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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Not Rated.
X Ale, 22nd February 1945X Ale, 22nd February 1945

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

87 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  2.80% 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: 87 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hreb:
Photo of hreb
hreb

Washington

3.65/5  rDev +1.4%

Cool 22oz bottle dated Feb 22, 1945 and Feb 14, 2012. Beer pours deep red amber with a medium thick tan head. Subtle aroma is dominated by malt, with a hint of smoke.

Ooh, way too much carbonation for the style in my book. The flavors here are so gentle they're nearly wiped out by fizz. But moving past that, the flavor is very, very smooth. Letting the fizz out of the beer a bit, the flavors of the grain really come through. This is barley juice, perfectly balanced with alpha hop bitterness. I wish I had the vocabulary to describe the individual malts used here, because there are at least 3 clearly distinct and identifiable malts here. Totally classic English.

Mild is not the most fun to drink, and the only thing I can ding this for is the over carbonation. Otherwise, another fantastic execution by Pretty Things.

06-12-2012 00:11:03 | More by hreb
More User Reviews:
Photo of VernonKell
VernonKell

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

11-15-2012 22:56:39 | More by VernonKell
Photo of marchnlv
marchnlv

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +25%

05-28-2012 14:48:18 | More by marchnlv
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -20.8%

22nd February 1945 opens with an aroma that seems somewhat out of place, given the beer’s 2.8% ABV, which would seem to speak of fewer ingredients and therefore fewer aromas. But here the nose is ripe with bready, yeasty, malty notes, the brew smelling of wheat fields after rain, wheat toast crust, floury baguette, and hay. Small touches of apple and berry wave languidly in the background, along with a smidgen of brown sugar. But by and large the aromas are grain-based, reminding me instantly of small beers made from second runnings. As a whole the nose is certainly interesting, and while light, seems like something that would go well with a hot summer day.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a good amount of wheat toast crust and floury baguette, as well as the flavor of a fresh-plucked wheat stalk. Some touches of burnt toast add depth, and apple-berry, as well as brown sugar notes adding a bit of complexity. But these flavors are all relatively light and weak, except for a bitterness which lingers throughout the mouthful and comes to almost exclusively dominate the aftertaste, presenting itself almost like the astringency that comes with grapefruit rind, but without the flavor. So light are the flavors, in fact, that in subsequent mouthfuls many of them are lost, and the beer more resembles carbonated water strained through a colander of wheat stalks and hay. Mouthfeel is a watery light to medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a difficult beer to rate, for while it is certainly interesting for its historicity, there’s not a great deal of flavor in here. In fact, were this served to me at a bar without any explanation of its origins or makings, I would have assumed that the bartender had accidentally gotten a large quantity of water into the glass before pouring the beer. As such, while I do suggest that this be tried, for it is interesting, I add the caveat that the consumer shouldn’t expect to have his or her palate expanded significantly.

04-25-2012 21:05:32 | More by jondeelee
Photo of hagbergl
hagbergl

Maryland

2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

04-02-2012 18:49:52 | More by hagbergl
Photo of let8it8grow
let8it8grow

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

10-15-2012 02:04:43 | More by let8it8grow
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a nice bit of off-white head on top. Caramel and toasted bread notes welcome you in. Light hint of earthy hop character.

A nice variety of flavors in a relatively light package. Toasty and slightly sweet malts with just enough hop character to balance it out. Certainly not nearly as hoppy as the 1838 Mild, but a tasty beer nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Overall, a nice flavorful low-abv beer... certainly something I would like to see more of from craft brewers.

04-20-2012 19:40:45 | More by Kinsman
Photo of Kmlund
Kmlund

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -16.7%

10-03-2013 17:05:27 | More by Kmlund
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev +11.1%

06-02-2012 06:38:18 | More by GRG1313
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%

A - A fat fingers worth of rich frothy slightly off-white colored head... Decent retention ultimately recedes leaving a full rich lacing and thicker color... The color is a mix of pale bronze and light brown... A bit murky with a faint haze... A moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation...

S - Interesting aroma... Equal parts spent grain / mash from home brewing and burning charcoals... A touch of smoke... Perhaps jut a very faint hint of brown sugar... A very faint whiff of tobacco...

T - Oddly, almost a near absence of flavor... Some bread crust... A hint of tobacco... A hint of smoke... Simple and subtle...

M - Light to medium bodied... A faint burnt texture... A bit chalky... Light to medium carbonation... A bit thin and a bit rough around the edges...

D - Love the attempt by Pretty Things (disclaimer - I dig everything they put out)... The flavor is a bit dull and the mouthfeel a bit weak, but that's the trade off with a sub 3% ABV offering... Not something I would drink on a regular basis, but worth checking out if you like interesting, low ABV, or slightly offbeat brews...

05-06-2012 01:26:52 | More by philbe311
Photo of mdillon86
mdillon86

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +11.1%

04-28-2012 04:36:02 | More by mdillon86
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%

A: The beer is hazy caramel-amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that left lacing on the surface and a ring of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are very light aromas of malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is slightly stronger; flavors of grainy and toasted malts are distinguishable.
M: It feels light-bodied (but not thin and watery) on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very light and refreshing, making it easy to drink and perfectly sessionable.

09-17-2012 02:26:38 | More by metter98
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a light golden brown wit ha 1 finger off white foamy head. Head lasted a few minutes before leaving a small layer and copious amounts of lacing on the sides. Handfuls of carbonation bubbled up from the bottom. Aroma was earthy, with caramelized grains being predominant. Taste was malty, a bit thin oatmeal bread. Felt thin in the mouth. Didn't coat well at all, but was nicely carbonated. Overall not a bad beer. However not an outstanding beer. Definitely not as developed or flavorful as others from Pretty Things.

09-10-2012 22:42:42 | More by mountdew1
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raythealeman

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +11.1%

06-26-2012 01:51:23 | More by raythealeman
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark ruby color and a nice off white head that is thick.

Smells yeast and toasty. Light earth hop smell.

Taste is yeasty and some warm toast. Chalky. Earthy clay like hop flavor. Light medicinal.

Low carbonation and kind of dry.

Great representation of the style. Tastes like a cask conditioned beer. Very nice.

04-15-2012 00:25:48 | More by jneiswender
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

I love the idea of this series of beers – thank you, Pretty Things. Let’s see what was brewing in London over sixty years ago…

Brewed five months before the date of this tasting (“This batch brewed February 14th, 2012”).

A: Pours very light and foamy, dirty orange-brown and extremely bubbly. Smooth-as-silk foam, light tan and incredibly creamy in texture, is at an inch or so before it drifts delicately down to a remarkable pillowy retention. Lacing doesn’t stop – it IS the interior of the glass; superb.

S: Creamy, biscuity malt aromas are the center of this nose: rich caramel, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and a little maple. It’s unapologetically toasted caramel-forward, and I like it; straightforward British goodness, with complexity that I’d never expect from something so light.

T: Wow, that’s light. Huge mineral tones come out – the biggest I’ve ever had in a single beer – in droves of distinct, semi-metallic dryness. Hops are quite strong for such a low-alcohol beer (or they stick out because it’s such a low-alcohol beer), with bright flavors of herbal, flowery bitters. Think sparkling water with lemon – sweet and tart, zesty and light. Malts are mild and grainy, with a dark mix of nutty and buttery tastes, as well as a tannic profile that’s strong enough to match the hops. Chewy yeast presence on the palate’s end – mildly estery, and even better when you displace the yeast in the bottom of the bottle and pour it in. Aftertaste is a light, almost powdery dryness.

M: Slight seltzer texture on top of a thicker foundation of yeast. It comes out as a layered drink, which is at least interesting, if not enjoyable.

O: Once again, thank you Ron Pattinson and Pretty Things for such a cool experience in beer history. I’d never think something so light could be so flavorful – certainly an eye-opening experience.

07-16-2012 21:12:32 | More by BarryMFBurton
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rbrefbeerman

California

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

06-19-2012 13:24:18 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Pours a hazy golden copper to amber in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a thin (maybe an eighth of a finger tall) white head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of mottled extremely thin film with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The overall aroma of this beer is quite mild with light malt smells.

T: There are moderate flavors of toasted and grainy malts with just a very light hint of sweetness. Overall the taste is pretty well balanced.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: A very interesting experiment to bring back a beer as it was brewed over 65 years ago - I think the experiment was successful and I would definitely enjoy this beer again if I had the opportunity (perhaps I will seek out some of the others in this series when I go shopping next time). Very easy to drink and very sessionable.

09-16-2012 21:23:52 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of kmo1030
kmo1030

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%

pours brown with a just shy of white head.
the aroma is of crusty, well done bread with some earthiness that seems to be connected to the grassy hoppiness.
the taste is also of slightly over-baked bread crust. i find some husky graininess as well. additionally the there is a slight brown sugar flavor, though i find this beer to be quite dry. burnt bitterness mingles with some hop bitterness in the finish.
the mouthfeel is is a touch on the thin side, with soft carbonation.
overall, full flavored and very pleasant for being 2.8 abv. good enough that it makes one wish that brewers these days might lean a little more in this direction (low abv, not low flavor).

05-07-2012 01:13:40 | More by kmo1030
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

At 2.8% I'm not sure if I'm about to drink beer or malt juice. But I guess that's the point Pretty Thing is making with the difference between this and the 1838 version.

It pours a light fizzy head of about 1/2 a finger that fades pretty slowly at least, over a beer that's slightly hazy coppery cranberry reddish slightly orange tinge color. The head leaves a bit of lazing when it does disappear.

Nose is a bit light but more potent than I expected. Starting with some herbal earthy hops, a hedgerow style I believe but not strong, more like a mild. Then some malts, a light aromatic like malt with a hint of a more complex malt like rye but not quite rye, can't put my finger on it.

Taste is also mild, quite malty, bready tasting, it does taste like fresh bread dough. Then toasty malts, flaked malt flavors, a bit of a sweet sugary taste, not quite brown sugar but something like that. Malt husks give a bit of a grainy effect, with a juicy malt flavor. Then mild grassy hops, a light bitterness, with a slight herbal hop but not much. A slight crystal toasty malt comes through as well. The finish is dry, with a light but decent bitterness, a slight grassy hop lingering, and some light toasted malts finishing late, but fairly thin on the back end.

Mouth is lighter bodied but fits the beer well, decent carbonation.

Overall not bad, fairly light overall but that was the style at the time, and the flavor potential is pretty good for what they had to work with. No bad flavors either, but I'm sure this wouldn't last more than a couple months before getting bad tasting. I can't wait to compare this to the 1838 version.

03-18-2012 18:51:17 | More by jlindros
Photo of GuidedByBill
GuidedByBill

Massachusetts

2.25/5  rDev -37.5%

05-13-2012 03:06:27 | More by GuidedByBill
Photo of jujigatame
jujigatame

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%

Pretty Things X Ale 2/22/1945

Bomber into nonic pint.

Muted copper color, reddish brown. One finger of white head that’s frothy and pillowy. Looks pretty nice. There is splotchy lacing left all down the glass as consumed.

Smells of roasty malts, grass, a bit of lemon sharpness. Similar to a brown ale.

The taste comes with a lot of earth and grain at first with not as much malt compared to the smell. Initially it seems to taste less refined than what I’m used to on most beers. This is not a bad thing by any means but it’s different and noticeable. Some herby flavors linger in the aftertaste. A slight bit of caramel too? It’s not sweet though. It’s hard to pick out hops in this one but I guess that’s to be expected to a degree given the description of the ingredients. I also get a couple hints of dark fruit that shows a subtle sweetness.

I had the first half of the bomber by itself. The second half I had with dinner (salad and homemade mac & cheese). The one distinct difference I found was some chocolate coming out in the taste in the beer that I didn’t get when drinking it solo. The malt was deeper and more pronounced. Not that it made any big leap but a few times the flavor flashed with what you’d expect to find in a normal porter.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit watery but it didn’t stick out to me as such. I’d say it was pleasant to drink.

This is an interesting beer. ABV is quite low and the flavors are much milder than what I usually drink but I liked it. It made for a nice change of pace from strong IPAs that I seem to have been stuck on lately. I’m happy Pretty Things made this and provided some history behind it. Sometimes it is worth trying things that aren’t the latest and greatest just for the knowledge and experience. Hopefully I can try the 1838 version soon.

05-15-2012 00:54:11 | More by jujigatame
Photo of anewlanguage
anewlanguage

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -16.7%

10-12-2012 23:16:18 | More by anewlanguage
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

01-04-2014 16:52:57 | More by Oakenator
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

01-31-2013 18:20:35 | More by Davepoolesque
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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
82 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.