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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

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.02%
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)
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

5/5  rDev +38.5%

08-13-2012 13:44:56 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

04-01-2012 20:00:49 | More by mschofield
Photo of palma
palma

New York

4.58/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark pale body. Small off-white head. Very good surface lace thoughout the session.

Nose: Swiss Miss hot cocoa, nutty, dark fruits, caramel, molassas, warm bread.

Taste: Rye bread, unsweetened chocolate, cream, almonds, a bit of fruity ester. Semi-dry to dry. Very lightly hopped but just enough to give a slight bitterness in the aftertaste only.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and light bodied. Dark but still refreshing and very drinkable. I could drink this all day.

Wow. Pretty Things hit this style perfectly. Props to the brewer for taking a chance and making a style of beer that is often overlooked or even dismissed, rather than trying to appease the many beer geeks out there that favor high abv/high octane beers these days. Probably the best dark mild I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 21:57:57 | More by palma
Photo of marchnlv
marchnlv

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

05-28-2012 14:48:18 | More by marchnlv
Photo of let8it8grow
let8it8grow

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

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

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

01-04-2014 16:52:57 | More by Oakenator
Photo of jhb138
jhb138

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

03-29-2012 14:54:50 | More by jhb138
Photo of ferrettman687
ferrettman687

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

11-25-2012 05:53:11 | More by ferrettman687
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

03-17-2012 04:12:22 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev +10.8%

06-02-2012 06:38:18 | More by GRG1313
Photo of mdillon86
mdillon86

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +10.8%

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

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +10.8%

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

New York

4/5  rDev +10.8%

05-18-2014 01:38:33 | More by DGSchmitt
Photo of jbertsch
jbertsch

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +10.8%

03-18-2012 23:54:11 | More by jbertsch
Photo of AJD1201
AJD1201

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +10.8%

04-01-2012 02:51:50 | More by AJD1201
Photo of dunix
dunix

Vermont

4/5  rDev +10.8%

10-29-2012 15:07:21 | More by dunix
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost clear copper-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of some toasted caramel malts, some nuttiness, dark brewing sugars, a bit of bread, and a light fruitiness.

T - Starts off with a mix of some sweet caramelized malts, dark brewing sugar, and a touch of nuttiness. Through the middle, a touch of pine and reiny hop comes through with a touch of light fruity yeast esters. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malts with some brown sugar and a bit of yeast esters.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and estery finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very smooth and sessionable, but there is still a good amount of balanced flavors. Nice malt character.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 04:09:28 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of calmstock
calmstock

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +10.8%

05-29-2012 01:02:32 | More by calmstock
Photo of JoeMans
JoeMans

New York

4/5  rDev +10.8%

12-17-2013 05:34:06 | More by JoeMans
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Shared with veotho.

A - Poured into a Chimay tulip a crystal clear hazel hue with a creamy one finger head that fades to leave a thick, creamy, frothy head. This is only 2.8%?? Quite impressive.

S - Aromas of rich roasty toasty malts and grains. Slight metallic finish.

T - Like drinking a bowl of cereal...really. I mean that. Strong sweet malts and roasted grain. Toasted grain and nuts. Very different.

M - Mouthfeel is thin and watery, which I suppose is to be expected for such a low ABV. Still though this is easy drinkin.

O - Overall I felt this was very good and unique. I would have thought this would be the 1800's style based off the ABV but I guess people made the most they could during the grain shortage due to the War. Glad to have tried this.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 22:13:02 | More by rudzud
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, thanks to jaasen64 for the hookup. It was poured into my Dogfish Head signature glass.

Pretty Things OUAT X Ale, February 22, 1945 pours an opaque amber, with some reddish highlights around the edges of the glass. Just under two fingers of off-white foam crown the beer, displaying a little bit of head retention and some solid lacing. The nose has some biscuit and nutty aromas, along with a touch of earthy hop character. The maltiness of the beer is a little more intense in the flavor profile. Along with the nutty and biscuit flavors, there's a slight coffee-like roasty edge to the proceedings. Bitterness is very restrained, and the earthy hops meld in well with the malt profile in the finish. The body, while still light, is surprisingly sturdy for a <3% beer, and is aided by a somewhat restrained carbonation. I really enjoyed this Once Upon A Time beer, proof that a good, flavorful beer can be brewed at such a low ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 02:51:07 | More by axeman9182
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a rosy shade somewhere between mahogany and amber. It's fairly cloudy, though that could be my fault from the pour or just not letting the beer settle for long enough (I cracked the bottle within hours of liberating it from my local beer shop). Small, sudsy head, off-white. Just a bit of lacing.

The aroma is stronger than you might expect from a <3% abv beer. It's full of biscuity malt with a dash of mineral, herbaceous hops and a hint of smoke. There's a light medicinal note, some caramel and fresh bread. A healthy amount of layered malt sweetness is apparent. It's surprisingly complex, and the varied malt bill comes through very nicely. This is a beer that could hold its own with stronger brews.

The taste starts with some light, bready sweetness with a touch of herbal hops. The hop presence builds to a pleasant balance, as the malt picks up darker tones of caramel and light roast. There's a mild acidity. It's almost tangy with citrus and wisps of smokes.

The beer has relatively low carbonation. There's nothing really wrong with that, but the beer would be better out of a cask. Otherwise, it has a nice round mouthfeel, even as it manages to sit rather lightly on the palate. The beer is very easy to drink.

To be honest, I was very excited to see these beers get distributed to my area. I had read about them on Shut Up About Barclay Perkins and am a longtime fan of Ron Pattinson. Plus, any beer backed up by proper historiography with lovely primary sources and such is going to make me a bit weak in the knees. Tacking on a recent read of Amber, Gold & Black and a love of good English-style ales, it would be fair to say that I'm somewhat primed for this review. Happily, I don't think you'll need that perspective to enjoy this beer, as it's a tasty treat for anyone with an appreciation with low abv beers with an English profile. I fervently wish that more American brewers would take on authentic British recipes, particularly the lower abv stuff that is simply missing from the American beer world, outside of the occasional brewpub or limited keg release.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2012 05:15:55 | More by popery
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a 22 oz bottle with a buddy poured into a duvel snifter

A: a slight amber ish toasty brown with a film of a white head and a little bit of tasting, almost looks like tea.

S: toasty grains, yeast a bit of earthyness.

T: nice dark bready taste with a bit of toast and yeast, and a touch of hops.

M: medium bodies with medium to high crisp carbonation, again a little dryin bitterness in the finish.

O: another brew that is very enjoyable and with the story and effort that went into this I loves the experience.... Thank you very much pretty things.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 02:11:45 | More by PeterIngemi
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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
82 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.