Babayaga - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
BabayagaBabayaga

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BA SCORE
88
very good

439 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 439
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 59
Gots: 48 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: m1ked on 11-10-2009

"Our winter seasonal beer, Babayaga is a 7% export-strength woodland stout. We smoked some malt with rosemary, and added a few other embellishments. This beer is inspired by Eastern European folklore, by woodland, streams, cold dark nights and woodsmoke.

This was brewed at Westport, MA by Dann and Martha with help from our friends Adam and Br. Brian. The mash contained over 4000lb of malt (the biggest beer we've done) and there were also rye, oats and wheat in the grist. Fermented with a mix of English and Belgian yeast strains."
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 | Reviews: 190
Reviews by McUbermensch:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle, bottled Nov2009. In a tulip glass the beer was a black color with a thick tan head that diminished fairly quickly. Mostly aa sweet chocolate aroma, but also a little bit of coffee. Chocolate dominated the taste, still that little bit of coffee. There was also a hint of licorice. A nice dry, smooth beer.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Allagash tulip

The beer is black with a dark tan head. The head is thick and fluffy with loads of small bubbles.

The aroma is roasted malts sweet and hints of coffee and a slight creaminess.

The taste is an American stout. The beer is very creamy at first with a smooth mouth. A slight bit of carbonation hits the top of the mouth. A roasted and creaminess linger and hints of roasted malts.... ehh at first the mouth feel was good enough to shadow the taste. nothing special about the favor average craft stout.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, with a cutsie paper tab over the cap, that lets me know it was "Bottled November 2009" Nice, fresh and tasty beer. Always interested in giving a new brew from hyper artisinal Pretty Things a try. Pours pretty darn near black, the head also is a quite dark shade of mocha. Head is of moderate height, and shows much better then average staying power, then turns to a thick film and collar and leaves slippery and sliding sheeting and ample ridges and ripples of lacing. The sniff emits healthy notes of vanilla, dark malt, raisins, and chocolate. Rich and flavorfull stout, more of the same flavors on the tongue and mouth. Smooth and comfortable mouthfeel. More then typical roastyness. After trying several of the other eclectic PT brews, I was unsure of what to expect from a "Sylvan Stout" (whatever that is) from them. What I got was a pretty straight ahead, hearty/robust/flavorful and underneath it all, tasty and enjoyable stout. Nice job and well worth giving this one a try.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours an inky black color with a light brown head. The aroma is fruity with some light smoke. The flavor is sweet fruit, sometimes dark fruit and sometimes other fruit such as cherries. The smoke is of medium strength. Medium-high carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

Photo of jondeelee
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Babayaga opens to a coffee-and-cream aroma, tinged with touches of tobacco and ash, and bearing slight remnants of chocolate and black malt. Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar add a sweet boost, joined by small whiffs of fig, vanilla, anise, black licorice, and white pepper. There’s also a thin thread of grapefruit and pine from the hops, though in no way does this interfere with the stout aromas. The nose is balanced heavily toward black notes, but is as a whole nicely balanced, with enough sugars present to make things palatable; this is definitely a novice-friendly stout. The nose does want for a bit more oomph, however, the low 7% ABV not coming across here as watery, but as simply meeker than expected, and the beer suffers somewhat from a lack of uniqueness.

On the tongue, the initial flavors are largely black coffee, tobacco, and ash, but these are joined quickly by a strong sugary rush of caramel, and brown sugar, and tinges of fig. Slight hints of black licorice and vanilla lurk in the background. Hops provide a surprisingly present grapefruit and lemon presence, lending a medium-strength citrus undertone. Late in the mouthful, as the sugars die off, the beer’s ashy characteristics move to full throttle, and the final flavors are largely black malt and charred grains, which last into the aftertaste and linger on the tongue for a while. Mouthfeel is an unexpectedly watery medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing on the tongue like soda water.

Overall, this is a nice stout, and again one of the more novice-friendly ones on the market (as opposed to, say, an ash bomb), but suffers from a lack of pizzazz. The flavors here are nice, but light, and the watery mouthfeel doesn’t help. The fact that the beer’s latter notes are almost exclusively ash seems to point to a general dearth of sugars (thus the low ABV), and so while the initial flavors are good, they lack staying power.

Photo of rudylaw
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a nice mocha head.

Tons of smoke in the nose... previous reviews mention campfire and that's spot on. Toasted malts, chocolate and overripe cherries.

Tons of smoky malt, dark, bitter chocolate and prunes in the taste. Mouthfeel is very thin with high carbonation. This is interesting but not for me.

Photo of BetterDarker
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into snifter. Great label by the way, love the art work.

A- Deep black in color with a solid brown head. Great lacing.

S- Sweet roasted malts. Chocolate, some hops, and a certain je ne sais quoi pas. Intriguing indeed.

T- Very unique, in a good way. Roasted malts, earthy hops, and again there's some thing/ spice in here that gives this a distinctive flavor that I can not put my finger on, either I'm a bit congested or my palette is failing me, but none the less this tastes great.

M- A bit thin, but good carbonation for a stout.

D- This is a very good beer, not something I make a night out of but will definitely have again.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown almost black with a 1.5 finger tan head. The head is really fluffy and thick, very nice.

S: Not a ton going on, seems a bit closed. A little bit of roasted malt, some coffee, and a little bit of chocolate.

T: A bit of roasted malt, some baker's chocolate, and a little bit of coffee. Again, seems rather closed, not a real intense flavor profile.

M: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Slight dry finish.

O: Its not bad, but there was nothing that stood out in this beer. Have had a bunch of other beers from Pretty Things, and this is the only one thusfar that is a disappointment.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from bierkraft, bottled in October 2011. A very pleasant drinking smouth. Silky mouthfeel, not thick like an IS. Black with enormous retained white bubbly head. Mild roast and anise on the nose. Great stout, with a bit of smoky head in the finish. Great drinkability.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Duvel tulip, bottled in October 2011. Thank you to Jayli via Secret Santa 2011.

The color is very dark, the kind of crude brown that only grants a very small amount of light passage. I wouldn't say there is a head, only bubbles, primarily a ring of large ones in a dark latte tan.

Lilac or lavender, chalky Mexican chocolate, wood, and phenols. A bit of dairy.

Smoky chocolate and dark malt steeped with herbs like rosemary. Phenolic Belgian yeast with berries, backed with oak. It's like a silky, complex dark chocolate bar. Decent bitterness.

Smooth, silky, and medium weight, with medium carbonation.

All the parts are blended wonderfully and I am not aware of whether this is a beer skillfully crafted from only the traditional ingredients or a masterful mixing of herbs, etc. too. This one was worth waiting for, now where can I get another?

Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured a thin tan head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is molasses, black licorice, coffee and roasted malt. Great blend.
Taste is licorice sweet at first, warm alcohol and roasted malt middle, finishes with a mild lemon bitterness. Nice profile.
The texture is thicker with a good fizz and overall moderate carbonation.
Nicely done.

Photo of mikey711
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Almost pitch black with just a hint of light able to seep through at the bottom of the glass. The head retained quite well and sat at about an inch thick.

S: Hints of molasess and ginger. Not too much roastiness which was strange.

T: The ginger and spices are pretty prevalent, and it lacks the bitterness and roastiness that I am accustomed to in a stout. There is a toffee in the flavor and a strange chocolate flavor, but the spices turn me off a little. As it warmed up though it got a bit smokier which I greatly enjoyed

M: A bit thin for a stout. The flavors are pretty rich but spice heavy. There is no roughness though.

D: It is a nice beer to try, especially if you are in the mood for something a little different. It is a bit more of a winter warmer in my opinion and worth trying once, but this is not my favorite from Pretty things

Photo of hooliganlife
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours dark cola, light cream head with a faint cocoa

very rich. lots of ripe fruit, some dark roast coffee.

very rich in flavor, some cherry and rosemary. lots of charred roasted malt, and dark chocolate bitterness.

light and airy but a nice amount of bite in the carbonation.

decent, interesting to say the least.

Photo of nickd717
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle via trade.

Pours dark brown with a large, lasting tan head that fades to a ring.

Aroma is roasty and smoky, with a hint of chocolate and some yeast.

Flavor is nicer than I expected from the aroma. Roasted malt, slightly sweet caramel, dark chocolate, fig and prune, and a mildly smoky finish.

Medium-full bodied and smooth with average carbonation.

One of the better Pretty Things beers I've had. Pretty solid for a stout.

Photo of Gmann
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color with a dark tan creamy head that settles into a rocky cap. The aroma is of caramel, light tin and a sweet milk stout. If an aroma can smell silky this does. The aroma is not strong but sure is smooth. The taste is quite mellow, with bitter and milk chocolate, and roasted malt. The feel of this brew is outrageous. It has an obvious full body but feels light and fluffy; soft carbonation leads to a very smooth and silky feel, much like a frothy head to a milk shake. Finishes with a light roasted malt bitterness. A very silky stout indeed. Not huge on flavor but that is fine as it has a solid roasted malt flavor.

Photo of drcarver
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep brown/black color with a medium brown head. Decent carbonation and a fairly long lasting head that laces well.

S - lacking a bit in this department. roasted malt is about all is decernable.

T/M - Smooth and creamy, dark chocolate coats the finish and smokiness covers the middle. roasted malts and sweetness covers the alcohol.

Very enjoyable. I would definitely buy it again.

Photo of bum732
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Dry roastiness, coffee, quite herbal, touch of belgian phenols, touch of fruity esters.

L: Big 1/2 inch light tan head, great retention, amazing lacing.

T: Roastiness with belgian phenols. Fairly sweet, touch of plastic. Medium low bitterness leads to dry roastiness, touch of char. Subtle herbalness persists.

M: Medium full body with medium carbonation that goes well with belgian phenols.

Interesting beer as usual from Pretty things. Fairly solid stout, got better as it warmed. Didn't detect all the components claimed on the bottle, but those that i did were subtle as they should be.

Photo of Beertracker
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty Things Babayaga (Sylvan Stout) [*Bottled November 2009] pours up with a moderate, but lively carbonation that creates a persistent tannish-brown colored head that envelopes the nearly opaque, dark brown-reddish black body. The rich, fruity aroma is an interesting mix of caramelized sugars, roasted malt & charred (barrel) wood. Hints of cherry tobacco, chicory, peppered jerky, rosemary & vanilla add to the overall complexity. The bold, roasty flavor starts off with a dark, ripe fruitiness that gives way to some burnt (blackstrap) molasses, chocolate maltiness marked with a solid bitterness that creates a slightly sharp, bittersweet, smoky, warming finish. This collaborative American Stout is certainly more of an export-style stout by surely defies conventional categorizing, as it runs a wide gamut of flavor. This medium-full bodied stout shows some creaminess from the oats, as well as some sharpness from the rye. Very complex & interesting beer that's definitely worth seeking out. Beware of the Baba Yaga!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of steeltown71
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Nov. 2009. Pours a dark chocolate black with transient tan head. Smell has some expresso and roasty malt notes. Taste carries the same theme. Although some chocolate hints are here, there's not much sweetness. I have to comment on the mouthfeel: it's unexpectedly light-bodied and effervescent. Definitely not what I would have figured on first glance. Has a Belgian ale feel to it.

I know it's not a fair comparison but this is what I want Guinness to taste like any time I order a pint.

Photo of alleykatking
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. This bottle came from Lukafer....I owe you Luke!

A- Pours a deep black color. Two finger mocha colored head rises and sits like that before dying to a small cap. Nice thick streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- This smells sweet. Roasted malts mixed with a creamy lactose nod to it. Almost like Tootsie Rolls...but better. Light banana bread in this too. Not much else...there is one thing but I can't place my finger on it.

T- The taste is almost as sweet as the nose itself. Nice roasted malts battle with some light chocolate malts in the front. This beer has some light bready notes to it as well in just hints. Some lighter dark fruits in the back end before going into a lactose sweetness in the very end.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts in left on the palate with a sweet almost Tootsie Roll like finish in the aftertaste. Flavors were very present and blended well together. Creamy in the mouth. Coasts everything in the mouth as it passes it.

D- This is yet another Pretty Things beer that knocks itself out of the ballpark. This brewery has yet to do anything wrong in my book. Looking forward to getting more Pretty Things!

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled October 2011. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. The aroma is nice, it smells like chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, and some dark fruit and coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, molasses, smoke, wood, and a bit of licorice. Nice mix between the sweet and bitter flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and very smooth with moderate carbonation. I like this brew, too bad I can't get it here in Ohio. I'll probably buy this again the next time I come across it. $7.99 a bomber.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with light residual sugar notes (maybe some lactose) and light smoked notes. Taste is a complex mix between some dry roasted malt with some light smoke notes and some light spicy malt notes. Body is quite full with light creamy texture and good carbonation. Well brewed with good level of complexity while retaining a good drinkability level.

Photo of Sensaray
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears dark brown with mocha head about an inch.

Smells of roasty chocolate and light coffee.

Roasty chocolate and light coffee in the smell as well.

Feel is very nice on the lighter side for a stout but good spiciness, medium body.

Overall very good, wanted a bit more alc, but very delicious.

Photo of JimbobAlonymous
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best stout I've ever had.

I'd get into the details but its easier to just say that its everything you could expect from a stout and more.

I highly recommend everything I've had from pretty things. They spend a lot of time perfecting their flavors.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from SMADMS as an extra in an already righteous trade.. thanks a ton Peter!! Poured into my shaped SA glass.

2 finger beautiful head is dark tan with great retention and lace atop a black brew... Nose is lite coffee with some roasty malts.. a bit of malty sweetness makes this brew very inviting... bittersweet chocolate comes to mind with almost no char.

Nice body .. thick for the style with small bubble carbonation makes it seem a bit oily... more char on the palate than the aroma.. nice chocolate and dark maltiness.. lite malty sweetness mid palate really helps tie this one together.. coffee really shows as it warms..

I would not really put this in the American Stout category... there is not enough hoppiness in my mind.. a pretty damn good Foreign Extra stout probably..

body is pretty nice.. drinkability is interesting enough.

this is only my 2nd beer from Pretty Things, but so far, I have been very impressed.

Thanks again Peter... I hope you enjoy the brews as much as I am enjoying mine.

4.5/3.5/4/4.5/3.5

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Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.