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

198 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 198
Hads: 534
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 159
Gots: 122 | 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.
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Reviews: 198 | Hads: 534
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. (703 characters)

Photo of JD4Cali
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my first beer review (yay, right?)
My friend brought over a bunch of beers in big bottles and insisted that I had to like at least one or he'd be heartbroken. So, I loved this label! So cute! And so I had to try it.
It was lovely, poured lovely, smelled lovely and tasted lovely. Like the best toffee custard and toasted biscotti in a bottle and it was so very smooth.
Loved it! More Pretty Things please!
Best thing? My friend smiled and I think he's planning on bringing me more beer. (494 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a thick mahogany body with a nice size off-white head.

Nose isn't crazy in your face, but has a nice caramel and grain sort of smell.

Body is extremely thick and full bodied with an immediate big chewy, very fresh grain and caramel malt taste. Wow, really hits you with this big syrupy sweet caramel and almost a buttery toffee sort of flavor. You can really taste how big this beer is right off the bat. Very warm alcohol, but doesn't feel boozy at all. It sits very nicely against the malt. Big big big malt base. Hops are not overly present, and almost have a grassy English sort of hop flavor and it really feels more like a traditional English type Barleywine than a big hoppy American version, but it no where as muted as some English versions. Bitterness is also very small, although it feels extremely well balanced and at no point does the malt ever feel like it's overpowering. Ends with a nice lingering mild bitterness.

This may be one the best big malt monsters I've had in a while. Absolutely perfect for sitting around the fire on a cold winters night. This is a sipper for sure. Great beer! (1,126 characters)

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! (595 characters)

Photo of Hokies
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber copper colour with a light brown 2 inch head that sticks around for quite awhile. As the beer goes down the lace sticks to the side of the glass.

The aroma is filled with malty goodness and is light on the hops. Raisin, cinnamon and figs comprise most of the aroma and a hint of the warm alcohol to come.

The taste is wonderful as the hops lay down a nice layer of pine and citrus that balances out the malt flavor. The heat from the alcohol is not overwhelming even though it does makes its presence known. The piney hops actually do begin to linger on the tastebuds as the beer goes down.

This is one heck of a beer that is really balanced and warms the core on a cold winter night. (708 characters)

Photo of aorloski
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very dark deep brown body, thin head of off white bubbles. Pours pretty thick at 13.5 abv

Smell - Dark fruits, roasted malts, a touch of caramel and some wood.

Taste - ohhh man, love at first sip. Wood, caramel, deep dark fruit. Highly complex. Balanced incredibly well. 13.5 is hidden very well. I can't believe how roasted and smoky this one drinks, unlike any other english barley wine I've had in a good way.

Mouthfeel - Thick and chewy, coats the mouth. A delight

Overall - Honestly, one of the best barley wines i have ever had, american or english. This offering really impressed me and a steal at 9 dollars. Seek this one out! (652 characters)

Photo of KingHenry
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't claim to be an expert reviewer but just had to support what Pretty Things did with one.

Had on tap at Track 84, RI.

One of the best barleywines I have ever had. Very well balanced, you would never guess this one comes in at 13.5%. Very nice mouth feel and extremely smooth. If you still see any of this around I would def reccommend snagging as many as you can. (369 characters)

Photo of mtnasty116
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first real foray into barley wines. Absolutely delicious. Pretty little things nailed it. My pour was dark and fluid. When I drank it i had the warm sensation of wine in my chest but had the taste of a delicious brew. I'm just going to say get this one while you can. (270 characters)

Photo of beerforbears
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank goodness that 'Our Finest Regards' exists to sate my craving for winter beers that are fit for New England's annual delve into daylessness. Here's what I like about this beer:

Appearance: enough caramel color breaking through to contrast the darker tones. This beer is beautiful to look at.

Smell: again, caramel, sugars, a nutty darkness in there as well. When I drink this beer, the urge to hibernate strikes at the first whiff.

Taste: For me, this beer has a complex and somewhat elusive flavor profile. I don't get whammed over the head with a few dominating flavors. If I wanted to drink it and ponder its subtleties, I would find ample food for thought. However, if I wanted to just drink it and enjoy an accessible and delicious beer, I could do that as well.

Maybe I'm superimposing, but I think this beer genuinely succeeds at capturing a time of year and a feeling. When it hits the shelves, my caveman self prepares to trundle into the winter lair, pop open a bottle with some caveman friends, and hunker down. And I don't mean to suggest that this beer has neanderthal qualities - it's very refined. But it does tap into the part of my lizard brain than wants delicious boozy drinks, shared with good friends on chilly nights. (1,249 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. From what I believe was the first batch, in late 2010 (has been in my basement since then).

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch frothy off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving a thick, solid wall of lacing. Pours a not quite translucent maroon and leaves streaks of lacing.

Smell: Moist yellow pound cake, with some grape and effervescence underneath. Slight molasses and faint (but sharp) chocolate. There's lots of highlights that contrast the overall impression of pastry and whole grain bread, but enrich rather than clash. Graham cracker, caramel hard candies, cinnamon, booziness. Lots going on and all of it great.

Taste: Time has been good to this beer. Up front, it's a malt bomb, with fresh grains, cake, hard candy sweetness, and caramel, moving into a long, boozy, complex finish. A bit less bitter than one would expect to balance all the malt flavor, but the alcohol heat performs that job adequately.

Upon release, this beer was much more straightforward grape/prune flavor, high carbonation, powerful (overwhelming) alcohol. Now the dark fruit has significantly deepened, tasting like raisin skin, prune, fig, with lots of sweet, related but surprising flavors (whenever chocolate comes out it's striking but good). The booziness is still strong, but now it allows other flavors to shine along with it, rather than overpowering everything.

This beer is the malty elixir promised by the label, with a comforting alcohol warmth and tons of complimentary flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Creamy, never slick nor juicy. Still finishes quite hot. Neither dry nor sugary.

Overall: I love beers like this. Gets to the heart of what I want in beer: layers and layers of interesting, delicious malt flavors. Strongly suggest picking up multiple bottles and aging them. (1,855 characters)

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! (363 characters)

Photo of diechipmunk
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A superior example of American-brewed English Style barley wine.

A - A cloudy brass color with a moderate beige head. lots of lacing, you can almost count your sips from the rings of lace on the glass.

S - Malt, from and center, lots of dark fruit and molassas. Can't miss the booze in the background. There is some dry roasty malt aroma as well.

T - Sweet molasses and toffee up front with dark fruits and vanilla. Hints of pipe tobacco, cherry, and toasted malt come out. Not a lot of hop, but bitter enough to balance out the finish, along with oak and some roated malt for a dryer finish. Absolutley incredible.

M - Full bodied, moderate Carbonation. Rich flavor and warming alcohol.

D - Very drinkable, It's Well balanced, not too sweet or too boozy. Definitely malt dominant, but well balanced. (806 characters)

Photo of jbertsch
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pretty ruby red color - almost looks like a red zin in my wine glass. Head is modest and sudsy in texture. No lace (expected).

Great aroma of dark fruits, caramel, little banana, and spice. Lots of stuff going on. Booziness is sensible underneath it all.

Flavor profile starts as sugary toffee and cherry-like malts. Mixed dark fruits in the middle give a nod to the quad style. The spiciness comes through from the aroma, and there's a little liquor-like tone to this.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly full in body. It looks like there's no carbonation in the brew, but when you drink it, carbonation is induced and thereby creates a creamy/sudsy texture on the palate.

Drinkability is as good as can be for the style, I imagine. You smell the booziness, but I didn't notice its kick until the session ended.

I don't drink a ton of barleywines, but I think this is one of the better ones I've tried. (904 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

The Bruery Provisions
Orange, CA

(Aged for 6 months)

Dark brown in color, though a clear, dark orange at the edges with a moderately sized light khaki head that sticks around for a while. This leaves messy spiderwebs of lace all the way down the glass. An absolutely gorgeous beer.

Complex, interesting, and divine aroma of caramel, maple syrup, plum, and chocolate. Excellent.

The flavor is similarly good to the aroma, with lots of decadent caramel and maple syrup flavors, some dark fruits, moderate bitterness, a little bit of candy bar, and some earth and wood. Balanced, drinkable, delicious.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

I thought this was fantastic. I'd like to buy a couple more of these: have another fresh and another a few years down the road. (788 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Our Finest Regards opens to a rich, warm, malty aroma, full of milk chocolate, creamed coffee, coffee grounds, and an excellent set of fruit esters (fig, date, plum, prune), with molasses, brown sugar, vanilla bean, caramel, and touches of tobacco and ash adding further earthiness and smoke. Hops add a rim of pine resin and very light grapefruit rind. A thick layer of rich brown bread, toast crust, and biscuit brings more complexity. As a whole, the nose is excellent, and even more so because it smells far more like a good porter or stout than a Barleywine. There are obviously a lot of sugars in here, but they tend toward the darker fruits and molasses-type sugars, and it’s fairly easy to compare the aromas here to a cup of rich, creamy gourmet hot chocolate, into which a hint of espresso and a dash of Bailey’s, or perhaps bourbon has been stirred.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a sweet, smoky, ashy, and incredibly complex flavor. Tobacco, milk chocolate, creamed coffee, and ash mix with dates, plums, figs, and prunes, the sweetness bolstered by brown sugar, caramel, vanilla bean, and light molasses. The balance between sweet chocolate and tobacco ash is excellent, the notes presenting fabulous interplay and complexity. In subsequent sips some of this complexity is lost, but a good bit does remain, joined by a larger sense of hops, which bring pine resin and grapefruit rind. Rich brown breads, toast crust, and biscuit underlie everything. The aftertaste is a continuation of the sweet chocolate and tobacco ash notes, lingering on the tongue for a good while. The alcohol is most noticeable here in the aftertaste, as alcoholic vapors creep up the nose. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is one of the finest Barleywines I’ve had the pleasure to try, and a welcome break from many of its peers, which come across as overly sweet and alcoholic. Here, the sweetness is tempered wonderfully by bitterness and ash, and the high 13.5% ABV goes largely unnoticed in taste, making itself known mainly in the aftertaste, as well as in a continuous burning on the tongue and soft palate. Fantastic brew; would drink this regularly. (2,203 characters)

Photo of JustHarmless
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my Ommegang chalice glass.

A- Beautiful mahogany color with a quickly dissipating tan head

A- Wonderfully sweet aroma, with molasses, dark fruits like plum and raisin, sweet malts

T- The taste is a lot like the nose, with molasses, caramel, dark fruits, concord grape, slight spice notes on the back end. Great sweetness

M- Full bodied with low carbonation. A bit syrupy, which is appealing to me

O- I am a huge fan of English barleywines, and this is a great example of the style. I am also a big fan of Pretty Things and their beers never disappoint. Wonderfully sweet, smooth with a great alcohol wallop. I highly recommend trying this beer. (681 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the bottle poured into my "balloon" glass, this beer shows off with a beautiful dark blood red body with lighter crimson highlights capped by a creamy looking tannish head that initially rises to just shy of 3 fingers thickness.

Aroma is sweet and gloriously malty with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness. Hops linger a bit in the background but seem very faded.

Flavor like this shows us that we don't need boat loads of hops or tons of roasted barley and coffee additives to make a flavorful beer. Lots of carmel, toffee, and some juicy fruitiness. Hops give a little bit of a floral flavor but and some bitterness but really play second fiddle to the malts in this.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for 13.5% ABV and it goes down with a velvety smoothness. Overall, this probably one of the most drinkable high ABV beers I've come across and can only imagine how well this will age. (896 characters)

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! (873 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

Pours a cloudy, murky brown with a finger of eggshell head that leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is malt heavy with muted hop notes to it. Lots of biscuity, breadiness going on here along with caramel.

The taste has lots of the caramel malt notes to it, alcohol, slight dark fruits, heavy tobacco, mild hop bitterness. Exceedingly balanced and really enjoyable. The alcohol notes are mild for the actual abv. Really, really good.

Mouthfeel is on the heavy side with solid carbonation to lift the flavors off the tongue.

Highly recommended. I wish it were a little easier to obtain but for ~$10 a bomber I'd definitely pick this up again. (682 characters)

Photo of RichD
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on this bottle, but I think this was bottled in late 2012/early 2013 poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brownish red color. Initially about a finger or 2 of head. Considerable lacing on the glass as I drink this. Exactly the color I look for in my barleywines.

S: This smells awesome! Caramel malts were what I immediately caught. Some dark fruits such as raisins and plums are caught as well. When I first poured this I didn't want to drink this, but rather smell this.

T: This is a crazy complex brew. I taste the caramel malts, raisins and plums. I catch a hint of alcohol as well, not in the taste but more in the warmth. There is also a really sweet toffee taste which adds another element here. I feel like this has been barrel aged because of the depth of the flavors, but it has not. That's when you know it's a good brew.

M: A fairly medium to thick mouthfeel. This brew is incredibly chewy, which is definitely not a bad thing when you think about what goes into a barleywine. The carbonation is on the low side and as I said in the taste portion, the alcohol only comes through with the warmth and not the taste.

Overall: I really like this beer. It brings a lot to the table. A nice complex, non barrel aged, barleywine. This drinks quite well despite being bottled in the last few months. I'd like to get my hands on an older bottle as it would probably be incredible. Nonetheless, this is a great brew and I will most likely be buying this at least twice a year. Lastly, this is my first brew by Pretty Things and I am extremely satisfied. Awesome job! (1,587 characters)

Photo of feylure
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I decided to treat myself with this barelywine style Ale this evening. Bottled "Winter 2010/11"

The appearance is lovely. A dark, caramel color with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Smell is lovely, like a malty, toffee, sweet desert.

Taste is fantastic. Lush, thick and complex, the taste fills in the the gaps left by the smell, almost like a prelude to a delicious continuation of the malty aroma. The carbonation is great as it enhances the flavors without overpowering them.

Lingering tail in characterized by a contrasting bitter notes and a bite of alcohol. I found that to be an interesting spike in the flavor.

It's quite drinkable. Even with it's high ABV, I love the complexity of the brew with the interesting tail.

Cheers (742 characters)

Photo of litheum94
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Nov 2011. Reviewed 3/22/12.

Body is an opaque, dark cherry wood. Has a moderate, light brown head. Fizzles out quickly to a ring of foam and a patchy cover.

Lots of malts: caramel, roasted nuts and toffee. Sweet, peanut brittle and coffee. Very light hopping, citric and floral. Very nice smelling.

This is definitely an English barley wine. Caramel, toffee, salted nuts and roasted malts. Slight coffee and some burnt orange peel tame the sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden.

A great beer from one of my favorite styles. Wish I had one to age longer, as I can see this getting better. (596 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep ruby red with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and moderate carbonation. Thin layer of lacing coats the glass.

N: Concord grape, caramel, banana, cherry, plum, bready malts, notes of cocoa and some very subtle booze notes.

T: Banana bread, overripe plum, concord grape and caramel upfront. Dark fruits (plum and grape) become more apparent mid-palate along with hints of cherry and molasses. Finishes with some roasty cocoa, toffee and notes of black licorice and coffee.

M: Full bodied, silky, smooth, sticky, chewy and warming.

O: This is a tremendously refreshing English Barleywine. Goes down incredibly smooth for the high abv. Lovely dark fruits throughout mingling with caramel, bread and molasses while finishing nice and roasty. Exceptional! (825 characters)

Photo of busterthecat
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into oversized tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep caramel hue. An ivory creamy head forms and sits for a bit before drawing to a thin lacing. Sits very murky in glass.

S- Lots of toasted sweet notes. A slight citrus/ crispness cuts through. Caramel and toffee abound. Smell is clean and inviting.

T- Big and bold. Similar to smell. A good level of bitterness matches the large sweet malt bill. The bitterness resembles cold coffee. Alcohol peaks through and provides a slight bite. Lots of caramel sweetness that comes as a wave. A mild sharp tang in finish. Some dark fruit notes.

M- A big beer. Slightly drying, lingers for a while. Chewy, coats most of palate. Not overpowering.

D- Some alc. but way less for a beer this high in ABV. A very enjoyable sipper. (767 characters)

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. (260 characters)

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Our Finest Regards from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
90 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.