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Once Upon A Time 1901 KK - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
Once Upon A Time 1901 KKOnce Upon A Time 1901 KK

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

143 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 28
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

English Strong / Old Ale, or thereabouts.

(Beer added by: EPICAC on 10-12-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LHRodriguez
5/5  rDev +29.2%

LHRodriguez, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +3.4%

PEIhop, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +29.2%

virinow, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of richbrew
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +29.2%

thebouch01, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of celticfutblclub
4/5  rDev +3.4%

celticfutblclub, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Weidman26
4.88/5  rDev +26.1%

If I were alive 100 years ago and having a draught by the sea in any of the island nations about the european north...This is what I would be having.

That is the thought conjured by this brew. Yet I am alive and well in this time and loving it quite well enough.

I would love to break down the particulars of this beer but truthfully that feels like a denegration to the overall masterpiece that is this beer I will simply sum up and hope that everyone will give this gem an effort

dark bitter hoppy murky enigmatic foggy briney obsidian seaworthy fortitude

Weidman26, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

Billowing clay colored head spills from the glass like a cone of insulation foam. Pours dark brown and sits opaque black. Thick foam layer of retention rides down to glass bottom, depositing swatches of lace along the way.

Aroma is damp, earthen hops. Mildly citrusy?

After awhile in the cellar KK still has some heat to it. Maybe not heat, aggressive warmth shall we say? The beer may look black but it doesn't taste like a black beer. There's some fruity dark malt flavor without any char or roast character.

Not my thing but I could see where a Black IPA fan could dig this.

donkeyrunner, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of gory4d
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

Pours a dark, chalky brown with a big tan head, nice cap, lots of lacing. Smell is pine, dandelion, gingerbread. Taste is heavy on the pine, sweet gingerbread in the middle, with one heck of a bitter finish - very herbal and mineral at once. It's a little chalky in consistency, thick, bubbly - a lot going on here. Great beer, that's kept very well since I got it. Wish I had another stashed away.

gory4d, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep brown color with a one finger beige head on top, on the foamy side, with nice retention that leaves thin lacing behind.

S: The aroma is rather sweet, almost candy-sweet. There is a bit of dark fruit, some caramel, toffee, and chocolate.

T: On the sweet side, with some caramel and toffee. There is a little bit of roast and coffee along with some dark chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly sticky finish.

O: Not really sure what is going on with this beer. It's not bad, but not as good as others I have had from Pretty Things. I like that they are recreating these older recipes, but this one just wasn't as good as I was hoping.

mdaschaf, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger tan head

smell: sweet, toffee, roast, malts

taste: toffee, sweet, roasted malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: better then what I was expecting and I think it had to do with the sweetness. glad I got to try it.

cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

Thanks to a generous BA for sending me this.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown with a thin wispy head that left spots of soapy lacing down the snifter.
S: Sweet smelling with notes of dark roasted malts and a good dose of bitter grassy hops.
T: Bitter hops, coffee, roasted malt, a hint of chocolate and a touch of grapefruit and weed.
M: Medium body with fizzy carbonation and a drying finish.
O: Interesting beer but strange. I’m not sure I loved the flavor profile of this one.

scottfrie, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a muddy dark brown with a thick brown head. Great retention. Sticky rings of lacing.

S: Big dose of floral and grassy English hops up front. A bit of an herbal edge to the hop profile too. Tobacco. Whiffs of rich caramel and toffee. Slight charred wood and a hint of smoke. Fruitiness comes out more as the beer warms.

T: Tastes of sweet caramel at the outset. Plum, raisin, and fig cross the palate quickly before charred wood and smokey tastes overwhelm them. Coffee and bitter dark chocolate emerge after the smokey tastes mellow a bit. Grassy and floral hops cut through the malt tastes briefly, and the substantial bitterness adds a welcome balance. Quick flash of citrus. Lingering finish of coffee and char.

M: Medium bodied. Deceptively light considering the bold flavors at play, but it works well. Creamy and extremely smooth. It almost melts in your mouth.

O: This beer is excellent. Very well made, and hits all of my beer G-spots.

Notes: These historical recreations by Pretty Things have been a huge hit. The EIP was excellent too. At this point, they have solidified themselves in my book as one of the top New England brands.

ryan1788a5, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

nice, deep, dark brown with lots of ruby tones mixed in throughout. A nice sized two finger head of light tan came up through the top and settled down quickly, leaving behind a nice film across the top and a good amount of side glass lace. The aroma was rich, candy sweet and mixed with a touch of alcohol. Light bready aroma lying underneath gave way to a very pronounced candied sugar like malt in the middle. Some light touches of fruit, but this was a caramel malt driven monster. Hints of alcohol in the finish, but a really nice medium body that was more then adequately carbonated was the real treat here. A very nice evening sipper that I would have no issue with repeating in the future.

Overall I thought this was excellent.

mikesgroove, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of BigPapiBrewingCo
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%

Pours a near black with a big tight tan head that sticks well around the glass. Scents of molasses, licorice, butter toffee, mocha, spicy hop aromas but in the back behind the big dark malt profile. Huge malt profile with all of the aspects of the aroma involved chewy not in a good way. Where are the hops is this brew. Did they fade or is this they way it was meant to taste

BigPapiBrewingCo, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

This beer showed up at my local shop so I grabbed a bottle. The beer poured out as a really dark brown color. Quite pleasing to my eye. The head was big and tan with a soapy look to it. The smell of the beer surprised me, it was much hoppier than most of the other Pretty Things I've had before. The aromas of roast malts and chocolate were there too. The taste of the beer was really nice, the dark malts and the citrus hops blended together really well. The mouthfeel was pretty thick and had a really nice pine needle sting to it on the tongue. Overall this beer was really nice, I would drink it again if I get the chance to. If I recall correctly the price wasn't too bad either.

Knapp85, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%

22oz bottle poured into a Pretty Things wine glass. Big thanks to apollokim for providing the bottle and glass in the 'You Ain't From Around Here?' BIF, cheers Kim!

This is an interesting beer from a cool concept project that Pretty Things has. They find original recipes of beers that were made a long time ago and brew them exactly the same. Vintage beer, but can it stand up to the tests of time?

A - Pours a slick black color with dark brown highlights. 2.5-fingers of head rest on top, tannish in color but with pretty good retention. The consistency of the head is rather rocky with big bubbles interspersed among the foamy cap. The lacing is pretty good, but not up to the par of other Pretty Things beers I've seen in the past!

S - The smell on this is very interesting. The hops are more spicy and earthy than what I was expecting, and there's some type of peppery note I'm getting as well. As it lingers, I'm getting floral hops that are herbal to the point of bordering on tea qualities. Beneath is a slight roast with chocolate, but it is hidden well.

T - Wow. The taste on this is definitely eye-opening. The malts are glossed over and it is bursting with hops; grassy, floral, herbal, earthy hops. There's some fruit in the finish, but for the most part this is a gritty, dirty beer. In the finish, a strong roast comes through as the malts finally penetrate the hops, bringing some chocolate as well. The finish is incredibly bitter, lasting for ages and not letting you out of its grip. It's interesting for sure, but can't exactly say it's up my alley.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with decent carbonation. I feel this could benefit from a little more carbonation and a bit more body to it. It doesn't come off as watery, but it doesn't exactly make a presence in the mouth besides the extreme bitter finish.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I would be happy with this beer in 12oz as it's interesting and I think the concept is awesome, but the way the hops and malts mingle in this beer, I am not sure I'd want much more than that. Best enjoyed in moderation, drink this one with friends.

nhindian, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

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

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

T: The taste starts out very bitter with flavors of dark chocolate and a strong hops presence. The malt character is hearty and there’s a touch of smokiness in the background but a lot of balance. It does get a bit better as it sits after pouring. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style which is “A recreation of a hoppy, black ale originally brewed in London” as shown on the label, a decent beer but there are several other similar beers that I would pick first.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

a - popped the bottle and filled my portsmouth sniftery tulip. poured an almost black with a reddish tint, and settled black in the glass with a pretty generous yellowy white frothy head that hung around for a while. kind of porter looking with a stouty head. lacing left footprints all over the glass.

s - nice spicy kick with great hop presence and a solid malt backbone. quite balanced. some brown sugar sweetness in the background.

t - wow...same spicy kick in the smell is SUPER amplified in the flavor. pretty intense. at first it seemed too much...extreme bitterness with an odd angle to it...kind of peppery. the spiciness never really went away, but I did become acclimated to it and once I did the malts took the lead, but the hoppy bitterness mixed with the spiciness was still fairly present. the spiciness might be coming from the heat in the beer since it seems pretty evident that there is alcohol in this beer.

m - on my first sip, this is a beer that i felt in my nose (if you know what I mean). alc is a bit strong and the bittery spiciness is also a bit much.

o - overall, the bottle says that this is a Hoppy Black Ale...BA tells me it is an English Strong Ale...either way seems pretty unique to me. As I drank more and more of this, I found myself liking it more, but not one I'll be looking for. I think the concept of this beer is pretty cool, but then when I think about it...this beer was brewed a long time ago and not really since...makes you wonder, perhaps there was a reason? perhaps not? in any event, pretty things is somewhat hit or miss for me and they definitely have an underlying flavor to their brews, but some that I taste really make me think that they should just stick with Jack D'Or, Baby Tree, and Our Finest Regards. definitely worth picking up if you are curious, but you might want to get one bottle at a time since I can definitely see this as being a polarizing beer. Had to give it a 3.5 since there is nothing average about this beer at all.

cosmicevan, May 13, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%

Had this bottle at Pizzaria Paradiso a while ago, perhaps in early March...

A: Looks like a robust stout with a jet black color and a nice smooth brown head. Nice.

S: Crazy smell with tropical fruit and grass hops mixed almost 50/50 with dark grainy malts. Some bakers chocolate.

T: Definite tropical, mago, and pineapple fruit juicy hops slapped up against dry grainy malts. Bitter chocolate back. Very interesting beer that I would say is some sort of very early Black IPA and certainly has a taste of a beer before the modern ones of today.

M: Ok feel, thinner than hoped but nice carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: Nice stuff. Cool beer.

Dreadnaught33, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of Pahn
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%

22oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch, frothy tan head that dissipates slowly leaving solid lacing walls. Pours a solid black and leaves spots, streaks, and walls of lacing. Looks serious.

Smell: Smells serious too... wow, they put a lot of hops in, didn't they? Great, somewhat citrusy, floral, hop dominant aroma with a sugary cupcake backbone supporting it. Some mild and pleasant booziness comes out with warmth, emphasizing some of the spicier hop aromas. While not dank, it smells as hop-forward as the silliest of west coast American DIPAs.

Taste: Whoa. Giant hops. I can't find the IBUs anywhere online (probably because the information isn't normally that useful for consumers anyway...), but I would be unsurprised if I learned that this was hitting 100~ IBU. Heavy hop bitterness tamed by the sweet caramel & cookie dough like malt.

The bitterness is all hops, no roast; it's not like a stout. I doubt they used any roasted malt at all. The closest analogues I can find to this beer are Ithaca's Cascazilla (turned up to 11), or Stone's Arrogant Bastard or Double Bastard, but no pineapple / grapefruit hops, just tons and tons of Goldings.

The flavor is very sweet, very bitter, with a mild heat running through it. The masterful balance of bold flavors yields another Stone comparison for me, because only Stone consistently turns the boldness up so high with such perfected balance.

Despite its boldness and balance, it's not simplistic. With warmth the flavor develops some beautiful molasses notes, some savory tang, more chocolate and decadent pastry-like malt flavors, and constantly changing (but forefronted and balanced) hop flavors. It would not be hard to convince me to give this beer a 5 for taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but silky smooth (despite the enormous hop bitterness!). Mild but sufficient carbonation. Semi-dry, long, satisfying finish. Can't imagine improving the feel.

Overall: If people were drinking like this in 1901, good for them. This Burton style needs to come back, and this beer needs to be brewed by Pretty Things again. I love the mix of intense hops, sweet and complex English brown ale malt, medium body, and lack of any roast, smoke, or wood flavors. Unique, and full of character and flavor.

Drinking this beer puts me in mind of when I first had Fantôme Saison, and felt like the brewers were giving me a real gift. Very well done, Pretty Things.

Pahn, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of BranfordBound
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

Bottle with no known freshness date into a DFH shaped pint.

Pours inky colored with a two finger tan head. OK Lacing and head is tough to form sometimes.

Mild aroma of roasted malts and a touch of sweetness.

Fairly complex taste here. Starts bready with the roasted malt, then, if the beer is warm, very sweet, chocolate and ripe fruits. Finally, it finishes very charred like charcoal with a pronounced earthy hop note.

Higher end of medium bodied, no alcohol apparent.

Once again, I find myself finishing the bomber after quite some time. There are some metallic notes when cold and the charred and hop note get to be a little much in the end, but still an awesome brew.

BranfordBound, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of Kendo
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is black with a small tan head. Some lace left behind.

S: Nice hoppiness, which was surprising - herbal and leafy hops over a solid malt foundation. Some char or charcoal as well.

T: First impression: roasted barley malt and charcoal. Some fruity sweetness underneath that at times seems grape-like. Finishes with a drying bitterness and lingering char.

M: Carbonation is active, body is medium in heft.

D: Only OK -- too much charred bitterness for me to love this one.

Kendo, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a pretty solid black color with a good sized tan head that slowly recedes and sticks itself to the glass. Smells of earthy spicy hops up front. Slight mineral twinge in there as well as some sweet toffee. Taste is sweet with a touch of alcohol at the onset but that sweetness is quickly overrun with an herbal, earthy bitterness that survives throughout most of the tasting range. Some butterscotch drops by for a second then there is some chocolaty sweet roast that tries to find a voice. Leaves a long lingering tea/hop bitterness in the finish. Full body, resinous and creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. This one is different for sure, the more I drank the better I thought it was. Decent brew, probably not something I would drink often, but nice to have tried it.

johnnnniee, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of GbVDave
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a hommel bier tulip. Special thanks to jayli for this nice little surprise!

A: Pours a very, very dark brown. This would be black if it weren't for some lighter brown tints at the top and edges. The head never gets more that 1 1/2 fingers thick, but is quite creamy/pillowy and leaves a lot of lace stuck to the glass.

S: My first impression was that this smelled very woody. Burnt malt, smoke, bitter dark chocolate, and then the hops kick in big time with a decidedly herbal and piney aroma.

T: Much like above. I also picked up a bit of cherries drizzled in fudge, anise, milk chocolate, cocoa, molassas, and dark bread before the pine sap hops completely took over.

M: Starts off pretty large. Semi-sweet for an instant before quickly turning dry, herbal, prickly, and spicy during the long middle and very long finish. A really nice peppery zing on the tongue during the finish.

D: A very nice drinker. The flavor profile of the hops wore a little thin by the end of the bottle but thankfully there was a lot else going on here.

GbVDave, Feb 15, 2011
Once Upon A Time 1901 KK from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
87 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.