a session beer (strong flavors) but a good one. Worth trying again on tap.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 23:05:34 | More by cbutova
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rustic brown color with a "10 minute" three finger head that leaves a big smattering of lace

Smell: Really different aromatics - let's see, I pick up some dark fruit, tamarind, smoked embers, and crusty brown bread

Taste: Opens with a crusty brown bread flavor that diverges in a surprisingly sweet and dark fruit (raisins and dates) direction that becomes a touch phenolic by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sugary complexity (almost palm sugar like) dominates, though there is some nutty breadiness in the finiah as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, slightly creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really surprising ale that covers a range of styles and is just gosh darn good

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 00:43:53 | More by brentk56
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel tulip, Botoplph's pours a dark brown that turns ruby at the edges when held up to light. There's a large toffee head that leaves behind a good amount of lace. The smell is off bready malts and a hint of yeast spiciness that's very reminiscent of a belgian beer. This is a wonderfully complex beer, with some malty sweetness and the aforementioned spiciness that show up in the nose, as well as some earthy hop flavors lurking in the background. It's like a well done blend of a brown ale and a belgian strong dark ale. The carbonation is nice, stopping appropriately short of being prickly, but the body is a little thin, and I find myself wishing it was a little creamier. All in all though, a quality beer (as I've come to expect from Pretty Things) that's disappearing remarkably quickly from my glass.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 00:17:12 | More by axeman9182
Photo of Arbitrator


4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra from axeman1982. Thanks!

A: Pours a dark, but clear, mahogany body with two fingers of light cream-colored head. Retention is decent, leaving a very thin collar and no lacing.

S: Caramel, toast, and some very light roast, chocolate, and nuts. Earthy hops.

T: A subdued blend of caramel and toast up front. The mid-taste delivers light waves of chocolate and nuts that are very well balanced by earthy hops and a hint of anise. Some kind of spice at the end. Surprisingly complex and tasty, though it's more of a nuanced beer than a blow-your-face-off beer.

M: Light-bodied, even airy.

D: Very enjoyable. I love a nice <6% ale that delivers flavor. This is up there.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 06:22:58 | More by Arbitrator
Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
91 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.