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Baby Tree - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
Baby TreeBaby Tree

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BA SCORE
86
very good

349 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 349
Hads: 801
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 63
Gots: 127 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: twelvsies on 04-21-2009

Quadrupel with dried plums.

This beer is no longer brewed with dried plums as of June '11 batch.
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Reviews: 349 | Hads: 801
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber of above average yeasty, slightly sweet dark Belgium. It has a drying finish, with a hint of plum, and the finish offsets the previous sweetness. A little different. Above average thickness,caramel, both in looks and in mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Worth seeking out. Yeasty malty aromas. (296 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mrbubbler for sharing this one at his "end of the world" tasting.

Bottled 6/2011.

Pours a hazy brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and brown sugar. Taste is much the same with a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but I think this one smells better than it tastes. (521 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured very dark amber into a snifter glass with a huge off-white head. A light to moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There is some sweetness in the aroma, which has notes of candi sugar, plums, raisins and spices.
T: The flavors have a good balance between some sweetness in the initial taste and a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: It's very drinkable and the alcohol is very well hidden. (475 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally getting the notes in for this one. Picked a bottle up from Capone's quite a few months back. Served in a tulip glass.

The color is dark brown with a nice tan head and a good dosing of lacing as the head sinks down to a thin layer. The nose is quite a bit of dark fruits with some figs and plum skin plus a bit of molasses and brown sugar. Some very light roast character.

The flavor is along the same lines with a bit of booze. Dark fruits pervade along with a bit of Belgian yeast. The plums are apparent, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel is a big of a big dive from here, as there is an unpleasant metallic astringency in the finish. It drinks well enough in the end, but there are a few little things that prevent this from being all that drinkable. (766 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Belgianesque, with a massive head that sits atop the mahogany liquid; plenty of lacing action

Smell: Plummy, with spice cake and candi sugar elements

Taste: Dark fruit flavors, up front, with prune (excuse me, dried plum) and spice cake elements; by mid-palate, however, the beer diverges from the expected path, as a bitter medicinal aspect takes over and after the swallow, the medicinal flavors linger on the palate (Dann, the brewer, considers it to be a marzipan flavor)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; very Belgian mouthfeel

Drinkability: Other than the marzipan flavor, which I don't particularly care for, I like everything about this beer (677 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice reddish brown color. The head was fluffy and white with a decent lacing. The smell of the beer is sweet and had some nice fruity aromas coming off of it. The taste of the beer is nice, lots of brown sugar sweetness with some plums and raisin on the tongue. The mouthfeel is light and slick. Very easy to drink. Overall I enjoyed the beer and would like to have it again. (401 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhere between the spicy earth character of Belgian ales and the fruity-sweet versions that most American small breweries try to emulate, Pretty Thing's stronger, darker ale plucks at the strings of both influences.

It starts with its creamy pour of rusty brown hues and hazy garnet undertones. The beer swells with a creamy light tan head with firm retention and moderately solid lacing patterns. It's a good looking beer but doesn't billow with those rocky foam structures that sets the best ones apart.

Fruit and spice fill the nose with notions of grape, plumb, and red apples that alight well with red wine overtones and peppercorn counterparts, but then wrapped in a candied scent of confectioner's sugar.

Supple malty sweet taste of hard candies becomes the thread that pulls all of the estery fruits and yeasty spice together. Plumb, apple, dates, figs, grapes, blackberries all protrude through the candied sweetness and carry an attitude of vinous merlot. Spicy alcohols, seemingly of rum, along with a spicy tinge of fresh cracked peppercorn and freshly ground cinnamon balance the sweetness and fruitiness well especially in the absence of strong hop bitterness- the beer simply does not need it.

Medium-full in mouthfeel, there's the ample sweetness of unresolved malt and candy that evokes fuller impressions. But the tartness of acids, peppercorn spice and alcohol thinning that convinces the mind to register something lighter. A late palate of fleeting sweetness and exaggerated rummy alcohol, pepper, and wine closes the beer with savory refinement but also with a long lingering memory of fruit and pepper.

Although Baby Tree delves further into authentic Belgian taste and texture than do the more timid and more usual American attempts, it comes closer to tricking me into believing the true character of Belgium. But its creamy carbonation gives it away. A more sprite and zesty tactile notion here would have really sealed it for me. (1,965 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear medium copper color ale with a super large light brown head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of light brown sugar notes with some light maple syrup notes and light dry fruits. Taste is a nice mix of brown sugar and light dry fruits with not as much character as expected. Body is below average for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I must admit to being slightly disappointed by this one with thin body and not much character but again though style to brew considering the best in style. (551 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The baby trees are quite a sight
More picturesque than willows
But hide your eyes when fall arrives
And cover the ground with pillows"

--BuckeyeNation

Batch 3. Bottled Oct 2009. Deep dark rust orange with bright apricot edges and crystal clarity throughout. The high point of the appearance is an outstanding looking crown of golden sandstone colored foam that filled half the glass on the pour. Attractive lace is icing on the quadrupel cake.

The nose is medium-dark fruity and is clove-peppery spicy. The latter is strictly due to Belgain yeast, since PTB&AP does not use spices in their beer. This is a valid olfactory take on the style... and a good one.

Baby Tree's signature ingredient is dried plums, which sounds much better than prunes. Here's hoping the laxative effect has been brewed out or this could an... interesting experience. First impression: good beer that won't scare the world's best.

Almost one year in the bottle has done this offering proud. To be fair, though, I haven't had it fresh. Baby Tree tastes like a fruitier, plum jammier BSDA, which is not uncommon for some Belgian and Belgian-style quads. The combination of ripe dark fruit, spices, and (background only) alcohol are reminiscent of a mulled red wine. Subtle chocolate notes add even more interest.

Sweet and bitter are both present, with the former having a very slight lead at all points except the finish. This isn't the deepest or most complex beer of this style on the planet, but it's damn tasty and should be drinkable for just about anyone. Even those who might be intimidated by the style.

The mouthfeel just manages to grab the bottom rung of the 4.0 ladder. Positives include a smooth creaminess and enough carbonation to keep things inflated most of the way through the mouthful. Again, ease of drinkability is the result.

Baby Tree is another solid effort from Pretty Things. Quality quadrupels aren't easy to come by in America, so this one deserves credit for doing most things right. Time to get those pillows ready. The 9.0% ABV is beginning to work its soporific magic. (2,084 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of raisin, plum and rich malt. Some floral hop aromas, too.

T - Great dried fruit flavors - raisin, plum and apple. It had a rich caramel malt flavor. Just enough bitterness to balance the sweet.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a really tasty quad. I'm glad I got to try this one. (506 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thick brownish colored liquid comes pouring out of the glass and rings the inside of my tulip with loads of light tan lacing and a firm head of two fingers.

aroma is everything you would want in a quad. rich malty backbone, hints of prunes, figs, earthy tones and light caramel sweetness that is balanced nicely against a tight profile of light spices. really well done. very nice full feel with near perfect carbonation is exactly what i was looking for. the flavor opens up with loads of dark fruits and brown sugar colliding with light spices and a smooth, even flavor that hides the alcohol and smooths the palate. (619 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice a rich burgundy infused russet with a thinner tannish colored head atop.Funk and more funk overtop of dark fruit in the nose,maybe the most funk I have come across in a quad.Cakey with dark fruit flavors the at turn into quite a funky finish,Iam not a fan of funk so it kinda turned me off a little.A well made beer but I think the funk is heavy handed for the style. (389 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber in color with a couple fingers of off-white head.

S: Rather heavy on the toasted malt aromas. Caramel sweetness with a little bit of burnt sugar and hints of dark fruits. A mild level of roasted malts. There's a slight acidity to the nose, not quite sour.

T: Caramel and toffee give a decent enough sweetness. But, this is pretty bitter for a Quad/Belgian strong. Some sweet dark fruits, toasted malt, and the same acidic character from the nose. There's also a little bit of a metallic taste.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Pretty Things beers continue to disappoint me. This just didn't have many/any of the characteristics I look for in a Quad. (702 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The whimsically labeled Baby Tree pours out a clouded, very dark brown body with a tall, creeping, light beige head.

Smell: A maltiness that's dark, bready but, when combined with the sweet-smelling and spice aspects of the nose, takes on a seasonal spice cake scent. However, the aroma is not, at any point, particularly profuse, kind of mild, in fact.

Taste: A spicy coating of freshly-grated cinnamon and earthy nutmeg atop oven-toasted bread and lightly roasted grains. Sprinkling of sticky dark brown sugar. Fruitiness akin to dates and prune skins, though there's also a small hint of banana-flavored bubble gum lurking within. A bit more table sugar. Picks up a bitterness nearing the end that, with the aid of a cutting vein of alcohol, helps to temper the initial sweetness for the spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body and a medium-plus carbonation combine for a somewhat hefty mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's nice. An interesting brew that grows on you as easily as farm-fresh babies in a tree. (1,023 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with a lightly hazy, amber-brown body, topped by a small head of off-white foam. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

S - Dark caramel and raisins with a little bit of herbal hop character.

T - Thick malt and toffee up front. Some caramel and dark fruit character comes out in the middle. The beer finises with spicy notes of clove as well as some raisins, caramel, and cola notes.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Not a bad example of the style, though it is lacking the deep complexity of some others. The dark sugar is really dominant here and while there is some spicy yeast character I would have liked to see more dark fruit and perhaps a dryer finish. (751 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baby Tree. Bottled June 2010. Batch 6. Just about 7 months old.

It pours a hazy light chestnut brown with crimson and orange highlights. The finger thick head of frothy light tan is relatively short lived. It leaves wide swatches of lace behind, but they fade to medium sized spots rather quickly.

The aroma displays dark skinned fruit and light caramel malt. It's lightly phenolic and spicy from the Belgian yeast. Pleasant and unobtrusive.

The flavor follows the aroma. It's a bit bitter, however. I hadn't looked at the listed style (quad) until now, and I didn't recognize it as such; not so much because of the amount of malt present as much as the higher level of bitterness. The yeast character is nicely balanced, and I love the spice, raisin, and caramel.

If it's to be considered as a Belgian-style quadrupel, the body's a little thin. It could at least use a little more residual sugar to give it a bit of a dextrinous edge. Yet it remains somewhat creamy; and at least smooth. The alcohol doesn't help, but at the same time it's at least fairly well hidden within the flavor.

Forgetting style, and simply taking it for what it is, I find it to be an enjoyable beer, and fairly interesting. It is a bit bitter, but I don't feel that's completely out of place. Would it work better if it was a bit sweeter? Most likely, yes. If it didn't follow a particular style would it work? I'd also say yes. However, it is a bit less drinkable because of it. The bitterness of the hops and the bitterness of the dark fruit skins combine, and then stick in the mouth. It almost finishes with a bit of a licorice note. But then again, I have to ask, is that such a bad thing? Style not taken into account, maybe not. You'll have to judge this one for yourself. (1,764 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another one that escape my reviews, and this was one of my fav beers back in the day. I still have a few bottles from batch 1 and batch 4 which were both great.

Decent fizzy smaller head though, light lacing, hazy apple juice brown color.

Nose super nutty to start, almost peanuts, then sweet candy, light fig and date, touch plum, plenty of esters and light phenols, light jammy, but of dark brown malts with toasty sweet malts.

Taste light sweetness, jammy fruit, little plum fig, light caramel and toffee like sweetness. Then brown sugar, into a light bitter slight grassy hop, then booze, light warming booze, faint esters and hint medicinal phenols, hint creamy thick malt, chewy like, faint hint dark malt but mostly sweet toasty brown malts, and hint of nutty flavor. Finish is still fairly sweet syrupy, little sticky, mild bitterness, more candied dark dried fruits and plum lingering.

Mouth is nice full bod, fluffy little creamy, decent carb.

Overall quite nice. This isn't the best batch I've ever had, and I wish I recorded the batch #, but oh well. I have another few bottles waiting review in my cellar, so when I crack those I'll note the batch and re-review if I feel I should. (1,199 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/4/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

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

S: The aroma is faint at first but after it sits it gets stronger and contains brown sugar, dark fruit, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar. Then a hearty malt character and Belgain yeast backbones come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good stronger Belgian-style beer that is worth drinking for a while. (849 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet and murky, a fruit stew. Doesn't actually taste very strong. Hints of liquorice and raisins and currants. Odd touch of perfume. Brownish amber in the chalice with a decent but not memorable head. Mouthfeel is a medium body, not sticky. Not much in the way of hops, but there is a bitter twang at the end along with a dry toffee flavor.

Not as interesting as other PT beers. Makes me think of some of the dark, heavy Stone beers without the hop overdose. In some ways it's an improvement over the heavy, syrupy Quads, however. (533 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap @ the Fridge -thanks Erik! Enjoyed chilled in a Three Philosophers goblet.

The color is deep burgundy with translucent clarity and thin quickly falling cap of tight tan beads. The smell is vinous and slightly pruny with a hint of raisin and spice. The hint of woody aroma from the hops comes out as it warms with a mild alcohol ester. The feel is good -substantial body with moderate sweetness and slightly spicy and bitter balance with tinges of warming alcohol in the finish.

I like the way the malt and yeast bring forward some toast and slightly dried fruit flavors together with a pine/herbal hop flavor. There is a slight currant/vinous tinge with a mellow element of raisin and fragrant wood accent with some mild sugar and alcohol in the background with spice and other hop flavors appearing mid-taste. I like the flavor and it is pretty drinkable for the strength-not the best quad I ever tried, but certainly high in drinkability-welll worth trying. (982 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Bottled May 2011. Expectations are high; I love this style.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention (likely due to the high ABV). Dark chestnut colour. Nontransparent. Appealing.

Sm: Fruity. Sweet plums, cherries. Some raisin. Some toasted malts. A wonderful inviting lively aroma. Moderate in strength.

T: Fruity: more sweet and bright than dark and fermented. Plums, bright cherry (not tart), and light raisin (though it's hard to detect on account of how wet it is). Deep. I'd like more dark fruit. Lightly toasted malt is the backbone, plentiful and full. It's a bit simple for the style, but it's quite effective and enjoyable. The lack of yeast is a bit off-putting, however.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a lot of body from the candied sugar. A bit tingly as well on the climax. Not too thick nor too thin. It's a bit too wet, but it's forgivable.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. A good beer for the style, but far from the best I've had. I'd certainly get it again, but the lack of yeasty notes makes me wonder if it'd age well. Most quads do, but I don't know about this one. I'm excited to try more beers from this brewery.

(1,329 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled on April 2009, first batch. I like this. Since they are obviously trying to appeal to the beer connoisseur, this really works for me.

Cloudy, cloudy brown with some light penetrating. Nice off white head with foam-like qualities. Relatively light lace given the head.

I haven't had an American-made Belgian in quite some time that featured this earthy smell that I associate with the Farmhouse Ales in France. Some Belgians will feature this barn-like smell (Duvel comes to mind), but the American versions tend to shy away. The alcohol is also quite dominant here.

Like a true Quad: Lots of alcohol warmth, dark malt flavors with a touch of sweetness. Some spiciness in the swallow. Short lived aftertaste. Only distraction is the thinnish body--just under the standard. Overall, a very nice entry into the Quads. (825 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 3/6/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with no head.

s - Some dark fruit...plums, raisins, sweet malts.

t - Sweet fruit and malts. Little bit of booze.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Not a bad quad. Had an enjoyable sweet fruit smell and taste. Would try it again. (311 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice; Batch 3 bottled Oct. 2009. Pours slightly cloudy reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts forever. Some awesome thick lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, toasted malt, bread, molasses, plums, light chocolate, and spices. Nice aromas, but weaker than I wanted them to be. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toasted malt, bread, chocolate, nuttiness, plum, other fruits, pepper, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of toasted malt, caramel, molasses, and dark fruits on the finish. Nice balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice and creamy mouthfeel that drinks smoothly. No alcohol noticed other than a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very impressive and excellent Belgian-style quad. 2 years have been kind to this beer. (890 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #35 top Quad on the best of beeradvocate lists, served in a stein because I'm too lazy to get another glass.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin off white head that break, leaving a little lacing on the glass, moderate to low carbonation, looks fine.

The aroma is a little weak, but smells like malt, mild yeast and some fruits perhaps.

Beer is medium in body and has a mildly metallic flavor to it. Some nice sweetness up front and an overall pleasing experience on the palate. The initial flavors are just a little off. The metallic thing in the beginning prevents this beer from moving up in the listing to me. Oh well, still a decent beer. (686 characters)

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
86 out of 100 based on 349 ratings.