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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

423 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 52
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Babayaga Alström Bros
Ratings: 423 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trevorpost
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

trevorpost, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

EyePeeAyBryan, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last Pretty Things beer sitting in my fridge; sad day. Ah well, from what I’ve had from them before, this one is sure to be a good one.

Brewed nine months before the date of this tasting (“BOTTLED OCT 2011” on the sticker over the cap; love that idea).

A: This stout pours incredibly thick for 7% ABV: pitch black with a brown head of light bubbles. The foam dissipates quickly into just a slight discoloration on top of the body, leaving only a few strings of lace. Note: a more aggressive pour toward the end of the bottle leads to a nice, creamy brown head. Gotta love that bottle-conditioning.

S: Strangely fruity-smelling, almost like a sour: hints of lactic acid, rosemary, and Belgian yeast play a significant role. Still, the main players are chocolate malt, with toffee, fig, smoke, and vanilla on a solid base of bready graininess – very biscuity with hints of rye. It all comes together in a rather British way, which is not uncommon for this brewer, I’ve found.

T: Now this in an interesting stout. It starts with mild dark fruit flavors and traces of natural sugar, building gradually to the smoky tone of the malts. From there on in, it’s basically all biscuit and barrel: wet oak, tobacco, cocoa powder, pecan, oat, and a heap of fresh-baked bread. Not a ton of vanillin seeping through from the oak-aging, but definitely enough to mix up the palate. A light sprucing of spicy, herbal hops comes through along the back end, along with Belgian notes of esters, rosemary, and prunes. By the finish, it’s almost a Belgian Strong Dark Ale; very nice. Herbal dryness mixed with a bit of funky and metallic character commands a light aftertaste.

M: Light to medium-bodied; lots of drinkability here. Comes off as foamy, almost, which is very nice for a beer this dark.

O: Nothing short of trendsetting! A stout with both Belgian and British influences: who would have guessed that it would have worked? It just goes to show what a great brewer can do with the right ingredients. I’m not sure what I paid for this, but I’ll take another bottle, please.

BarryMFBurton, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +1.5%

rolltide8425, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of nycwinter
4/5  rDev +1.5%

nycwinter, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/2009 and somehow got lost until tonight. Pours a solid dark brown with faint garnet highlights when held to light and a fluffy tan meringue head that sticks lots of lace on the way down. Smells of roast and lots of caramel dark sugars and dark fruits. Spicy earthy aromas remind me of wood and ginger. The flavor is kind of a cross between a stout and a Belgian strong dark ale. The roasty caramel and chocolate flavors meet some spicy and earthy flavor reminiscent of some dark Belgians. Nice sugary fruity flavor. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. This probably wasn't the best candidate for aging, but it worked just the same, its a very nice beer

johnnnniee, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

AdamP, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of JohnK17
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

JohnK17, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into a Barrington Brewery pint glass.

A: Black as night with root beer-rounded edges beneath a dense, creamy, two-finger head of light beige foam.

S: Lots of different roasted malt aromas ranging from the chocolaty to the herbal and more smokey scents. There's a bit of fruity and grassy hops thrown in the mix as well.

T: Seemingly light and brisk malts hit the palate first with the tart pull of rye and velvety smooth sweetness of oats. Bitter, charcoal and chocolate notes take hold, imparting some coffee-like, herbal hop bitterness before washing down with a spicy, smokey and slick hop resin.

M: Medium-full bodied stout overall, but one that initially drinks lighter than the ABV or malt bill would have you believe.

O: This was a very interesting and fulfilling stout from the gypsy brewers at Pretty Things. The 7% ABV and variety of malts kept this stout drinking sturdy and the traditional hop additions kept it distinctly American. However, the British and Belgian yeast strains really made for some interesting, fruity, tart and spicy flavors that might have gone unnoticed with a house yeast. I'd certainly grab it again.

Gambrinus1184, Jul 09, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Bottled October 2011.

A: Thick, creamy mocha-colored head. Darkest chestnut brown. Completely opaque.

S: Light and...lagery? A bit of bright fruit or Belgian yeast, with subtle milk chocolate undertones.

T: Hm. Not as good as I'd expected. It reminds me of a Scottish ale (or a less hopped Luckie Ales Export Stout). Light and fluffy, with a subtly-flavored maintaste that might be considered fleeting, but isn't quite. Raisins, apricot, and spices like nutmeg, fennel, or cinnamon that are a bit like a dubbel and sometimes trend savory. Interesting. Roasted malt adds a bit of smack, but is quite understated.

M: Smooth, mostly, with a slinky, unassuming body.

O: Points for flair, but even though it's fascinating, it always seems like it doesn't quite make it. So close to the mark, but it never quite finds its way there. Still worth trying and perhaps better fresh.

AgentMunky, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of duff247
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

duff247, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of GrindFatherBob
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

GrindFatherBob, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of erlenmeyer
4/5  rDev +1.5%

erlenmeyer, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of gueuzegossage
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

gueuzegossage, May 31, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark black with just a touch of brown and a half finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts with some smoke, coffee, and a bit of dark fruit sweetness.

T - Starts out with some roasted dark chocolate malts with a bit of vanilla and smoke. Through the middle, some stronger smoke comes through with some coffee and light dark fruit sweetness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate and coffee, smoke, and just a touch of dark fruit.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice Stout. The balance is spot on here with a great mix of chocolate, coffee, and a touch of dark fruit sweetness.

ngeunit1, May 30, 2012
Photo of redliner8
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

redliner8, May 19, 2012
Photo of denimdemon
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

denimdemon, May 18, 2012
Photo of standardcherry
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

standardcherry, May 16, 2012
Photo of GuidedByBill
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

GuidedByBill, May 13, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

bluejacket74, May 12, 2012
Photo of AApparel
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

AApparel, May 12, 2012
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 LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black. Nice fine brown head with decent retention and good lacing. Mild aroma of toasted and dark malt with an interesting faint estery fruit component. Unusual flavor dominated by dark malt, but complex, earthy with unidentifiable fruit flavors. Finish is a touch sour, reminiscent of rye (which is listed as an ingredient) mixed with spicy toasted malt and coffee. Unusual combination of flavors, but this one works for me. Medium bodied with a touch of creaminess. These guys push the envelope but seem to pull it off. I would get this again if it was available in my state.

LiquidAmber, May 06, 2012
Photo of 2neardead
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

2neardead, May 02, 2012
Photo of Hophead101
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Hophead101, Apr 29, 2012
Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.