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Babayaga - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.

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

417 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 417
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 52
Gots: 45 | 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: 417 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%

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.

12-26-2009 05:53:24 | More by Gmann
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%

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.

12-24-2009 00:03:50 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of jdaelhousen


4.33/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

12-23-2009 21:51:47 | More by jdaelhousen
Photo of albern


4.38/5  rDev +11.2%

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.

12-20-2009 13:33:34 | More by albern
Photo of smcolw


3.55/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

12-18-2009 00:49:56 | More by smcolw
Photo of fastpass17

New York

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%

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.

12-16-2009 01:36:45 | More by fastpass17
Photo of Billolick

New York

4/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

12-13-2009 21:39:34 | More by Billolick
Photo of paco1029384756


4.45/5  rDev +12.9%

Bottle thanks to jlindros.

Pours black with a finger and a half of a smooth tan head.

Scent of molasses, cocoa, roasted malts, dark fruit, bitter, sweet hops, and a hint of smoke. Balanced very well, the bittersweet malts combine so well with the hops. I was expecting much more smoke, but what is there is quite pleasant.

Taste of roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate, wood, a hint of smoke, and sweet juicy hops. Finishes with a lingering flavor of roasted malts with a touch of smoke. An excellent Stout, balanced with a nice strong flavor. Another great beer from Pretty Things, this one exceeded my expectations.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and biting with a big bite of carbonation, keeping it from being too overbearing and making it nicely drinkable.

12-06-2009 00:38:48 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of mirish72


4.33/5  rDev +9.9%

Was psyched to finally find this the other night at my local as I have been itching to try it.

Pours a lighter black with a flowing 1-2 finger head. Smells of roasted malts, but the aroma isn't as big as you would think from the pour.

Has a malty taste, but again not as much as you would think. Also has a sweet aftertaste. Very smooth and it hides the booze well, very easy to drink.

Overall, probably not my favorite Pretty Things, but overall very good. Gotta love the artwork and these guys are doing great things.

12-05-2009 02:58:48 | More by mirish72
Photo of ManVersusBeer


4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Bomber to a pint glass. Straight down the middle like it says on the bottle.

It looks dark, dark brown with a mocha tan head that is huge until it settles into something that is a bit smaller but lingering. Lacing is awesome, leaving marks from the top to the bottom of the glass.

I can't place the smell. There is a bit of coffee and some sweet. Something spicy in there too, maybe. It intrigues me and I like it.

The taste is something like the best Guinness you have ever had with some sweet and spice and smoke. On the drier side and has that woodsy feel Dann Paquette speaks of on the label. Almost like tree bark and molasses. There is a slight bitterness from the oats which balance it well. Like a fine, peaty single malt. But beer. I'm digging the originality.

I wish I had another one. Gets a bit chewy, but not syrupy. Smooth and dry and goes down like any stout should, deliciously.

If I may, an edit to this review as I had the new batch on draft tonight 10/19/10. It is nothing like I remember before, with sour, tart cherries in the mouth right away. [I don't want to say infection, right away, though it very well could be.] Then it becomes extremely sweet, like a milk stout, with subtle tobacco, leather, molasses, and light cherry wood smoke notes followed by a bitter hop taste. It looks good, but not all that drinkable. The numbers I give it here are A--4.5, S--4, T--3, M--4, D--3.

12-05-2009 01:41:36 | More by ManVersusBeer
Photo of steeltown71


3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

12-04-2009 02:00:48 | More by steeltown71
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%

bottle brought back from Boston by a good friend of mine

a-black..small tight khaki colored head..dissipated quickly..fell to a tight cap and a decent collar..no bubbles present in the darkness

s-roasty...a bit peaty can def smell the subtle smoke in this one...had a bit of a fruity,phenol,floral character to it as well..

t-rush of roastyness..a little coffee..a tad bit of bitterness from the hops..the smoke sneaks in near the end..finishes on a bitter coffee dry note

m-creamy and utterly smooth...acceptable for this style...carbonation is spot on...a bit chewy but does leave me wanting a little more

d-off the charts...exceptionally easy to drink..nothing hinders this from going down smooth

overall a truly impressive beer..not sure what a sylvan stout is but i like it and wish i could get it here..

12-04-2009 00:04:52 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of deapokid


4.3/5  rDev +9.1%

This "Sylvan Stout" is a deep black in color with a massive, brown two-finger head. The lacing is absolutely amazing and the thick piles of foam are billowy and inviting. I'm not sure what kind of stout this is, but I'm really excited to try it.

The smells are plentiful and I'm initially catching the sting of alcohol, sweet anise, ginger snap cookies, sweet cake frosting (chocolate, of course), a hint of whiskey and something spicy. There might even be a smidgen of sea salt in the mix. Certainly an original and appealing aroma with a ton of character.

Tastes are equally as varied. Chocolate, a nice smokiness and coffee bean are definitely present. The Rauchbier-esque smoke is surprising and delightful and the saltiness in the finale successfully emulates the dry roasted character present in Irish Dry Stouts. I'm also catching a bit of heat on the back of my tongue. Is that chipotle I taste?

The mouth is smooth and crisp and the smokiness adds a nice bite to the tail end and a tingly warmth to the chest.

This seasonal offering is absolutely delicious and superbly flavorful. I would say that a couple glasses of this may be filling, but, it would work perfectly as a digestif and will definitely keep you warm on a cold winter's night.

11-29-2009 15:32:59 | More by deapokid
Photo of jamie2dope


3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

I have had this beer twice since it was just released in bombers, and I have had mixed feelings on it. Lets see how it is out of the bottle. Appearance is quite dark, with some rocky tan heading that is slow to settle. It has the aroma of an export stout, with some burnt coffee bean, bitter in places, and a hint of smoke. One gets a good dose of bitter coffee, smoke, and slight chocolate from the taste. Mouthfeel is relatively heavy, making it a sipper for me. Alcohol is well hidden within all that smoke. Not half bad...I do not really get the Belgian aspect of this beer, but it certainly passes for me as an export or robust stout. On the lower end of the totem pole as far as Pretty Things beers go, but worth a try no doubt. Cheers

11-26-2009 00:40:31 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -16.2%

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

11-25-2009 00:21:14 | More by mikey711
Photo of jlindros


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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.

11-24-2009 16:21:59 | More by jlindros
Photo of m1ked


3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Listed as a Sylvan Stout....not sure what that is, so I listed it as an American Stout.

A- Pours a black black black liquid ,starts with an inch of foamy tan head that transforms into some espresso skim covering the whole top.

S - The aroma is verylight all around. Some lightly burnt wood, light ground coffee beans. Bittersweet chocolate. Kinda the usual suspects here. Def not bad, but not outstanding .

T- I get a dark cocolate covered dark cherry with some etoh brandy like heat. Burnt wood and bitter chocolate.

M- The cask warmness makes it feel thin at first, but it does have some thickness to it. I must admit I like cooled (not cold) casks ( ala Hamilton's in San Diego) vs the warm/hot cask...just my 2 cents though. No carb , bit of an etoh burn.

D- I would love to have this on tap ( as opposed to a warm cask), and let it warm up a little. Nice flavor. My offering from this brewery. I am pleased and will keep my eyes peeled for some more.

Brewed out of the now defunct Buzzards Bay Brewery.

11-10-2009 03:07:03 | More by m1ked
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Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
88 out of 100 based on 417 ratings.