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Babayaga - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
BabayagaBabayaga

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

425 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 425
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 51
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:
"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."

(Beer added by: m1ked on 11-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 425 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

Sammy, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

t0rin0, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting at MrHirschybar's place.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, dark fruits, and some slight cocoa and coffee aromas. Taste is pretty much the same. There is a medium roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good roasty stout with some nice smells and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

djrn2, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.5%

zestar, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

acurtis, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

nmann08, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high creamy tan head that faded away very quickly but left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is quite dry.
D: The stout is quite easy to drink because it isn't very filling.

metter98, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Texasfan549, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a charcoal black color topped by a rocky tan head that leaves a fair amount of splashy lace

Smell: Heavy on the roasted malt, but with some unusual elements which I presume come from the secret rosemary smoking process

Taste: A little bit of chocolate and a little bit of fruit and then the roasty, charred malt really steps up; I wouldn't have guessed rosemary, but there is an almost Belgian Stout character to this, though it doesn't have the yeast profile I have seen from the Belgian versions; a bit of sweet licorice on the finish but also some spicy rye character as well

Mouthfeel: The body is clearly influenced by the malt bill, what with wheat and oats in the grist; as a result, the body is light and creamy for a stout, with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Love the creativity and love the flavor - kudos

brentk56, May 17, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grab me the baggie pants, cause this is a beer that drinks like a meal. Strongly malted and hearty enough to satisfy both the stomach and the sanity of those dark and dreary winter days.

It's strong black pour matches that of the winter mood. But a creamy mocha head brightens the mood as memories of hot cocoa start to come to mind. Like a thick blanket, the foam tucks in the beer and laces with intricate patters as the beer fades.

Aromas of burnt stuff is all over the beer's nose- burnt sugars, torched wood, burnt fruit, burnt coffee, burnt nuts- all that's missing is the heavy smoke elements that you'd expect from all these dry roast elements. A faint backbone of vanilla and cream burrows deep within the roast and carry with it a mildly ester and perfume note.

Although the flavors are heavily circulated around roast as well, it leads with a creamy starch and soothing malted milk taste. But then the strong roast coffee, burnt toast, seared wood embers, and cocoa come soaring in with aggressive burnt barley taste. Even the caramel sweetness seems scorched as it accompanies mild licorice, grape, and perfume taste.

Its full creamy texture is chocked full of char and dryness that hold onto its robust structure until very late in finish. Only then does the dryness of roast and warmth of alcohol prevail. This leaves room for coffee-like bitterness and roast astrincency to become noticed.

Of course there's the perfumy lavender notes that distinguish this "winter warmer" from an export stout that could come around any time of the year. But the spice aids in aroma but distracts in taste and texture. Added fruit esters and better supporting malt sweetness could have garnered better accolades. Keep in mind, this will be a fan favorite for those that prefer extreme roastiness in their stouts.

BEERchitect, Dec 07, 2012
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.

Phyl21ca, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

kjkinsey, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

GRG1313, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tan head rises up above an entirely black body. Wonderful retention leaves it several inches high and deposits tons of side glass web like lace. The smooth vanilla and cocoa aroma melds wonderfully with hints of coffee and a touch of molasses. Very complex here. As i take a sip the huge full bodied feel comes in waves over the tongue and settles down with a wonderful coating feeling of sweet chocolate and vanilla. As this fades though a very nice bite of hops comes in and seals the deal, body is a touch thin and there is some off notes going on in the finish, but overall i think it really worked quite nicely.

mikesgroove, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a deep dark brown, essentially black, with a fluffy tan head.

S: The nose is not all that appealing nor intense. Some roasted malt, coffee, and perhaps a touch of plastic.

T: There isn't too much in the flavor either, but it doesn't quite have that plastic sensation. The only real flavors are some roast and mildly sweet malt.

M: The mouthfeel is thrown off a bit by an intense carbonation, which is nearly to the point of annoyance.

D: This wasn't a particularly good beer, and another let down from Pretty Things.

womencantsail, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: half finger head which disappears quickly, little lacing.

S:light roasted malt with a subtle vanilla, hops and smokey notes.

T: Burnt and bitter coffee mostly. Some roasted malt, with chocolate, vanilla and firey.

M: full bodied, very oily. Moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very interesting beer. The first sip is a little overwhleming but after a few sips this mellows out into a nice complex stout. Has some strong Rauchbier characteristics.

kylehay2004, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

JAHMUR, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of nickfl
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a one finger head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles rapidly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S - Rich, dark notes of chocolate, molasses, coriander, and a hint of smoky coffee.

T - Sweet, sugary malt up front with some brown sugar and caramel. A bit of bittersweet chocolate comes out in the middle with a lightly smoky note. Finishes as caramel, molasses, and light coffee flavors join the party with light grainy bitterness to balance the significant sweetness.

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

D - The various components imply that this might be an over the top type of stout, but it is actually fairly drinkable and the more unusual flavoring aspects such as the smoke are well integrated. In fact, it almost goes too far into being a smooth, well balanced beer to the point that it comes across as kind of bland in the finish with an excessive level of sweetness that lingers on the palate and hurts the drinkability towards the end of the glass.

nickfl, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Bottled Oct 2010 Batch 2” poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a sweet burst of dark fruit and bourbon up front but those flavors fade and transition into the more constant flavors of milk chocolate and coffee. There’s a hearty roasted malt character and a mild but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kind of surprised to see new stuff from Pretty Things all the way out on the west coast. A nice, pleasant, hearty and rustic stout. Mildly smoky and seems a touch of spicy on there as well. It's a good winter stout. Even though there are parts of it that stand out in their own ways, it strikes me as well balanced.

RblWthACoz, May 09, 2012
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Slatetank, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey, served in a pint glass.

A: Huge thick rich head that never wants to leave. It takes 3-4 minutes to pour as he has to keep scraping off the head to fill with more beer. Eventually when I get the glass, the head very slowly fades, but still wants to hang around and enjoy the party. The pitch black color traps light surrounding it, almost as if they dimmed the lights just as the beer arrived in front of me, or did they?

N: Nose beckons you with roasted malts, coffee and toffee. Some slight oatmeal flashes me thoughts of breakfast, with my coffee on the side. Then some dark chocolate gushes out in waves, battling its way into the nose trying to fight through the roasted malts and coffee. The chocolate starts to win and become more dominant as the beer breathes and warms.

T: Wow, I think this weighs more per density than the glass its in. Its super rich and pretty thick. Again it bombards you with roasted malts and some more dark chocolate. I'm detecting quite a bit of caramel as well, and I don't mean caramel malts, I mean real caramel. Perhaps it is a product of the malts, but it adds a nice touch. Almost like one of those really interesting coffees you get that have lots of chocolate and caramel in them, except this time in beer form. Some creamy chocolate milk presents itself a little as the beer warms and breaths. As my taste buds start to get past the rich chocolate coffee roasted flavors, I start to get some bitterness that builds a bit. It's a combination of the earthy stout-like charred bitter flavors, and some spicy hop characters pushing out. Then almost a very hint of alcohol warmth that starts to build, both the hop bitterness and alcohol warmth build as the beer magically gets drunken.

M: Very rich and pretty thick, almost have to chew it. Good carbonation to go with it, no Tomme'd beer here. It also leaves a coating around the mouth and tongue reminding you of the flavor for a while.

F: It finishes semi bitter and a nice slight hoppy flavor. The rich creamy chocolate also sticks around, giving you memories of being a kid and drinking the chocolate milk from the carton. Most of the roasted malt and coffee flavors have subsided by the finish. The bitter earthy charred stout-like flavors present themselves quite a bit at the end, probably accentuated by the bittering hops. Although, except for the coat of chocolate and caramel that coats the mouth and tongue, it finishes pretty clean.

jlindros, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a DFH signature glass because it was clean and at hand. Beer is brown to black, hazy, thin head that disappears, no lacing on the glass, low carbonation.

Aroma is estery -- almost bubblegum, very yeasty, nice though.

This should be classified as an export stout. Beer is sweet on the front, thinner in body than expected, strong, heavy with alcohol. The midpalate is fruity, estery, filled with a floral sort of yeast, the finish is relatively dry but not overly so. It is odd that the roast bitterness comes up almost as an aftertaste. Interesting beer overall. Quite good.

drabmuh, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

oline73, Aug 28, 2014
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Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 425 ratings.