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Baby Tree - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
Baby TreeBaby Tree

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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 JimbobAlonymous
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tried a glass of this beer from the Blind Pig pub in Athol, Mass. The beer tap was actually a tree with babies in it.

I wasn't sure how well a beer with 9% alcohol would taste, but I was plesantly surprised.

It had a slightly fruity smell, but not strong like juice or anything, just slightly detectable.

The flavor was fantastic. I have never had a beer like this before, it was very clean and crisp, but still felt like drinking a beer. No bitter taste what-so-ever. It wasn't too sweet either. It was like they made a fantastic beer using the cleanest water in the world somehow...not sure how they pulled that off.

Feels very good in the mouth and goes down smooth. Not a chugging beer by any means, but it's smooth enough where that 9% could get you in trouble pretty quickly.

Photo of joepais
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Quads and this was a good one. I poured the bottle into a Chalice. It produced a nice tan colored head that laced out well on top of a darker brown bodied brew. The aromas' of dark fruit and spice filled my head. The flavor profile was fruity as well but with enough bitters to keep it from being coy. The alcohol was well hidden but evident after finishing the bottle. I call it a medium bodied brew

The beer was easy to drink for a Quad but a 22 oz's was enough for me in a sitting. An enjoyable brew I will be drinking more of.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

06/08/10- A big thanks to muttyd for this extra; a bomber of Feb 2010 Batch 4.
A: Dark ruby, with a big cream head that died to a nice big collar.
S: Fruity with plum, raspberry, musty bread, leafy hops, slightly cheesy, sweet raisin and craisin, brown sugar.
T: Sweet raisin bread, hops, moldy and not bitter, cinnemon bread, plums, VERY fruity wine/cranberry.
M: Slightly syrupy and frothy.
D: Really good!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of jbertsch
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into a tulip.

Its color is a hazy, murky, dark, maroon. Gives you an attractive, big off-white head that holds true.

Good aroma of bread, dark fruits (plum) and an overlying floral note.

This beer used to be brewed with plum and was much better when it was. No it just tastes like a less complex imitator of true quads one can easily find in the import section. Dark fruits are present in this beer but in a thinner manner than I'd like. A little metallic, too. Underneath all that, there's just an sense of cheapness for a quad that I find a little unfortunate.

Medium bodied with slightly-higher-than-normal carbonation.

Drinkabilty is good for a quad. Even though other reviewers are saying the alcohol is very present, I thought it was masked quite well.

Overall this beer used to be better. It's not bad, but nowhere near as good as the imported ones. This beer has become one of my least favorite of Pretty Things.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Pours a slightly hazy brownish-amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts with good amounts of dark candi sugar. Also present are solid pear aromas with milder amounts of plums and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by sugar-dusted pear flavors. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors darken a bit with good amounts of plums and lighter amounts of raisins. The dark fruit flavors carry through to a crisp and mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this was a solid and well-crafted beer but it was too muted to be great. Still, it's worth a shot to decide for yourself.

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

A: Pours a dark oaky color with a three finger head. The head definitely sticks around for a while which makes for interesting pouring. When ultimately it does subside, it is very foamy.

S: Smells most upfront of wheat, though Belgian yeasts and faint dried plums are also present. Not too much else in the way of smells though.

T: Tastes fairly bready with a lot of fruitiness, mostly mild, but present. Dark fruits, plums, are detectable.

M: Lightly carbonated with a medium body. Slightly tingles the tongue, but feels quite nice on the way down.

D: Very drinkable, I'm happy to have tried this one after seeing such a long line at ACBF.

Photo of Pahn
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 4, February 2010.

Appearance: Moderately careful pour yields a three inch, fluffy and rocky offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving sticky rings of lacing around the glass. Pours a translucent but dark red, and leaves smallish streaks and a few islands of lacing throughout.

Smell: Mild Belgian yeast, faint cologne-like smell, plum, and some spice that isn't quite clove. Smooth. Later on, the smell gets taken over by solvent-like alcohol. Still good things happening, but the beautiful notes lose the battle with the 9% ABV, if only in the nose.

Taste: First sip follows the nose very closely, nice and smooth with some plum, caramel, not too sweet, leading to a sugary finish that slowly changes into spice and alcohol heat. Good start. The level of sweetness is, for me, reminiscent of when you have some bad coffee with way too much sugar, then drink high quality coffee black. The lack of sweetness is noticeable, but it's welcome. That analogy could just be relevant to me though, who knows?

The second sip (I'm describing sip by sip for a short time to make a small point) is very similar to the first at first (some caramel and Belgian yeastiness) but in the middle yields a big explosion of fig, plum, and other dark fruit flavors in the back of my mouth, along with some grassy hops and bitterness. Finishes same as the first (bitterness gives way to not-too-sweet sugar, to spice, to alcohol). The third sip is very estery, with a small but distinct strawberry note up front, leading to more dark fruit and spice, along with a building bitterness and heat at the end.

The small point is that each sip is really nice, and pretty different than the one before. For me, this is the whole point of a quad: a procession of deep flavors that are good on their own, but balance together in delicious and unexpected ways. Also, everything here is smooth and subtle; it's never over the top sweetness, never one flavor so dominant that you can't pick out at least two other beautiful things happening at the same time. As I drink more of the bottle, I'm getting chocolate (mixed with caramel), prune, more berry esters, smoke.

Everything happening in the flavor, while robust and complex, is subtle. For example, when there's a fig note happening, it's robust in that it's very full and distinct, but it's not clashing with anything, and the good balance is working together with the mouthfeel to get me to keep writing the word 'smooth'. Another example of subtlety, there's some mild tannic character every so often. Many beers I've had recently with noticeable tannins have been like chomping down on the thick skin of a large raisin, but this is just suggestive of grape skins; a mild dryness, a mild bit of that kind of flavor and feel.

If you're paying close attention, the beer is being endlessly generous to you with different taste sensations. If you're not, it's still delivering extremely palatable dark fruit and caramel notes along with a nice alcohol heat that doesn't get out of control. This is how beer like this is supposed to be made.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. Sugary at times without being chalky or cloying. Hot but not 9% hot, and only in the finish (solvent doesn't influence the main flavors). Mild carbonation. A bit dry in the finish, with a building bitterness that's uncharacteristic of the style but not distracting or unpleasant.

Drinkability: I love quads. I love this quad. What's to say about ease of consumption? It's my favorite style for a reason. Get it right and I'm going to buy it again.

Another exercise in the mastery of brewing full flavored but subtle beer by Pretty Things. In my review of Saint Botolph's Town, I mentioned how I enjoyed the beer for all of its English Brown flavors despite many of them not normally being up my alley. Baby Tree is exactly up my alley, and it's as well-made as Botolph's Town. I'd say it's just a touch below beers like Saint Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very dark red, almost transparent but deep in color with tons of a llight khaki colored head that is dense and creamy leaving a great lace.

S-the nose brings about a fair amount of banana, notes of spicy phenol, pepper, and some alcohol.

T-the taste is similar but not the samw, more of a malt body in the taste, still lots of banana, more phenol, a little metallic, a good bit of spice, light plum in the back with notes of booze.

M-a little messy to the feel, somewhat grainy with a medium to light body and a fair to low amount of carbonation.

D-this isn't bad, lots of phenol and banana in both the nose and the taste but the plums don't seem to really show through. a faint bit of dark fruit towards the back but not like i had hoped for.

Photo of wikk3d
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a very reddish dark brown with a light foam head that dissolves very quickly and leaves a thin lacing on the glass. Resolves to a very thin foam. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Aroma - Citrus smell, yeast, you can smell the plums very vividly. Hint of of what almost smells like dark chocolate.

Taste - Very fruity taste with a strong alcohol undertone. You can tell it's a quad after the initial taste washes away. Plum taste is very strong. A little bready as well.

Mouth - It tastes like a Quad when it goes down. There's that strong bitterness that comes in after the taste goes away, it lets you know the beer has a kick. It sits in your mouth for a while almost like medicine.

Drinkability - It's a very tasty beer. There's no doubt about that, and it's really easy to drink and entire bottle of this with no problem. After the first glass you really feel the 9%.

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

Batch 4, bottled in February 2010. Purchased from Al's.

A: The quad sits still in my glass, a gargantuan ale that is content to look like a nice port, just a little darker and fuller. A small head, no more than 3/4 of a finger, further adds to the appearance of stillness.

S: The nose is thick and sweet, a potent combination of candi sugars, sweet yeast and plums. The quad's strength is well-hidden behind the dense aromas.

T: Very bready but with more than enough fruitiness to go around. The maltiness is concentrated, fulling in its strength. Just behind the strong grains are the fruits, literally, of the Belgian yeast's labor. The sweetness is augmented by the addition of plums, a lush sweetness that fits in well with the dark candi sugars. The heaviness of the quad can't be avoided, but the layering of sweet flavors does well to cut into that strength. The fruitiness, a dry, wry flavor, hangs around well after each sip is gone. The yeasty sweetness, along with darker candi sugars, lends street cred to the quad.

M: The mouthfeel, for a quad, isn't overly malty. The candi sugars and plums have much more leeway and they take advantage. A good sipping beer during this late-July rain storm.

D: The quad doesn't feel like 9%; although its lush flavor should be a dead give-away. Another strong Belgian offering from Pretty Things.

Photo of gameface23
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky dark amber/brown with a gigantic fluffy head that lasts & lasts.

S: Immense amounts of rubbing alcohol when too cold, brown sugar, plums, raisins.

T: Bread crust, highly enjoyable levels of dark fruits, Belgian yeast.

M: Lighter-bodied.

D: I anticipated not liking Baby Tree because I usually don't like dark fruit flavors in my beers. However, this one surprised me.

Photo of kingcrowing
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into an Ommegang tulip.

Pours a nice ruddy dark brown with a small light brown head. Nose is all malt and dry dark fruits.

Taste is rich and sweet but still it's not too dry. It's got lots of raisins and dark fruit. It's really got a nice rich mouthfeel, very tasty and drinkable.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, February 2010 bottling. Thanks ShogoKawada.

A: Pours a clear, but very dark, maroon body with amber highlights when held against a lamp. The pour produces 3 fingers of long-lasting beige head, which deposits sticky lace on the glass as it falls.

S: Plums and raisins, with a dried, spicy/woody scent that reminds me of potpourri. A touch of earth. But it's not pungent enough, and it requires a ton of agitation even to get those aromas to emerge.

T: Plums / prunes and raisins. A touch of green apple. Earthy hops and tobacco are quite noticeable, and they blend well with a clove finish to produce a lightly drying effect. The plum emerges in the finish again and pulls into the aftertaste, along with a smattering of yeast and cocoa. I didn't realize this was brewed with plums until I re-read the label. The only place you really pick that up is in the finish, but it's not cloying or as plum-dominated as one might initially expect. It complements the flavor quite nicely.

M: Drier than I would expect a quad to be, and that somehow makes it incredibly tantalizing. I really couldn't stop drinking the beer; it felt like a thirst-quencher.

D: I was more impressed than I expected to be. Really great beer.

Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark leather brown in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: bread and toasted malt. Not as strong a smell as I getfrom other quads.

Taste: bread, toasted malt, cinnamon, and dark fruit

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light body, sweet start with a bitter/dry aftertaste.

Drinkability: A nice and complex beer and certainly one I would get again. I like the breadiness and fruit. There are other quads I would reach for first. However, I would still reach for this over several other beers across styles. A good beer, in a style with several excellent brews.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is from batch four bottled Feb 2010.

Poured this straight down this middle of my stemmed glass; just as the bottle told me to. Pours a rich dark ruby color with an off white four finger monster of a head. The head looks really nice and has nice retention. Lots of sticky lacing. I'm actually kind of having trouble picking up some of the aromas on this. I definitely smell the dried plumbs and other dark fruits. Other than that I can only smell a trace of alcohol and aromas that can only be explained as earthy. Sweet malts and the dried prunes take the forefront on the taste of this one. Warming spices such as cloves coat my pallet on this nice dry finish. Hints of vanilla. Really a lot going on with this one. After the aroma I was a little afraid this would be a hot boozy mess. However, it has a nice silky mouth feel with subtle tingling carbonation. Not heat and a nice comforting beer to cap the night off.

Photo of Deuane
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Murky, ruby highlighted, brown with a medium frothy light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.

S-Light malt sweetness with a touch of alcohol burn and a pleasant, but mild, waft of prune, dried apple and pear. Leathery notes come out with a bit of warming.

T-Prevalent notes of dark fruit up front with prune most notable. Malt sweetness is present but not overwhelming in fact it accents the fruit flavours very nicely. Mild earthy hop notes and a touch of alcohol warming in the drying finish.

M-Medium-heavy bodied but not thick or cloying. Nice lingering leather dryness and a building fruit sweetness.

D-Quite nice and while a solid quad not totally typical. Nice flavours meld well and make for a very pleasant brew.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rlmartin for the hook-up

A - Pours a near-black eggplant color, translucent if it weren't so deep in hue, and has a very nice creamy froth head, and some lace too. Very nice, and to-style.

S - If I closed my eyes and didn't know what this brew was, I would say it was a Tripel or BSPA. The nose is at first huge pilsner malt, coupled with fruity esters from the Belgian yeast and perhaps a small amount of grassy hop. Yup, smells like Tripel, and a pretty good one at that. Perhaps warming will bring out some darker Quad and plum aromatics. As it warms, some slightly saucy tones and roasted grain becomes apparent.

T - The taste is unusual. Initially, the plum shows up on the finish, like notes of plum wine. It has some vague bubblegum and fruit punch notes, plus a tad of smokiness in the base malt that is bizarre. I don't know what to think. The flavor is certainly quite dynamic; when you take a sip you taste one thing, but as the sip finishes you taste something entirely different. The more I drink it, however, the more I like it. This is one hell of an interesting beer, and is quite a success, despite being quite a departure from style guidelines. As it airs out, a spiciness develops in the finish, the hop starts to be more assertive, and the Tripel similarities continue... Tripel Noir, perhaps?

M - Good.

D - Saison Noir? Tripel Noir? Pretty nice, Pretty Things...

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

Ruby garnett colored and clean as a whistle witha small rocky off white head with minimal lacing.

Aromas are light and hard to distinguish. Plum does come through with a hint of caramel, and toffee with there is a soapy floral thing that is a bit offputting.

I like the taste though not overly complex but a nice puckering tartness with prevailent plum, cherry, caramel, barnyard, and earth. Not overly complex or big but quite drinkable.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at American Craft in Brookline a couple days ago. Review from notes.

4.0 A: Black or dark brown as far as I could tell. Twas dark outside. One finger of tan head, retention is average, some spotty lacing.

3.5 S: Belgian yeastiness. A bit harsh and unrefined with dark cherries, tobacco, and plum.

3.5 T: Again, a bit rough. Taste follows the nose.

3.5 M: Medium body. Nice spritzy carbonation, but not as smooth as I'd like. The roughness mentioned above carries into the finish.

3.5 D: Not terrible, but there are a ton of better examples out there. I had a similar experience at a tasting a couple months ago.

Photo of TLJ
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

There is nothing 'baby' about this beer for me. It has a 1 cm off-white head, with good lacing, and is a beautiful dark red-brown colour.

The aroma is oaky, with hints of cinnamon bark and stewed fruit. Even heavier is the taste; it has a brown sugar sweetness one detects at the tip of the tongue, a ton of oak and caramel, with an aftertaste of vanilla, maple and resin. Long after the swallow, there is a herbal smokiness to the long lasting hop finish.

With its strong, whiskey-like character, alcohol presence and full body, this beer drinks extremely slowly.

Photo of TommyW
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark purple/red with some ruby highlights and a off-white head that sticks pretty well.

S- Spicy yeastiness with lots of dark fruits and sweet malt.

T- Start with some sweetness; lots of dark fruits involved then goes toward the dry side with notes of spice and an oaky molasses, and a solid touch of alcohol.

M- Perfect medium body with a nice carbonation over the tongue.

D- Really nice quad with some distinctive flavors going on that sets it apart from most others.

Photo of simpliciter
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - beautiful purple maroon brown clarity with an off white head
S - dark sweetness.
T - floral opener transitions quickly to big plummy flavor. Finishes with fruit, but not sweetly
M - should be bigger to balance flavor
D - bitter linger balances flavor, but impedes drinkability. Good for fall.

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

Courtesy of ShogoKawada (thanks!). Batch 2, bottled July, 2009. Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet. Very attractive label art-work, though not as stunning as some of their other beers.

Dark but clear burgandy body which glows a deep shade of crimson when held to the light. Cream and beige head, pasty and lasting with heavy lacing draped around the edges. Light legs.

Dark malt and light prune-like esters (no surprise as this is brewed with "dried plums") along with a hint of violets and honey in the nose. Sweet, fruity, and floral...

Brown sugar, light roast malt, dark blue plum notes, along with a suggestion of chamomile on the palate. Esters and yeast are quite complimentary, and the alcohol contributes additional flavor as well. Cocoa and clove in the finish. The profile might be improved if it had a little more attenuation, as it ends a bit on the sweet side.

Medium bodied, lightly effervescent, mildly warming.

A decent domestic quad - I hope to try future batches to see if the yeast strain develops/improves over time.

Photo of blackie
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

in honour of mr. lou's euro-style voyage, here's a euro-style selection that's been lurking in the cellar since a March visit to the Foodery in Philadelphia

a: awesome label, westmalle chalice, deep brown in color with hints of garnet-red, a full inch coating of carbonation recedes to a healthy, well retained layer

s: loads of yeast on first whiff, underneath are sweet and fruity dark malts offset with both a touch of dark bread and lighter malts, prune, raisin, grassy noble hops

m: lovely mouth filling carbonation on a full bodied beer, assertive but never imposing, well carbonated but not abrasive, the full malty feel quickly whisked away on a ride of bubbles

t: flavor follows the aroma - full and fruity dark malts complimented with a heavy dose of yeast, plum flavors are obvious, red grape, sweet only for a second - then veers towards the dry side with hints of tannic fruit skin, finishing with a crisp, grassy noble hop bitterness and remants of sugars on the lips, atypical quad with less sweetness and a hoppy pilsner-esque finish

d: very drinkable for such flavorful, high abv beer - even on a hot evening, the hop finish really keeps things rolling

Batch Four - February 2010

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