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Babayaga - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

436 Ratings

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Ratings: 436
Reviews: 189
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: 436 | Reviews: 189
Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a black body with a tan/off-white head.

Nose was a rich mix of cocoa powder and some mild dark roasted malt. Very mild, without any over the top coffee or espresso attacks, almost has a porter type nose at first.

Taste is medium to full bodied with an initial strong dark roasted espresso bean, or dark burnt caramel taste. Creamy with an almost Guinness or Cream Stout sort of touch. Lots of big dark session stout flavor but never over the top. A little bit of that granite, stone, sort of taste. Hops are not present, but there is a good bitterness that give a nice balance.

As always Dann's beer are fabulous. This beer is a great simple, 7%abv, stout. I'd almost call this a session stout. I wish I could describe this beer better, but it's just so... not simple, but perfect. It's a perfect stout.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle design is absolutely gorgeous. Illustration is of a dilapidated bird house thing? Cool floral designed paper seal at the cap.

Aroma was lighter than i expected. Mostly just malty and roasty.
Taste is mroe of the same. Super malty and sweet with a slight bitterness. For a beer that claims to be brewed with rosemary i was hoping to taste more of that. I did detect a slight piney hint though that could be the rosemarys involvement.

While not amazing this is a nice well balanced calm stout. Alcohol isn't detectable. Feel is smooth but thinner than desired. Very drinkable.

Photo of number1bum
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a not quite completley opaqe black, but quite dark nonetheless. Generates a huge dark tan head that makes for a bit of a slow pour. Head retention is very good, with a thick, creamy lace topping the glass all the way tot he bottom.

Smell initially has some coffee and roasted malt, plus a good bit of hoppiness when it's cold. As it warms the malts come out even more, with lots of roasted malt as well as some bittersweet chocolate and a hint of smoke.

Taste has a nice roasted malt base with some dark chocolate and coffee to go along with it. Chocolate gets milkier and sweeter as it warms. Some smokiness like the nose, as well. There's a dark fruitiness here that I think is probably coming from hops, and the roastiness in the finish also has some earthy hop bitterness with it. Not sure what the IBUs are here but I'd say this is on the hoppy side for a stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. It's a touch dry, a touch creamy, and has a nice smoothness to it.

This is not an imperial stout yet it has lots of flavor, and probably resides somewhere between a 'regular' stout and an 'imperial' one. It occupies a nice spot on that scale, because there is a ton of flavor without being too heavy and alcoholic. Very drinkable, and another mighty fine brew from Pretty Things.

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

Thanks to jlindros for the generous extra!

A--Nice lacing, deep mahogany

S--faint smell of toasted malt and coffee

T--Very tasty stout, for 7% smooth.

M--nice and silky

D--tasty beer, enjoyable, worth trying. Seems like a pretty good brewery that is up and coming to be sure. Good stuff!!!

Photo of tzieser
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber (Bottled Nov. 09) poured into a Raftman tulip

a: nice two finger off-white/tan head that settles into a nice foamy lacing. almost pitch black in color. really great looking stout

s: really pleasant fragrance. nice roasted malt character; getting some subtle hints of smoke....interesting. i think there's a belgian yeast strain at work here as well.

t: magnificent. nice roasted malt flavor. undertones of chocolate, not much coffee (which i'm thankful for). i also pickup some spices/herbs...very subtle notes rosemary? intriguing. oh, and that belgian yeast works beautifully.

m&d: very smooth and delicate mouthfeel. drinkability is great. i want more!

be sure to try this

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to jmu500 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Bottled: November 2009

Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick two-finger thick/creamy tan head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is big on malts, slightly sweet, slight bitterness, nice chocolate/toffee notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, another very nice brew from PT.

Photo of ppoitras
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased somewhere local somewhat recently. Bottled November 2009 says the cap tape.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head falls ever-so slowly, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is lightly of chocolate. Taste also finds the chocolate sweetness, which gives way to light spiciness, and a slightly earthy close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Was looking for a bit more, but still a good stout.

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 ATPete
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, thanks Jess.

my friend says Babayaga means 'Witch' in Polish

Pours a deep brown color almost black in appearance with a small brown head that dissipates quickly leaving small patches of foam. Some light coffee, vanilla bean, a mild chocolate note and a rich plum fruitiness. Round and firm in the mouth, well carbonated and highly drinkable. A unique stout from a brewery that hasnt disappointed me yet.

Photo of Patrick999
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Stone imperial pint glass. Wow, a shitload of creamy foam that takes forever to subside. Leaves gobs of lacing down the glass. Not jet-black dark, but nevertheless, a very dark opaque brown. Quite the sexy-looking beer here.

Odd smell for a stout. It smells really clean. More slightly-burnt wood and vanilla pod than anything else. Only light chocolate and coffee. It smells like wood, vanilla, even though this isn't barreled. Ripe black grape as it warms.

Damn, this is a tasty stout. Charred wood, yeah, but it doesn't go overboard at all on the char. Great balance between sweet milk chocolate and coffee, without either one dominant. Earthy hop comes in at the back end to dry things out. As it warms, some almond flavor came out of nowhere. This wows me in its balance and lip-smacking goodness, it really does it for me.

Excellent creaminess and body, exactly what you want from a 7% American Stout.

Ultra-solid example of a style that should be very drinkable. I'd be happy to get my hands on another bottle.

Photo of matty
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored beer with a slowly fading rich creamy head.Aroma is chocolate cherry cordial.Taste is cocoa,cherry,sweet cream and some smoked malts.Overall a pretty good beer that goes down pretty smoothly.I would recommend and would purchase again.

Photo of Jwale73
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled November 2009 indicated on a swatch of paper covering the cap. Poured the color of cola with a frothy and sizzling 2.5 inch khaki-colored cap - head exhibited excellent retention with thick swaths of lacing exposed during the tasting. Mild nose - some chocolate malt, maybe some lactose and CO2, as well as a hint of dark fruit. Taste follows nose, with a slightly metallic quality and a roasted character. Mouthfeel is light-medium, but a little on the gassy side - finishes fairly dry. Lots of potential with this one; however, the metallic flavor and gassiness detracts from the overall experience.

Photo of Overlord
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a brown head. Looks really nice.

Smells like roasted malt, some chocolate, and a very weird burnt wood/fruit component. What is that?

Taste is less on the roasted-ness than I would have thought, there's some milk chocolate in there, and that weird charred wood/fruit rinds deal-i-o makes an appearance. I have no idea what it is. Kind of exotic.

Fairly unique stout. Very nice creamy mouthfeel.

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

A: A hard pour resulted in a good two inches of brown cottony head, lots of lacing around the edge, a dark chocolate brown - 4.25, S: Lots of specialty malts, tons of grain and charring, a slight burnt cherry smell as well, chocolate and coffee - 3.75, T: There's a subtle sweetness to the beer, otherwise a nice spattering of grain, mild raisin and date flavors - 4.25, M: Touch of graininess, medium body with a little warm syrupy texture - 4.50, D: A very pleasant beer, not an aggressive stout but a very easy drinking stout - 4.00

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Loterbol tulip. Special thanks to corby112 for this from our recent trade!

Bottled November 2009

A: Pours jet black that instantly spawns a dark khaki colored head that reaches about three fingers thick, retains for ages, and leaves a beautiful lacey mess all over the glass.

S: Instantly, I'm met with a wonderful roasted malt nose that's interlaced with campfire smoke, dark chocolate, some spicy yeast, and a touch of sweet ripe raisins.

T: Tastes much as it smells except the roasted malt is a bit more dominant and the other flavors are relegated (a little more) to the background. As it warms, some of its' more subtle nuances begin to emerge (i.e. an obvious Belgian yeast flavor...)

M: Quite prickly and lively. A peppery tingle dances on the tongue long after the beer has been swallowed.

D: Jeez! Can Pretty Things do no wrong? This is an excellent winter seasonal. Strong and robust without being too heavy and syrupy. Loved the lingering smokiness and roasty prickle.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into my Mad Elf tulip glass. LOTS of "smoke" out of the bottle once the cap is popped off. Pours BLACK and semi-thick. Aroma immediately hits the air and smells roasted! Head is a tannish brown, very frothy and huge. Settles to a pretty thick layer over the surface. Sticky lacing.

Aroma has tons of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Smells complex and inviting! A little fruit is detectable.

Taste: hmmm, fruitier than I expected a stout to be. Still...very tasty. Bitter chocolates, coffee on the back side of the tongue. Malty...creamy...complex. The fruity flavors up front: cherry perhaps? Wow, interesting stout, and very good!

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz into flute. Bottled November 2009, batch 1? I think so.

A- Robust, coffee brown, tan khaki head, great lacing right off the first pour, looks tasty. Beer is like black coffee with a few ice cubes melted into it.

S- Spicy, floral, almost like incense. Dark fruits, like a porter. Hmm... interesting. Roasted campfire malts, but very light smoke, hickory?.... unique.

T- A bit spicy, a bit floral, a bit of a baltic porter... off the beaten path, for better or for worse. I like it, but I don't love it. A good fruit element and a bit too much roastiness make this a draw. Well, no, it's on the fair side of good, but its complexity may be hurting it a bit. A bit cluttered on the tongue.

M- Robust, roasty (if a bit too much), moderate body, lighter than expected, good carbonation.

D- Moderate. I'd have another one. A unique beer. Perhaps its an acquired taste... but my least favorite Pretty Things to date. That's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.. still love most of their beers.

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

Poured into a tulip from a bomber.

Black and silky looking. Thick finger and a half of tan chocolately looking head.

Smell is roasted barley, cocoa, bitter chocolates, a small touch of coffee and a tiny amount of hop essence.

Chocolate, coffee, and some smokeyness. Finishes with a bitter chocolate flavor. Lots of roasted malty goodness. Overall pretty damn balanced.

Mouthfeel is where this one shines. Silky silky silky smooth. Almost velvet like.

Drinkability is high. At 7%abv. its sessionable as all hell. Sweet, bitter, smooth chocolately goodness in a bottle.

I recommend this one highly.

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 Ineedabeerhere
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with a few friends at a tasting, from notes.

Pours black with a sturdy dark tan head. Decent lacing and retention.

Smells of lightly roasted malts, but is overall sweet. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Taste follows with some sweet malty chocolate and delicately roasted bitterness to balance. Dark fruits along for the rides and a bit of an earthy hop presence.

Medium to low carbonation with a borderline oily mouthfeel. I'm unsure how to compare this to other american stouts. It's kind of at an in-between profile ABV-wise. (What the hell is a Sylvan Stout anyway?) Overall, I kind of feel like this beer is underwhelming - it's solid and there's nothing wrong with it, but I wouldn't purchase it again just because of it's price point and availability. There are some better options out there that I could almost get a 6pk of for the price of this 22oz. Still, I am glad to have tried another beer from a brewery that has yet to disappoint.

Photo of jdaelhousen
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour produces an amazing 3 fingers of frothy brown head. Milkshake like. Color of the body is a very dark brown, almost black. Aroma contains notes of roasted barley, chocolate malt, mild black cherry tones. This beer just appears and smells hearty and wholesome. Taste contains flavors up front of roasted malt grain that mellows out. When this happens, more chocolate malt can be tasted. Fruity notes pick up at the center. Black cherry, some citris from what is the beginning of a nice hop bitterness to this beer. Finish keeps the hop flavors and comes in with a bit of a tobacco hint. Aftertaste leaves the roasted, charry flavor from the grains and bittering hops dancing on the palate. At 7%, this beer is very drinkable and delicious.

Photo of albern
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't see the name of the beer on the label and it wasn't until I looked for it among the other offerings listed on BA from this brewery. On the bottle it is listed as a sylvan stout, whatever that means. Despite the name and labeling, this is a really good stout from a very interesting brewery with an unconventional background. I'm not sure of their distribution, but I'm glad of its availability where I live. The beer laces nicely and there is a bit of retention, but not much.

The beer is creamy, dark, slightly syrupy consistency and color with a smallish but dark head. The beer has a bit of carbonation for the style and has that very nice inky black transluscent quality. The aroma is very nice, pungent, with chocolate, roasted malts, dark malts, some charred notes, and coffee qualities. The nose has some sweeter malts aromas than you will find in the taste.

The taste will not disappoint. The beer gets high marks for overall creaminess, and slight oily quality on the tongue. It has a full palate of dark malts, a touch of dark chocolate, and coffee flavors. There is just a touch of sweeter malts and a little bit of prickliness at the very beginning, but this segues out into more bittering flavors. The beer has a strong roasted quality, and is loaded with dark unsweetened malts. There is less chocolate flavors than I would have liked. The coffee is slight as well, which is okay by me. It is the charred, dark malts and roasted flavors, and slight bittering dryness in the finish that defines this beer. It is a substantial, full palated affair.

Photo of smcolw
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive starting (dark tan!) head--leaves modest chunky lace. No light shines through the dark brown color.

Mild alcohol aroma behind the typical chocolate and black patent smells.

A moderate stout profile--there's notable alcohol in the swallow. The body is lighter than most stouts, but the carbonation is low enough to have the beer feel right. The aftertaste has toasted bread flavors with a light plum relish.

Photo of fastpass17
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber Bottle

A: Jet black, limited head, average carbonation

S: Roasted malt, toast, smoked wood, cocoa

T: Lightly sweet, roasted malt, nice rauch beer finish

M: Coats the mouth awkwardly, reminiscent of a black lager

D: Enjoyable in front of warm wood fire with a sharp cheese.
Smokiness makes this beer.

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Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.