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X Ale, 22nd November 1838 - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
X Ale, 22nd November 1838X Ale, 22nd November 1838

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

So, these are our new historical beer releases: two beers from the same brewery, brewed under the same brand name, 107 years apart. X Ale, 22nd November 1838, and X Ale, 22nd February 1945. These beers were from Barclay Perkins brewery in London (now long closed). They were brewed & sold as the same beer over these 107 years, but the recipe and process changed dramatically. The beer changed from a golden, 7.4%, extremely hopped ale in 1838 into a 2.8% dark grainy beer in 1945. Probably a lot of factors came into play: wars, hop shortages, grain pricing, rationing, taxation, patriotism, the motorcar, the industrial revolution… I’m guessing these all played a role in the weakening and darkening of this beer. Interestingly, since 1945, Mild ale in Britain hasn’t changed so much: it’s still dark, and one of the weakest beers produced.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 03-17-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GuidedByBill
4.5/5  rDev +20%

GuidedByBill, May 13, 2012
Photo of dancaplette
4.5/5  rDev +20%

dancaplette, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of jhb138
4.5/5  rDev +20%

jhb138, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of FishHeadCukie
4.5/5  rDev +20%

FishHeadCukie, May 08, 2013
Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.5/5  rDev +20%

GrindFatherBob, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of timster01801
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty unique tasting beer. I like it. Some agreeable funkiness with a nice hop bite! I'll definitely have this in the fridge alongside bottles of Jack D'or and Fluffy White Rabbits. Great job, Pretty Things.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

timster01801, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of Scottgeo
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this in comparison to the 1945 recipe of the same beer. The two were surprisingly different. My preference is for this one. It's hoppier with a nice creamy mouthfeel. The color is a beautiful deep gold. The alcohol is apparent, but not overpowering. Long finish.

Scottgeo, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of hagbergl
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

hagbergl, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

PEIhop, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of YouSkeete
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly hazy golden yellow with a short, bubbly white head. White bread, pale malts and fresh hops in the aroma. Very floral with some smooth yeast characters. Big, bright, bitter hops with some smooth pale malt, notes of honey and some kitchen spices. Nice, rich, smooth, floral, medium sized body with moderate carbonation. Dry, hoppy finish.

YouSkeete, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of mactrail
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, golden amber beer that gets cloudier as you stir up the yeast in the bottom. Fresh scent of yeast and with a hint of perfume. Full bodied with nice carbonation filling the mouth.

Loads of malt. Full of the lightly roasted barley flavor. Ends on a bitter note with the yeasty sediment. Some rustic hints like a good Saison. Rye bread with a hint of apples. Lots of hops but balanced with the malty richness. It all seems very appropriate to the stronger beer style.

I think is is really an intriguing and satisfying beer. One of the most drinkable beers on my Philly trip. Hats off to Pretty Things for not just trying something weird but doing it well. 22 oz bottle from the Foodery.

mactrail, May 24, 2012
Photo of marchnlv
4/5  rDev +6.7%

marchnlv, May 28, 2012
Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev +6.7%

let8it8grow, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Sailracer
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Sailracer, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +6.7%

raythealeman, May 13, 2012
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +6.7%

drewone, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of DGSchmitt
4/5  rDev +6.7%

DGSchmitt, May 18, 2014
Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +6.7%

UncleJimbo, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet bready malts, citrus and earthy hops, and a bit of English yeast esters.

T - Starts off with a mix of bready malts with a bit of earthy hops and a touch of lemon peel. Through the middle, some resiny hop and a touch of bitterness alongside some English yeast flavors. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malt with some piney hops, some light fruits, and a touch of light booze.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly boozy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Smooth and overall nicely balanced. The simple malt bill allows the other flavors to come out a bit more.

ngeunit1, May 31, 2012
Photo of Puttenham
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a pleasant golden hue, slightly hazy.

After the pour a thin head quickly dissipates into a few stray colonies of miniature bubbledom.

The aroma is of a steady breadiness with the faint but unmistakeable smell of alcohol in the background. Ohhhh yeah, I can tell I'm going to like this one even before i drink it.

The taste is delicious. A nice interplay of bready malt with a somewhat subdued bitterness.

Light carbonated mouthfeel.

The bitterness comes out with more assertion in the aftertaste, but still a nice balance.

7.4% alcohol. It gets the job done!

No bottle conditioning. Doesn't need it. One tasty beer. Surprisingly bitter for an English ale. Love it.

Thank you Dann Paquette and Ron Pattinson. Great job.

ps: I would love to see Dann and Ron find some recipes for "lost" top-fermented German biers Broyhan and Mumme (among others) and resurrect them. Hmmm?

Puttenham, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of becorwin86
4/5  rDev +6.7%

becorwin86, May 02, 2013
Photo of Fattsmagee
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Fattsmagee, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of PatGreer
4/5  rDev +6.7%

PatGreer, May 13, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love this beer series (and Pretty Things in general). Can’t wait to see what was going on in a little English brewery 174 years ago…

Brewed seven months ago to the day (“This batch brewed Feb 13th, 2012”).

A: Pours incredibly cloudy with only a touch of white bubbles – seriously, the body looks just like grapefruit juice, pale tannish-orange. Creamy white retention encircling the inside the inside of the glass.

S: Light vanilla and toffee, full-on English scents, with a candy-like, nougat character. Sugary, malty, and with creamy, fruity notes of sweet peaches, pear, and mango; that, on a layer of biscuit dough, comprises the grain scents. Light sprinkling of hops, as well, showing a touch of pepper. A subtle nose, but with remarkable old world style.

T: I have to say, that’s one of the most naturally bitter brews I’ve had in recent memory – playing off a peppery grapefruit and lime rind hoppiness, a long grain note of grassy, green tannics comes out as the main driving force of the palate. It’s nuanced by vanilla and mild fruit (again, pear and peach) tones, but still remains a fundamentally bitter beer; an unexpected profile, sure, but not unsatisfying. The finish is slightly nutty, though boldly astringent.

M: Sweet and smooth, this is a beer that I could drink all day. Exactly what a strong British pub beer should be.

O: Each of these back-in-time beers hits something special with me – probably because I always get something different than I’ve had before. This one is pleasing in a manner like no other, partly because of its uniqueness, but mainly due to its evident craftsmanship at ever y subtle turn.

BarryMFBurton, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of brureview
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This must be drunk warm, as it was probably served in 1838. I refridgerated the beer for only 20 minutes, as recommended by the brewer, who was pouring it at a tasting at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA.

The beer pours a light tea-copper color, with a pleasant lemon-pie smell to the head. The mouth feel is malty, and intially there was a slight bitterness to the finish, which develops into a nice peppery-lemon.

The beer goes down easily at room temperature.
Surprisingly, I thought I wasn't going to like it- at the tasting( albeit in plastic cups) it was just okay.

It's a good beer from a bygone era and worth drinking.

brureview, Mar 31, 2012
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X Ale, 22nd November 1838 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
84 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.