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

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Saint Botolph's TownSaint Botolph's Town

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587 Ratings

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Ratings: 587
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 87
Gots: 68 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 587 | Reviews: 290 | Display Reviews Only:
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft served in a pint glass. I had the opportunity recently to sample this beer on cask which was a completely different experience. Honestly, I prefer c02 with this one.

A: Average tan head with good retention and great lacing. Very dark (impressive) brown body with ruby edges and 90% opaque.

S & T: Moderate level of toasted caramel and nutty malts in the forefront with a slight hint of herbal hops in the back. Touch of dark fruits (chocolate covered cherries comes to mind), cola, lightly spicy, peppery, mild fruity esters.

M: Perfectly carbonated. Medium to full bodied brown ale, with a thicker than expected, semi creamy mouthfeel. Lightly sweet front to mid palate. Great flavor duration. Low to no bitterness. Mouth coating, semi cloying leaves a long, drawn out dry finish.

D: One of the better English Brown Ales I've tasted. At 5.9% ABV, this brew is dangerously quaffable, plus it is interesting enough to warrant a second and third pint.

Photo of ksimons
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet glass, is deep brown with a creamy head that disappears. Smell is really good, a combination of malts, bread, brown sugar, and a slight hint of coffee.

Taste starts out malty but then the hops take over and you are left with a very dry, roasted coffee end. Little to no carbonation. Medium thick mouthfeel with some malt and hops lingering in your mouth. Another really great beer by Pretty Things.

Photo of puboflyons
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 ouncer that was bottled Dec. 2009 and comes from Batch Four. Sampled on March 16, 2010. The pour is a handsome mahogany with ruby and pine hues thrown in for good measure. The light, puffy head is about three inches thick and it eventually simmers down. Nice clarity though. Right after I removed the cap I got this instant burst of fruitiness on the nose. Then when I began to pour it, the aroma segued into a toasted bready, creamy, yeasty, and neutral hopped balance. I was sold before I even tasted it. Fortunately the taste was just as endearing with a bold body and a sharp bitterness nut-like quality concluding with a pleasant dry hop finale. This beer really hit all the pressure points in a good way and is highly recommended.

Photo of happilysurly
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice rich brown color. Pours with minimal head which disappears quickly. The smaller the buh-bubbles, the better the buh-beer.

S: Sweet and malty. Subtle woody aroma with figs, currants and dark cherries.

T: Rich maltiness and sweetness. Figs again are prominent as are the dark cherries, yeah, lots of dark cherries balance the roasted malt. Low carbonation lets the flavors really come out.

M: The maltiness lingers and stays with me in the back of my mouth.

D: Overall, this was a very nice beer. I split the 22 oz bottle three ways, but wish I had not. It was just right for this 60 degree afternoon with spring right on the horizon.

Photo of bum732
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice dense creamy head with great lacing. Smells of toffee and caramel, cocoa, earthy and grassy hops, some vanilla, . Tastes of bold toffee and caramel malts, hints of cocoa powder and some coffee notes. Slight fruity bitterness, fairly restrained. Hops comes through in the finish drying the palate slightly with some more cocoa. Nice creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, alcohol slightly noticable.

A very solid brown ale, bordering on being a brown porter. Nice layers of flavors throughout, rich creaminess works wonderfully with everything. Most brown ales i find are one noted and fairly thin on the mouthfeel, this is not one of those beers. Another solid effort from Pretty Things.

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch #2...
Appears a deep, dark amber with chestnut edges. Steady streams of lacing are left around the glass. A 1 finger beige head slowly fades into a mild cap of fluff. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of flowers, cut wood, earthy notes, brown sugar, vanilla, and nougat.
Taste is of the aromas with caramel and just a pinch of bittersweet bakers chocolate. Crystal malts come through with a refreshing citrus blast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, semi sweet, flowery, and slick in the finish.

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

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks as always!) - always happy to try another beer from this brewery. The label art is very attractive (as usual) - I appreciate the care Pretty Things puts into their design. Batch four, bottled December 2009. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Medium chocolate brown which glows a rich even carnelian when held up to a light. A creamy light khaki stand of foam rests on the surface with impressive retention. Hefty lacing slides nimbly up and down the glass tapering into thin coves of hard coral like bubbles.

A nice sweet dark yeast aroma wafts out into the room. Almond butter, light toast, faint hazlenut and perhaps chalk as well. A hint of honey.

Surprisngly rich maltiness: black, chocolate, and roasted notes meld like unto a fine medium-roast coffee blend. Subtle, clean noble hop flavors appear mid-palate as a mild bitterness joins a slightly roasted nut note. Brown bread crust, with hints of pepper and even a touch of fennel-dusted brown butter linger on in the finish. Really nicely done. Would love to try this on cask.

Hearty and medium bodied with a slight astringency, a faint oily quality, and moderate carbonation.

Mellow yet with unexpected depth, this is a pleasant example of the style.

Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3, bottled August 2009.
Looks nice, light brown cap of fine bubbles capping a chestnut brown beer. Malty aroma, roasty and nutty, dry cocoa, light notes of dried fruit and spice. Moderate bitterness throughout, really giving some balance to the brown sugar and milk chocolate sweetness up front. More of a caramel and bittersweet chocolate flavour towards the finish with a fair bit of clove spiciness hidden behind the malts. Less roast and fruit in the flavour, but they're there. Smooth texture, carbonation was a little rough to start but mellowed as the beer warmed. Medium to full bodied. Quite enjoyable.

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

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, Batch 4. Big thanks to Bill (Axeman9182) for the bottles!

Pours a dark red-brown, a bit murky, with an absolutely epic head - dense, creamy, and a good 2 fingers in height at its peak. Settles down into a dense, 1/2" thick cap with big, solid walls of lacing.

Really interesting nose - breadcrusty and nutty, flashes of caramel , cocoa, and even coconut that come and go, just a bit of grassy hops.. Varies between dry and sweet depending on what's going on, but never the same thing twice.

Taste is quite nice - I've been looking forward to trying a good bottle of this for awhile; first one I had was badly oxidized, but this one is spot on. Up front is more of the lightly breadcrusty malt body, somewhere between roasty and toasty, light notes of chocolate and caramel sit underneath, with a nice nuttiness; flash of grassy hops towards the finish lends a lingering bitterness that only emphasizes the breadcrustiness, with a nice dry-cocoa presence sitting on the palate for a long, long time. Really nice, well-balanced brown ale that walks a brilliant line between traditional and innovative. Love it.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-full bodied, smooth, lightly bitter in the finish.

Drinkability is quite nice, flavor keeps you coming back, and only the lingering bitterness strings it out some. Tasty either way.

Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3, August 2009, 22 oz bottle.

Very dark, deep brown with a retentive, pillowy tan head. Aroma is very nice for a brown, dark fruits, roasted malt, mild hops, some clove spiciness, all nicely balanced. Rich, full body for a brown, malty, dark fruit, hops in the finish and some surprising chocolate/coffee roast flavors mix in too. Another interesting, slightly different take on a familiar style from Pretty Things. I still haven't found one I'm crazy about, but I'll keep on trying any new ones I come across.

Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice chestnut brown color, off white head leaving decent lacing. Smell is of roasted grain and nuts with a presence of dark dried fruit (plum and raisin), carmel and a lsight herbal quality. Taste is an exception blend of roasted grain, roasted nuts, crust bread and dried dark fruit a nice carmely sweet backbone. Does not approach bitter as many in the style do. Nice medium body with perfect carbonation for the style. A great, finely crafted English brown with lots of flavor and charachter.

Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a milk chocolate brown color with a big pillowy tan head that slowly dissipates. The aroma is of a musty malt with some chocolate and caramel notes. Brown sugar adds some sweetness to the aroma which is followed by a lemony citrus twang. The first sip is lightly roasty and woody, almost like a schwarzbier. This is followed by a sweet brown sugar flavor and a dry bitter hop. In the end the malt comes back out reminding you that this is indeed an english brown ale. It has that dry/lemony malt that I find in a lot of english ales. The feel is light to moderate with tingly to soft carbonation, finishes slightly dry and bitter. A good english brown ale, nice flavor profile. Not the best one that I have tried but still quite good.

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

Bottled in December.
Poured into my Pet Gulden Draak Tulip, this beer yielded a massive light mocha colored head with great retention. The base of the beer is a big earthy brown while the corners are a dark okra.
Raison and brown sugar are the first smells that come to mind, with a slight medicinal character brought on by the hops.
Big malt presence similar to sweet toasted biscuits. Hops are slightly phenolic with a lingering bitterness that balances the sweetness.
Big creamy mouthfeel, similar to Samuel Smiths but a little bigger.
Yet another great beer from The Pretty Things.

Photo of Katahdin
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours kind of murky, cloudy, and very thick bodied. Initial smell is of roasted nuts, caramel, and some maltiness or coffee. Taste is definitely roasted but not overdone, the coffee flavor comes out and an aftertaste of something like sambuca or black licorice with hints of earthiness. Adds to its complexity as it goes down and warms. Can definitely taste the yeast combo used which adds to the flavor. Rather creamy and smooth as befits its ABV.

Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sinstaineddemon sent this one my way. Thanks.

Brown in the glass, murky and turbid. Pours with a finger of tan head that reduces to a cap.

It smells strongly of coffee, roasted malt and toast. There's a bit of sweet dark malt and fruit as well, excellent.

Coffee and toffee up front, cereal, toast and carob. Very roasty, almost burnt in a subtle and pleasant way. Hints of leafy hops and minerals. Carbonation is a bit too high for the style, which makes the body seem a tad thin. The yeast profile is unusually prominent, giving the beer a fruity undertone. Finishes lightly hoppy and roasty with a big coffee kick and a faint mineral aftertaste.

Photo of j37geogaddi
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a dark chocolate brown with good amount of tan head which soon dissapears.

Smell is very much dominated by burnt cocoa and distant, faint hops.

Tastes chocolatey and malty for sure but there is a hop balance. Fruit flavors round out the experience, as this is one of the most interesting brown ales I've ever tried.

Mouthfeel is lightly chewy and it is well carbonated.

This beer is very drinkable and isn't insanely high in ABV so the bomber is going to be very easy to finish for sure.

It's a tasty beer no doubt and I would say is a more complex version of Dogfish Head IBA. Very good beer.

Photo of kkipple
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. A long-lasting tan head sits atop a clear red-brown ale, long retention and no real lace... looks good to me; like most Pretty Things beers.

S. Nutty, buttery, sweet, brown bread, lots of malt depth, slight roast.

T. Coconut? Buttery, smooth, lots of light roasted malt, bit of dates perhaps, interesting, rather unique, very lightly hopped (Noble hops), unlike anything I can quite think of. I like it. It's smooth and soft like most Pretty Things beers, light of character but full of flavor.

M / D. Same as most other PT brews, soft, medium-light body, lots of carbonation. Yeah..

St. Botolph's Town is a good beer, and interesting at that. Clearly a unique brown ale, and if you like this sort of thing, well worth your time.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2009. Pecan shell brown with generous highlights of cherry and orange. This is one of the darker brown ales out there, which bodes well. The upper third of the glass is filled with a pillowy crown of pale caramel colored foam that isn't in any hurry to depart.

It appears that Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project beer is great smelling beer. This English brown (or 'rustic dark ale') smells wonderful. Each sniff delivers cocoa and caramel and nuts... maybe even a hint of ground coffee bean. Both German ale yeast and Belgian yeast are used, though the latter isn't appreciated. So far at least.

Ah, there it is. A telltale clove spiciness on the tail end of the very first mouthful cranks up complexity, deliciousness and drinkability in one fell swoop. I love it when talented brewers use their imaginations and brew just slightly outside the box, turning what might have been just another ale into something special.

The flavor profile is, indeed, darker than most. There has to be some type of chocolate or roasted malt in here, given the dark chocolate, black coffee and black licorice vibe. Maybe it's the different four types of sugar, one of which is probably dark candi sugar of the sort used in BSDAs. Yes, this beer is a little BSDA-like, which is to its credit.

Other than those already mentioned, flavors include dark caramel, figs, sugared pecans, spicy ground clove and a splash of Sambuca. Sweet, bitter and spicy are all prominent, with tangy following along in their wake. Warming brings more boldness and even more depth and complexity. Wow, what a beer!

The mouthfeel is appropriate for the ABV. That doesn't mean that bigger wouldn't have been better. More plush creaminess would have garnered the next highest score with ease. Less than tight carbonation is partly to blame.

Saint Botolph's Town may not be the best English brown ale to have entered my glass... on second thought, it might be. It's definitely the most interesting. This is a brewery to keep an eye on. Make that two eyes. And a nose. And a tongue.

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

Thanks goes out to jmu500 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Bottled: August 2009
Batch: 3

Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger light tan head, with some awesome thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, nice little touch of dark fruits, light toffee note, caramel. The taste is awesome sweet, malty, with a nice touch of dark fruits, toffee/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this brew really surprised me, an awesome EBA. Thanks John!

Photo of joepais
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle is from the third batch, bottled August 2009.
I poured it into a DFH snifter; it produced a short lived finger of tan head that trailed to a thin lace. The body of the brew was your typical brown in color.

This brew has big sweet malty aroma, leaning towards the dark fruits. The flavors of the brew are sweet with a light amount of roast and hop bitter toward the end. It has a good mouthfeel with great carbonation.

It is a great drinking brew easy to finish and I was left wanting for more

Photo of Probie
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a tulip. The beer is a dark brown with a tinge of red. Beautiful cream colored three fingered head comprised of very fine bubbles. Thick, sticky lacing was left behind in a very even manner.

Aroma: Malty up front with a little bit of hop contribution giving it some spiced notes.

Taste: This is certainly a malt-centric beer and is maybe a little too sweet. Some fruity character is present first and is quickly followed by some roasted coffee like bitterness. Think they could have used a bit more bittering hops, but is pleasing enough the way it is.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fair amount of creaminess.

Drinkability: I had tried this first on tap at a local homebrew shop and liked it. After picking up a bottle, rather dissapointed I didn't get a second at the same time.

Photo of gory4d
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask growler fill from Bierkraft: cask trumps growler.

Pours a clear, dark brown, russet at the edges, no cloudiness at all. There's no head, just a skein of fine bubbles at the top, and a lot of small round bubbles at the bottom of the glass that rise to the top now and then. The smell is biscuit, faint caramel, some grass, lots of dirt. The taste is rich malt, sourdough, a hint of sour apple tang, wood sorrel, and again something like loam for a deep bitter finish. It's finely carbonated, light in body, fills the mouth quite nicely. The booziness prevents its being a true session beer, but otherwise this is one I could drink a lot of. It seems as though it's designed to be best as a cask beer, but I'd seek it out whatever the format.

Every beer from Pretty Things is a good one, so far. They manage to be subtle and versatile in way that few other American breweries can manage. Definitely worth your attention.

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears hazy reddish brown with a tan head
Sweet dark malt and dark fruit
Initial deep malt sweetness is followed by roasted flavor that lingers. Some slight coffee flavor.
Medium body and fairly effervescent.
Overall a decent beer- a bit sweet but tasty.

Photo of Cabadrin
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this from the third batch, bottled August 2009. Picked it up at Whole Foods near work, in Westwood, MA. This was the first time I had seen this brewery, so I'm checking it out to see if it'll be come a regular. Poured out of a bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: This is a dark beer. No light shines through except right near the edge, where it becomes just slightly dark. The head rises to about a finger's height, then drops down to a thin coating across the top. The foam provides a nice lace as it drops down the glass.

Smell: A nice malty smell, but not very strong except for the first sniff. This contributes to the drinkability later on - you don't get a nose of alcohol like some other, stronger ales.

Taste: malt, some molasses, and a bit of vanilla. Definitely something roasted here. Aftertaste is dark and roasted.

Mouth: Nice and bitter, but it doesn't hurt your tastebuds. Great and easy to drink.

Drinkability: Fantastic ale to drink, definitely felt a little of it after the whole bottle, but it went down real smooth. I think the lower alcohol content contributes to this being really easy to drink.

It'd recommend this with darker meat and root veggies, this is definitely a good dinner beer.

Overall, I'm impressed with this ale. Definitely looking forward to picking up a few more bottles next time I head to Whole Foods for lunch.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not really sure what to make of this one when I grabbed it out of the fridge, but went for it none the less. Served chilled and poured into a tall wheat glass, this one was consumed on 12/09/2009.
The pour was wonderful, rich brown in color with a huge tan head that stayed on top forever! Seriously this had to have looked better then damn near anything else I have run across recently, no joke. Just perfect. Aroma is dark fruits, lots of sweet brown sugary notes, hints of clove and light earthy hops, all mixing together nearly perfectly at this point in time. Nice smooth, even carbonation and feel here now as well, really well placed I have to admit. Rich warm flavor here, nice mix of pear, light spice, hints at brown sugar and a nice even caramel flavored dry finish. Hints of plums pick up as I finish the glass now as well, again well placed and nicely balanced. Superb drinkable factor here as this went wonderfully with dinner and everything after.
Overall really a superb, superb offering here, not really sure how to classify it totally, but superb,

Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
91 out of 100 based on 587 ratings.