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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 GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

4.5/5  rDev +20%

08-13-2012 13:45:03 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

Bottled I brought to share on the party bus to San Diego, CA.

Brewed 2/13/12.

Pours a slightly murky yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same along with some hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty drinkable but not something I would go after again. Definitely an interesting concept for the beer.

08-07-2012 01:06:07 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Marcos999
Marcos999


3.75/5  rDev 0%

07-17-2012 03:21:26 | More by Marcos999
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours a super hazy, oxymoronic deep pale colour, with a light coloured head that laces slightly. The aroma is earthy breadiness, flowery hops with some hints of grass and biscuits. Rather bitter punch up front on the taste, with a bread sweetness, maybe some wheat, with some flowery hops on the finish along with some more bitterness. There is some noticeable heat. The body is medium, creamy with a good carbonation level.

Quite interesting that this was considered a "Mild" back in the day. But then again, if I was a common working man back in London at that time, this probably would be perfect after a hard days work.

07-12-2012 22:56:12 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.4/5  rDev -9.3%

A: poured .com pale golden yellow in color with slight orange highlights and a finger of bubbly head that left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of malty sweetness was apparent on the first whiff but had citrusy, grainy, and hints of spice.

T: there was tons of grain flavor on the palate alongside citrusy accents, sweetness from the malts and a touch of spice.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, citrusy, mild spice, and crisp finish.

O: it was a decent refreshing beer that wood go good lounging out pollside on a hot socal summer day.

07-09-2012 23:33:53 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of KSather
KSather

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

06-29-2012 22:09:36 | More by KSather
Photo of rbrefbeerman
rbrefbeerman

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

06-19-2012 13:24:35 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +4%

22 ounce bottle, label says brewed on February 13, 2012. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with about an inch off-white head that stayed around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like bready malt/grain, citrusy hops (orange peel, apricots), and a bit of caramel. I think the brew tastes mostly like the aroma, but the citrusy flavors (plus some lemon peel) are dominant compared to the other ones. There's also a bit of bubblegum noticeable in the taste, along with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and is well carbonated. For $7.99 a bomber, I'd try this one again for sure. I thought it was good.

06-12-2012 21:34:50 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod with a medium white head, very good thick lace.

S: Cedarwood and pine, some citrus peel character as well.

T: Pine oil and melon rind are heavy (especially in the finish). Light malty notes of bread, white grape and sugar cane. Some minor booze is noticable.

M: Crisp carbonation, medium-bodied, fairly clean finish, turbid to a degree. Medium-long aftertaste of the hops.

O: An interesting beer, kind of a cross between a modern day Double IPA and a Malt Liquor. Nice to get a glimpse of history. I'd certainly like to try the 1945.

06-10-2012 04:44:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of rapayn01
rapayn01

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev 0%

06-06-2012 02:05:27 | More by rapayn01
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

05-31-2012 05:32:43 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of marchnlv
marchnlv

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.7%

05-28-2012 14:48:39 | More by marchnlv
Photo of Thomas_Picton
Thomas_Picton

Florida

3.75/5  rDev 0%

05-27-2012 23:38:31 | More by Thomas_Picton
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

4.2/5  rDev +12%

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.

05-24-2012 03:50:45 | More by mactrail
Photo of natemort13
natemort13

California

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

Beer pours an uninspiring hazy and grainy dark straw yellow. The head is small and quickly puddles unevenly. Lacing is excellent as it goes down.

Nose is very "beery" with soft citrus accents. Strong bread and some ethanol is present. Sweet grains.

Alcohol is extremely present in the taste. Much heavier than many 10+ % abv beers I've had. Some grassy notes from the hops. Like the aroma the taste is very grainy. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly prickly from the alcohol and carbonation with a nice underlying velvety texture.

Overall this is a very interesting beer. The idea of resurrecting a beer from the past intrigues me very much. Good to have some sort of an idea of what beer may have been like a century and a half ago, but I'm glad beer has become what it is today after having this one.

05-22-2012 06:33:39 | More by natemort13
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

The beer pours bright and amber. It's a nice pale brew. The head is white, fluffy and not long for this world. Hazy, unfiltered.

The aroma is full of big, earthy hops. It's fresh herbs, grass and rich soil crushed together, and underneath, the pale malt provides plenty of simple sweetness. I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of such a simple malt bill - there's a healthy cider note to it - but it's an interesting beer and full of English flavor. Some fusel alcohol.

The taste is heavy on the hops and pale malt, unsurprisingly. The hops taste of grass, raw mushrooms, lemons and pine resin. Plenty of bitterness, particularly in the finish and aftertaste. The beer is drier than expected but still feels heavy with pale malt. It's not a bad malt flavor, particularly for such a simple malt bill, just simple.

The mouthfeel is relatively low on carbonation and a bit slick. Definite alcohol and strong bitterness in the finish.

I was more excited to try this beer than the 1945 version, but I ended up preferring the 1945 version. This beer is interesting, particularly as a historical recreation, and fairly enjoyable, outside of that angle, however it's almost too close to modern beers. It's just hard not to compare it to modern IPAs. Sure, it's all English in character, but it's not hard to see past that to the basic simple malt plus lots of hops formula. And in that respect, it's a nice change of pace, but I still prefer the modern take on the formula.

05-13-2012 06:55:17 | More by popery
Photo of PatGreer
PatGreer

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.7%

05-13-2012 06:42:45 | More by PatGreer
Photo of GuidedByBill
GuidedByBill

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +20%

05-13-2012 03:06:45 | More by GuidedByBill
Photo of raythealeman
raythealeman

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +6.7%

05-13-2012 00:10:38 | More by raythealeman
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev 0%

05-08-2012 19:17:41 | More by kaelingirl
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

pourz a hazed gold with a good sized white gead that fades to a film.
the aroma has got some good grassy hoppiness coupled with a grainy maltiness. there are also touches of bubblegum.
the taste is much the same as the aroma, grainy malt, that gives way to sweet biscuit, bubble gum and ambiguous other fruitiness, with a solid grassy hop aspect. moderate bitterness cleans up the back end, leaving just a touch of grass hops and dinner roll.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated, soft and smooth on the palate
uncomplicated, but satisfying and enjoyable, it clearly comes from the hand of a craftsman. fascinating concept also.

05-06-2012 01:06:42 | More by kmo1030
Photo of SirSketch
SirSketch

Massachusetts

2.53/5  rDev -32.5%

A - As the label states, much lighter than you would expect a mild to be. Gold in color, tinged with orange, with a fantastic rocky white head.

S - Loads of esters, some bubblegum, a little solventy, and a nice sweet, toasty malt aroma with some herbal hops, too.

T - Again, lots of bubblegum esters, noticeable alcohol and a curious smoky flavor. Little maltiness as compared to the intense esters.

M - Light to medium bodied and creamy mouth.

O - There seems to be some serious flaws with this beer. I understand this is a 'historical' beer, but the uncontrolled esters and alcohol make this hard to drink.

04-29-2012 04:00:42 | More by SirSketch
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -12.5%

Deep amber/light brown color. Clear. Good starting with some lasting power. Leaves plenty of spotty lace.

Very astringent, strongly earthy aromas. Literally smells like mud.

Dry, dry, dry malt flavor. Very thinly bodied even though the carbonation level is quite low. There's a mild touch of bitter hop but it does not last through to the aftertaste. Not as harsh as the smell indicates.

04-28-2012 20:40:30 | More by smcolw
Photo of Fattsmagee
Fattsmagee

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.7%

04-27-2012 17:21:47 | More by Fattsmagee
Photo of CADMixes
CADMixes

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev 0%

04-25-2012 00:07:48 | More by CADMixes
X Ale, 22nd November 1838 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
84 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.