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Baby Tree - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
Baby TreeBaby Tree

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very good

754 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 754
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 60
Gots: 103 | FT: 3
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:
Quadrupel with dried plums.

This beer is no longer brewed with dried plums as of June '11 batch.

(Beer added by: twelvsies on 04-21-2009)
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Ratings: 754 | Reviews: 350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours a dark caramel brown color. There was a pretty substantial off white head on it that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing. Nice nose, but a little light for a quad. Some spices up front, of which clove is the most prevalent. Some sugary caramel and some dark fruits also. Medium bodied, which seems a little light for a quad. Taste is good. A nice little bit of spice to the start. A bit of caramel, dark fruits, but a very minimal sweetness to it. A nice enough beer, but not quite up to par with some other Quads.

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from batch 4 poured into a tulip glass.

Look: dark, rusty color and orangey foam. The head retains well and leaves a good deal of lacing.

Smell: dark fruit with some spices, like clove and pepper. Plum, grapes, and alcohol are all there in equal measure. Smells very sweet.

Taste: follows the nose. Dark fruit, especially plum pop out very strongly, with some grape flavors almost like a red wine. The alcohol is obvious to the point that I'm surprised it is just 9.00% ABV. I would place it at around 12.

Feel: medium bodied, nicely carbonated, some alcohol warmth, and not much bitterness without being too sweet.

Drink: drinkable... for a quad. I wouldn't have this all night but getting to the bottom of the glass is not a problem.

Overall, a decent beer. Its not world class but its a respectable effort. I would give it a try but wouldn't seek it out if it weren't available to me. Cheers!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of bruachan
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

good froth on deeep ruby. respectable lacing to start

dark fruit aromas. quite yeasty. i smell something plummy

very spiced flavors. very bitter. very dry. i taste dried fruit to be sure, but i don't know if i would have identified the fruit dried as plum. strong woody and blackcurrant hop flavors

mouthfeel is oddly dry, which a quad doesn't wear too well. and the hops are over the top...let the yeast and complex beliganisms shine! i feel the same way about residual sugars: leave some so that i can revel in the yeasty-strong-quad complexity!

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jwiss22 for this bottle. Cheers, pal!

Batch 4

Appearance -- Pours a deep garnet hue with two fingers of stiff and foamy beige head. Not bad for this side of the pond.

Smell -- Very aromatic, indeed. Yeasty, with an abundance of clove and banana. Prune, red grape, apples and pears. Some mild earthy hop presence. Surprisingly little alcohol.

Taste -- Wow, very unconventional. Sweetness and, to a lesser degree, alcohol, are muted. Like the nose, yeast flavors are in the forefront: earthiness, clove, some banana. Rum raisin, prune sweetness, and plum skin tartness combine for a unique interplay I've yet to experience in a Quadrupel. Bitterness is pronounced with earthy hops, fruit skin tannins, and perhaps some of the yeast character. Lingering yeast earthiness and plum skin tartness.

Mouthfeel -- Feels a bit light on the palate, but with ample fluffy carbonation. Could use more weight.

Drinkability -- I'm not sure what to think about this one. I, mean, I like it, but this probably wouldn't be what I reach for when I'm in a Quadrupel kind of mood. Nice depth of flavor, I do like the fruit tartness present, but I miss the sweetness and perhaps the alcohol as well. All in all, another interesting brew from Pretty Things.

Note: The more I drink this, the more I like it. Really comes into it's own around room temperature.

Photo of Kinsman
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany colored body with ruby red highlights. A fluffy off-white head, about 2 fingers thick appears at first and slowly fades, leaving a nice lace behind.

Aroma is full of phenolic spice and lots of fruitiness. The large portions of plums adds quite a bit to the aroma, but they do not mask the rest of the aroma.

Fruits dominate the flavor, with the plums taking charge here. In the background, hints of phenolic yeastiness and some malty flavors. Hops flavors are essentially non-existent.

Mouthfeel has a medium body feel, with a nice velvety smoothness. Overall a very enjoyable beer and a unique quad.

Photo of Pencible
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a hazy dark mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like juicy plumb and sweet brown sugar, with some earthy molasses and spicy Belgian yeast.
T: It tasted like grassy and copper hops and dark fruit, with a little brown sugar and spicy Belgian yeast. It had a clean but surprisingly bitter aftertaste.
M: It was thin with moderate carbonation. Wish it was bottle conditioned.
D: This was a mediocre beer, but it could have been much better if it was aged a year and bottle conditioned. Clearly an American attempt at a Belgian style, with strangely high hop levels. The alcohol was well hidden, so it was easy to drink, but it just didn't taste right. Not worth buying again.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

label says "first batch" april 2009. from notes, tasted in june 2009.

very dark, amber brown. dark ruby amber tones under the light. no sediment on first pours. 1.5-finger, light tan head, fades to thin, foamy, creamy layer, relatively constant, due to being replenished by the etching in my duvel tulip. just a few splotches of lace tho.

aroma: brown sugar maltiness, fresh prunes, cherries, rum, molasses, licorice, anise, hint of cocoa? mild grassy hop note. vanilla? dark caramel throughout.

taste: spicier and more phenolic, but still plenty of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. grassy hop gives mild to moderate bitterness, lingers gently. playing w/ spice and phenols. complex, but could be richer. moment of watered down character.

medium body, sometimes light, but pretty smooth overall w/ faint astringency in the finish. mild carbonation helps maintain body and gives lift to the flavors.

the taste score should be something like 3.8 or 3.9, but if i marked it 3.5, the weight of the scoring system would be too detrimental to the overall score. same with mouthfeel, which should be a 3.7 or so. to compromise, i gave the drinkability a 3.5, when otherwise i feel 4.0 would be appropriate.

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1. Bottled April 2009

Poured into goblet.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Fades to a ring and leaves a bit of splattered lace. Color is a copper brown with a ruby hue.

Aroma: Very sweet, rich, and malty. A lot of dried fruits here. Plums, raisins, cherries, toffee, and caramel. I like the nose on this quad. Very clean.

Taste: Very malty. Bready, caramel, and toffee malt flavors. More dried fruit shows. Plums, raisins, cherries, grapes, and licorice all show. It is kind of dry.

Mouthfeel: Dry, creamy, smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry.

Overall, it is a decent quad. I like the nose a lot, but the taste doesn't follow up as well. It has a decent drinkability and I think it was a fine choice for a nice fall evening.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of BigMike
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2010 Batch 6

A: Pours a dark brown rootbeer color. Fairly clear and topped with a thin light tan head. About 1 finger and pretty thin.

S: Lots of dark sticky fruit and yeast. Light brown sugar and molasses with a touch of caramel.

T: I can definitely taste some plum. Some sticky molasses sweetness and raisin. Not much alcohol presence.

M: A bit on the thin side for a quad. However, the carbonation is spot on and it's extremely smooth. (as it warms the body definitely builds up.)

Overall: A pretty good American Quad. An interesting take. I really like how Pretty Things puts their own take on different styles and makes them their own.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber served in an oversized wineglass. bottled june 2010 (batch six).

pours a deep mahogany tone with a fair amount of clarity to it; a solid finger of beige head that quickly dissipates into a collar around the glass... some lacing, though not to the level i generally look for in a quad.

nose is sweet, heavy with yeast and dark fruits; bready malts also evident... flavor profile follows through with a lot of bready/malty-ness; a bit bitter up front, followed by a fruity sweetness, then on to a dry, almost hoppy finish. noticeable plum presence. not bad; perhaps a little more bitter than i would prefer, but a nice take on the style.

medium bodied mouthfeel, a bit of chew; style-appropriate carbonation and fairly drinkable.

Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second Pretty things extra I have received in recent weeks, and I've enjoyed them both. This is advertised as a quad with dried plums, and the plums really come through on the palate, along with raisins, brown spices and light brown sugar. A very solid effort, and one that was enjoyed by most the other night.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby brown with a skim of an off-white head. No lace.

Prune, dark stone fruit, toasted malt aromas.

Alcohol is well hidden. Dark browned malt, less fruit than expected. Fruitiness in long lingering finish. Some bitterness, but oddly of balance. Rich, clean fruit with a conversion to bitter finish.

Full body with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, I dug it, but not as rich as I hoped. Dries out too soon. Fruit/malt/hop/bitter/sweet ratio is way off. Good beer, but not perfect. Worth a try and will get again.

Photo of mltobin
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

Appearance is a dark brown color with a very thin ring of lace w/ a few bubbles on top for the head. While the smell consisted of raisins, molasses, and was very faint overall. Taking a sip of Baby Tree, I taste malt immediately, with an overall richness. It is also a sweet tasting beer, but has a bitter finish. The mouthfeel on this quad has a medium body, with good carbonation, it is solid. Drinkability on this offering from Pretty Things is better than I had expected, considering the style. Although it has a 9 % ABV and some big flavors to it, it can go down easily. Sip & enjoy.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a snifter glass in two parts. Batch six, bottled in June 2010, so this is about 4-5 months old. Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over an hour and a half.

Appearance: Medium reddish brown in color without much of a head at all. A lot of light penetrates the glass and there isn't any sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Rum soaked plums and raisans. Also, an herbal/medicianal quality that I cannot really put my finger on. It's a bit astrigent. A small hint of booze in here too.

Taste: Bitter notes are the first thing to jump out at me here. Roasted malt and a little burnt sugar here, along with that herbal (maybe hops) characteristic again. Plums and rum notes in the background, but they never really grab hold. Just too bitter for the style for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little chewy. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: The ABV doesn't hit hard but the bitter flavors wear really thin. I could barely finish the bottle.

Overall, a disappointment for me. Too bitter and hoppy for a quad and nowhere near the assertive sweetness I look for. Not a bad beer, but not a good example of the style.

Photo of nkersten
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4. Poured from bottle into Oerbier tulip. Pours a cloudy dark opaque brown, quarter inch head fades to sides with nice lacing. Not a lot in the smell. Some fruit, a decent amount of hops given the age, iron, and belgian yeast. Taste is also bitter, much more hoppy then i would guess for the style or age. Yeast flavor follows, some candy sugar and a bit of roasted malt. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and clean, but I would like a quad to be a bit heavier. None of the flavors really mesh up in this beer, every taste is fighting to be in front. I find myself begrudgingly going back to this, so based on flavor alone this has a low drinkability.

Photo of telecomz
2.35/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty Things are homeboys. I love them. This beer disappointed.

A. Color is a medium to dark brown. Minimal head.

S. Aromas are weak, No fruit. Some yeast. Some caramel malt and smells of brown sugar. Not the best quad smell.

T. Taste is way too hoppy. I love hoppy; just not in this style. No real fruit; some sweetness. No complexity. OK.

M. Medium bodied. .

D. I love quads. This is no quad. So disappointed.

Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken on 9/7, on tap at the Armsby Abbey. The serving glass was impressive to say the least. Was served in a long stemmed, almost chalice or wine glass. Very impressive. I've got to pick up a bottle of this and age it to see what happens.

A - Wow! Dark, rich mahogany colour with a fluffy two finger head. Just great head retension. Hung around almost until the end.

S - Definate sugary sweet dark carmal malts. Some light rich, heavy fruit smells too.

T - Picking up a light plum flavor. Its malty, burnt sugar tastes. The alcohol is definately present but its a welcome accompaniment to the complext flavors of this quad.

M - Smooth, creamy, and most importantly strong! Just a great mouthfeel.

D - Dangerous! For 9% its light bitterness leaves you wanting another sip. Before you know it, the glass is gone and its time for another. Superb brew from Pretty Things.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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"


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.

Photo of danadeny
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch number 4. big big frothy off white / light brown head that has some staying power. dark amber body color with lots of carbonation pulsing through it. Smells of solid alcohol and Belgian yeast. Not much malt or fruit smell considering it says it's a quad with dried plums. Overall balance of the flavor is good, with a strong alcohol finish. Surprisingly mild malt front with a spicy hop finish. Mild bitterness. No surprises though, and the plum flavor is hard to detect. Maybe some caramel in the middle. What makes this quad different is its overall lightness and delicate flavors. This is not a heavy quad; you could say this is a refreshing quad. Very easy going and not flashy, but satisfying. I think this beer is one of those cases where "less is more".

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into chalice.

A. Poured a fairly well carbonated 2 finger head. Moderate retention. About a centimeter of head stuck around for the quite some time. Not much lacing left. Color is a medium dark brown.

S. Smell is dark fruit, yeast, raisins, plums, candi sugar. Some thick caramel malt smells of brown sugar. Pretty nice quad smell.

T. Taste is pretty malty. Dark fruit, raisins, and plums. Some sweetness. Not overly complex in flavor, but good.

M. Medium bodied. Medium/full carbonation. Little bit of lingering sweetness.

D. Not the best or most interesting quad I have had, but its alright. Drinkability is ok. I guess I was expecting a little more than I got out of this one.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Baby Tree | 650 ml. | 9.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
Glass: Chalice

Not my favorite Pretty Things label, literally a cartoon of babies in a tree.

Somewhere between garnet and hazelnut. Frothy, sandy colored head with a vigorous pour. Decent lacing.

Barely there for me -- vague plums smell, a little metallic.

Bready throughout -- like lightly toasted whole wheat. The most interesting -- and by that I mean atypical -- feature is the finish of each sip. It's bitter, and a bit metallic. There's also a sort of plum skin taste. I don't particularly like it, but it mixes things up.

Very smooth, I love the feel of the carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall, it's very drinkable. The taste is sub-par in my opinion, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Would I get it again?:
No. Not bad, but there are so many good Quads, the bar has to be set high.

Bottled: June 2010 (Batch 6)
Served: August 31, 2010

Price = $11.95

Photo of brianjay
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is not what I was expecting. The brew pours a cola dark brown. Sticky head: thick at first thins out and leaves some thin lace. Head color is white with off-colored brown.

Baked goods aroma, nothing extravagant. Seems lacking in sugars compared with quads.

Dry brown sugar and bread flavors. Body is thin but has a heavy presence.

Nice dry and sweet finish. Simple but with character, this one will do well in any season.

Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 754 ratings.