Our Finest Regards - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Our Finest RegardsOur Finest Regards

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

521 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 521
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 158
Gots: 123 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jamie2dope on 12-03-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 | Reviews: 198
Photo of MandoMaster
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I got this on tap from my local gas station/craft beer shop (gotta love South Florida!). Didn't have much of a head left after pouring from a growler but the carbonation stayed with it fairly well throughout the tasting. I have to say, my first impression of it was not great: flat (due to growleritis), flavor complexity lacking (I read all the reviews and was not impressed), and the finish was all but unpleasant.

However...

I had only one glass the first time I took it home. I left it in the fridge for a couple weeks and something miraculous happened. More body, complex flavors of vanilla, fruit, and a clean finish with a little alcohol to remind you you're drinking a barleywine.

If you come across this, let it sit for a little while. Or open a bomber, have a glass, contemplate eternity for a few weeks after you've stoppered the bottle, and return to find something quite flavorful.

Photo of Tele
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: 4.5 Pours a clear, reddish brown. The one-inch, light tan head lasts about a minute with good lacing.

S: 4.25 Smells rather sweet. Vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, and raspberries make up the aroma first. Nice malty backbown with very light hops and a touch of smoke on the finish.

T: 4.25 Like the nose, nice malty sweetness up front with lots of vanilla, honey, cinnamon, toffee, and more berries. There’s also some esters present reminiscent of a dubbel or quad. The beer finishes with a minerally element and light bitterness.

M: 4.5 Really nice, rich mouthfeel and nearly perfect carbonation level. The bitterness leaves a bit too much dryness on the finish.

O: 4.25 Excellent example of an English barleywine. Lots of malty sweetness and all the complex flavors that come along with it. This beer reminds me a lot of Sucaba without the bourbon flavors.

Serving type: Bottle

Photo of Alohaneen
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: barleywine has a quite too murky look. Hoping it settles as it warms-up. The color is a deep hue of brown with reddish highlights. The head retention is low as to be expected for this style with a tan color.

Aroma- deep luscious chocolate aromas with sweet fruit esters. Very big almost cherry smell. Hop aroma is low to moderate-cannot tell hop aroma trying to get better at this. Malts are definitely the most prevalent aroma. There is a bit of a sherry-like quality as well.

Flavor-unlike any English Barleywine I have had. Not saying this is bad just quite different. First sip-has a very sweet syrupy like molasses with a more plum or dark cherries like fruitiness. There are some nice roasty notes faintly in one of the many layers, which there are quite a few. Another layer can taste a bread-like body. It all Fades into a nice subtle dryness. The chocolate finally appears at the back. Leaving a big taste and malt heavy tongue. Little to no hop flavor is present. The alcohol flavors are quite hidden and no heat is experienced.

Mouthfeel-full-bodied with a very silky luscious texture. A very low warming sensation is experienced, it tends to linger on the back end but is still very mild. Carbonation is moderate. This is not an aged bottle. Pretty fresh.

Overall- not exactly the style I am use to. But not saying it is bad. Just unique by using different malts or different amount of certain malts. I believe this beer could be aged due to the higher amount of carbonation and to settle down some attributes to the beer.

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the bomber in a Duinen snifter, this most excellent barley wine pours a hazy brown with a light off white head that dies down to a thin ring and light lacing. Nose of plums, raisins, light chocolate,a light brandy aroma, strong alcohol, and brown sugar. Flavors are up front sweet and mildly coating with dark raisins and brown sugars to the fore, chocolate flavors mildly come in the back with a strong alcohol burn to the aftertaste. Great carbonation, great dark fruit flavors blending in merrily with brown sugar. An excellent example of an English barley wine with decent carbonation that gives it a slick yet effervescent finish. Very nice.

Cheers.

Photo of fitzy84
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Table & Vine in West Springfield. Thick black-brown appearance with some hints of red in the light. Thick head when poured, but it dissipated eventually leaving some nice lacing on the sides. Aromas are very sweet with distinct flavors of malts, dried fruit like raisins, nuts, toffee, and alcohol. The drink definitely had a sugary-fruit taste mixed with toffee leading to a bittersweet drink with a sharp bite of alcohol in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a good carbonation and helps to give the drink a crisp, creamy feel. Overall, a fantastic drink.

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, caramel, dates, brown sugar, red apple, light cocoa, fig, light spice

Photo of zookerman182
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a dark brown with a slight red tinge.
Aroma is cherries, toasted malt, coffee and mocha.
Flavor is dark fruits covered in caramel, brown sugar, roastyness.
Mouthfeel is full and creamy and the flavor lingers for a while.
This might be my new favorite barleywine.

Photo of Andrew041180
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm pretty new to the style, but this one wowed me. Very complex flavor of dark chocolates and fruits and wanders in to the Belgian Strong Dark category of flavor. The aroma and texture complimented the flavor quite well. I was very impressed with this one.

Photo of brianjay
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not much of a looker, as the body is a murky dark brown, topped off by a modest head. It has a thick creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is intense: Notes of caramel and brown sugar. A subtle burnt orange taste finishes.
Let this one sit awhile to warm and open up for a strong but we'll balanced barley wine.

Photo of Stagga_Lee
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Pours a viscous, deep brown that is quite close to opaque. A respectable amount of head for a 12% beer.

Smell: A barrage of tootsie roll type chocolate, slightly roasted malts, and creme brulee. Invites the drinker with hardly any hint of alcohol.

Taste: A crisp, relieving taste that is deceivingly light. Notes of chocolate still prevail, as well as toasted caramel and amaretto. Brief hints of coffee sneak into the aftertaste.

Feel: A delightful, fizzy body reminiscent of cream soda or root beer. Thick and sugary without burgeoning upon syrupy.

Overall: My favorite offering from Pretty Things. Trumps Baby Tree Quad, Field Mouse Farewell, and Barbapapa. An all-star offering for sure.

Photo of dar482
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The aroma has licorice, spice, and sweet plums, wrapped around a sweet caramel barleywine aroma..

The flavor follows with a good amount of alcohol, but again with that licorice and bitter spice. Sweetness throughout with a touch of toasted malt and chocolate on the back end.

Photo of blindtiger24
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours a syrupy brown with active bubbles and thin sticky head. brown sugar and molasses, subtle cherry, plum, dried fruit on the nose. not as strong in malt aroma or taste as i expected. dominant flavor is brown sugar. some nutty flavors. maybe a bit of a cherry cola flavor. boozy but deceptively easy drinking for a high alcohol beer. definitely leaves sugary residue on your lips. kinda let me down in the flavor category.

Photo of Vytal85
2.25/5  rDev -44.4%

A subtle malty taste that was not as desirable as other barlywines

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Purely transparent dark brown, medium head that comes off slightly light meaning that it dissolves just after one sip that an original rise of about a finger's length. Oh by the way it's off-white.

Smell: Has a sweet scent, almost like a toffee scent.

Taste: Sweet light coffee feel, not bitter really more bean type of taste with a twist of toffee that feels a bit sweet. Cafe con leche anyone?

Mouth: Medium bodied brew, it is sticky but not overwhelming like I would prefer it to be. I have been spoiled with other English barleywines and this one just comes up a notch or two above average.

Overall: Worth trying at least once but not something I would go hunting for. There's a lot better out there but you would need to really hunt. If this one comes along before hand grab it. It won't disappoint but I am not going to over-hype something to just let you down.

Photo of RachelZ
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is drank from a bottle and has a pour of hazy brown and beige. The style is Barley Wine. The aroma has a roasted malt caramel and toffee smell. The taste is sweet with a bitter aftertaste. Alcohol and caramel also come into play in the aftertaste.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.99/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled November 2011.

Appearance - Deep brown body. A little reddish. Sizable khaki head. Retains a few swirls of lace and a thin collar.

Smell - Sweet caramel malt. Slightly phenolic. Fruity esters. Has a Belgian sweetness to it.

Taste - Very sweet. Bananas. Dark fruits. A little bit medicinal in the back. Slightly bitter, but not enough to overcome any sugars.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and sweet. Well carbonated.

Overall - This is too sweet for anything besides a small serving size. Even then, I'm not sure about it. The medicinal flavor doesn't really overwhelm, but it isn't pleasant.

Photo of IronLover
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color with dark, blood orange hue and a dense haze. Poured with a thick, dense, tawny foam that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Full bodied with a thick oily feel up front and light, tight, smooth carbonation through the middle to the end. Sweet toffee, toasted and caramel malt aromas with earthy hop notes and unmistakable booziness. Huge toasted and caramel malty flavor up front followed by subdued hop spiciness through the middle. Hop presence fades toward the end as the sticky maltiness takes over once again. Finished dryly with a candy toffee and strong boozy aftertaste. 

Photo of spicoli00
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Malt forward makes this an excellent English barleywine.

Pours a deep amber. Thin head that lingers. Smells like toffee, a bit nutty. Taste is similar, candy, toffee. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. I could drink this with pancakes in the morning or a spicy pork chop for dinner.

Photo of hreb
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.1.1. 22oz bottle labeled Winter 2010/11 served in wide-mouth Chimay glass. Beer is a rich raisiny amber brown with a red background and a medium chestnut head. Nutty/toffee aroma with a hint of floral hops.

The beer presents a whirlwind of flavors: significant alpha acid bitterness up front, then toasty and grainy, followed by some brighter flavors of fruit and citrus, then a sugary sweet note (not quite caramel, and certainly no diacetyl), and finally lives only the faint tingling of very fine carbonation. Very heavy body.

I previously tried this at redbones on draught (it comes in pints!). Without introduction it seemed like a strong brown ale. But the heavy malt bill is not merely the exclusion of hops. There's no hiding the alcohol in this beer, but at thirteen and a half percent the balance is actually quite good.

Cellaring would only mellow out the flavors and mature the nose. Definitely could improve it, but this beer doesn't need it.

13.12.3 Update: Tried the Nov 2011 bottling again after cellaring for over two years. Indeed, cellaring has mellowed this beast out, and it is now extremely smooth, fruity, and delicious. Unquestionably a barley wine, and a great one at that. Immediately upon opening the bottle the aroma smacked me in the face with an entire fruit cake. Raisins and plums, but also over-ripe pears, apricots, dates, and a hint of treacle. Heavy as fuck, but mellowed the fuck out.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled In: OCT 2013

A: Pours a mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that lasts for about a minute before fading to a nice thick cap

S: Lots of lightly toasted, nutty malts with a bit of graininess and husk. Lightly sweet, with a little bit of fruitiness. Alcohol extremely well hidden for 13.5%

T: Starts off with the maltiness, which imparts quite a bit of nuttiness, grain, and husk. Some darker fruits vaguely show up, along with some notes of fig. Quite toasty. Finishes with a trace of alcohol and a little bit more of the fruitiness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice and complex English barleywine. The yeast definitely imparts the English part. Way too easy to drink for 13.5%, although it's hard to do more than just sip slowly. Great price point. Definitely has some aging potential as well

Photo of smakawhat
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A nice ruby grapefruit red body, chestnut brown coming out of the glass. Opaque and super creamy half tan finger head which settles to a good thick even collar. Nice looking barleywine.

Wonderful bouquet on this nose. Turbinado and molasses like sugars, slight nut and hints of milk chocolate. Some crisp husky senses match strangely and buttery smelling toffee and butterscotch. Real nice.

Juicy palate with a large chocolate milky finish. Sense of interesting grapefruit hop action, and tight carbonation. Great mix of malt chocolate sweetness and juicy grapefruit. Lots of treacle sensing syrup with the butterscotch action hinted on the nose much more toned down. Good silky coating in the palate if a tad sparkling sensing carbonation.

Overall a real solid and impressive barleywine. Great barleywine find indeed!

Photo of b2bomber
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Okay, unorthodox review here, so hang on with this one.

It was a cold day, the sun goes down early up hear in MA. I had a couple of packets of mulling spices from Whole Foods. So I had this wacky idea. Poured the beer into a 2qt pot. Added about 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar and two mulling spice bags. Brought up to heat (below boiling, probably around 150-160. Hold temp for about 10 mins. Remove spice bags.

Taste was great! Sweat and and malty. Maybe too much spice, probably should have used just on mulling pack. Overall a great experience though. Will try again later in the season!

Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, no date on it so I have no idea what vintage this is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch light tan head. The head sticks around a little while, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like dark fruit, caramel, apples, dark bread and some booze. It tastes like caramel, toffee, dark bread, dark fruit, wood, and some brandy. It's a nice, sweet malty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. I like this brew a lot, but then I've liked everything I've tried from Pretty Things so far. $10.99 a bottle.

Photo of hopley
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oooh Wow! A barn burner at 13.5% ABV! Really nice! Tasty, sweet, syrupy, alcoholy, nice to look at, nice to think about - just don't drink it quickly! Despite my high impression of this beer, for me it is a one-time only beer given its high ABV. Nonetheless, I will gladly taste it again at the brewery, or at a fest. Thank you to Dann and the Pretty Things team!

Photo of stakem
2.84/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber of the winter '10/11 release into a snifter. The brew appears a hazed light brown to mahogany with lighter yellow around the edges and ruby through the body when held to the light. A creamy yellowish stained finger rests atop and slowly fades leaving a web of lace sticking.

The aroma is quite candy-like and sweet smelling like belgian candy sugar. A bit of accenting fruity alcohol aspect is also present with a faint citrus to herbal hop element. As it warms up, there is a very soft stale grain aspect that mingles with hints of cardboard-like oxidation.

The flavor is sweet like belgian candy sugar coupled with a strong solvent alcohol kick. The residual grain flavor is a bit dusty or stale tasting bringing out flavors of oxidation and herbal hops. Trying to dig deeper in character just reveals more booze.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is sticky sweet and very boozy. For a fairly big brew, it is sadly lacking in complexity and still very alcohol forward for being cellared for 2+ years. I would probably avoid purchasing this again.

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Our Finest Regards from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
90 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.