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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

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
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: 89 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Scottgeo
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer as a companion to the 1838 recipe version. In comparison, there is no comparison! The 1838 recipe is so much bigger. Even considering this one on its own merits, I didn't find much exciting about this mild. I didn't get the creaminess I expected. It seemed a bit granular. Interesting experiment though.

Scottgeo, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of mactrail
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely dark amber in the big chalice. Grains in the nose, kind of a brown rice aroma. Not as light bodied as you might expect, though certainly watery in a pleasant way. Plenty of carbonation to add some kick to the mouthfeel.

The grainy flavor is quite robust. Some browned biscuits and a little hop bitterness. Rather hoppy, but finishes with some restraint so as not to overpower the delicate malt. Sort of a rye toast flavor with some roasted malt and an interesting zing of bittering hops. Quite interesting a sensationally flavorful given the "table beer" strength.

An excellent quaff, nice for recalibrating the fluids after the salty surf. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Krisp, formerly Best Damn Beer Store, aka Super Junior Market.

mactrail, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw the two bottles at K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA, and brought them back to Sydney, Australia to share side-by-side with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a clear deep coppery colour, with a mild, filmy head of white that stays in pock-bubbled islands on the surface of the glass. Body is pretty solid and holds carbonation nicely. Looks decent enough.

Nose is rather pleasant. Firm grainy, slightly roasted and sweet malt characters, with a twist of biscuity nuance and even perhaps some vanilla. Not bad.

Taste is clear and clean, with more crisp grain notes giving an aromatic, sweet cookie fragrance to the brew as a whole. Despite the very thin body, the grain flavours manage to pull it through to the finish, leaving no weak or empty spots on the palate. It ends up pretty tasty.

Feel is weak and light, which is not unexpected.

Overall, this is decent stuff, and (surprisingly, given the back story) easily the better of the two. Perhaps I'm just a child of my century, but I much preferred this grainier, more flavoursome 1945 version than the insipid (although markedly stronger) 19th century version.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of GrindFatherBob
5/5  rDev +39.3%

GrindFatherBob, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Brewed 2/14/12.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hops. Taste is much the same but the flavors are somewhat mild. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a better smell than taste and not something I would go after again. Really interesting to see how the same beer changed over 100+ years with different recipes.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of Wally1912
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Wally1912, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich, three-finger head that settles in a lumpy fashion. Leaves plenty of chunky spots on the glass. The liquid is amber leaning on the darker side and cloudy.

Dry and earthy smell. Darker malt but with no sugar.

The flavor matches the nose but with a stronger level of bitterness which shows up in the swallow. Lighter body with an above average carbonation. There's a bit of a bite to the dry malt flavor.

smcolw, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of axeman9182
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

axeman9182, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

BarryMFBurton, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of Gobzilla
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a brown in color with light brown highlights and a thin bubbly head but did leave a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: there was some mild roastiness, slight caramel sweetness, a bit of graininess and plenty of malty character.

T: the tase actually had some bitter hoppy flavor alongside caramel, hints of toffee, grainy notes, and sweet malty accents.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet malty, slight roasty, grainy, and mild bitter hoppy finish.

O: haven't really had a whole lot of beers of this style but was pretty good and had an interesting combination of flavors going on.

Gobzilla, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of KSather
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

KSather, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of DirtyPenny
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a cloudy cider brown with 2 fingers of frothy off-white/beige head.

S: Roasted toffee and nuts. Perhaps even a hint of butteryness as it warms.

T: Toasty caramel moves into a dry, lightly roasted nut flavor. Finish is a bit bitter with some earthy, rootlike notes.

M: Light, clean and crisp with a very dry finish. Not as watery as some higher ABV brews and light beers, which was a pleasant surprise.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect on picking this up. Much more flavorful than I'd thought it'd be, and definitely worth a try as this might be the only time you get the chance. Nice and refreshing after a day at work.

DirtyPenny, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of kaelingirl
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

kaelingirl, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +11.4%

raythealeman, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

rbrefbeerman, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of mattafett
3/5  rDev -16.4%

mattafett, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of HarmonMW
3/5  rDev -16.4%

HarmonMW, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours lighter than I expected. Deep cooper with a firm white head, leaving some nice lace.

S: Bready malt, toast, surprisingly fragrant.

T: Toast, some light caramel flavours. Hop character is noticable especially in the finish. Bit of seltzer water as well.

M: Light-bodied, but not really thin. Rather long aftertaste. Creamy. Carbonation is too high for the style, it shows why milds really need to be on cask to shine.

O: A pleasant mild, I like the experiment, just wish it wasn't so pricey.

Halcyondays, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of hreb
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

hreb, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +11.4%

GRG1313, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

ngeunit1, May 31, 2012
Photo of calmstock
4/5  rDev +11.4%

calmstock, May 29, 2012
Photo of marchnlv
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

marchnlv, May 28, 2012
Photo of Thomas_Picton
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Thomas_Picton, May 28, 2012
Photo of MatthewWilde
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Burnt orange in color, moderate internal carbonation, translucent, pours nice foamy lacing

S: Not much fragrance, definitely heavy in the yeast/wheat category, quite clean, not much else to report

T: Just like the nose, not very flavorful, yeast and wheat throughout, rather bland, but given the style it's not much of a surprise

M: Amazingly smooth, of course, almost water-like, no aftertaste, not overpowering or drying, very refreshing

O: Great story, but weak in the nose and flavor, understandable given the style, but needless to say I'm not a huge fan, quite drinkable though

MatthewWilde, May 23, 2012
X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
82 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.