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

X Ale, 22nd February 1945X Ale, 22nd February 1945

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

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.06%


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:
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: 85 | Reviews: 40 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 19:40:45 | More by Kinsman
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a semi-hazy brownish-amber with a frothy, three inch, cream-colored head. Textured swaths of lacing are exhibited during the session. Nose definitely smells like an English Dark Mild - pale, biscuity malts and some coffee notes. Taste follows nose, but it's really quite watered down. There's also a faint, earthy hops presence at the finish. Mouthfeel is light in body with a pleasant, even carbonation. Overall, not my favorite Pretty Things offering, but I do appreciate the juxtaposition between this brew and the X Ale, 22nd November 1838. That said, I enjoy the sessionability of this beer and would really like to see more readily available offerings of this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 23:43:01 | More by Jwale73
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
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 Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a cloudy muddy brown with a small fluffy beige head. Some soapy lace left behind.

The aroma has a nice bready malt profile with a slight metallic hop aroma. Mild and really enjoyable. The pallet give off dry toast flavors with some grassy bitter hops to round it out. Again this one is subtle and enjoyable.

The body is light with good carbonation. Overall a pretty tasty one here. Wouldn't mind having this one on hand for easy drinking occasions.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 03:58:22 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Thanks for sharing, Ben! The color is dark copper/brown. There is a light colored fluffy one inch head that has lots of lacing.

The malt aroma on this is pretty enticing. There are some chocolatey notes to go with the full bready malt.

The taste is light, with mild maltiness leading to a bitter finish. This might seem a bit watery to most people (of course).

The body is light, with a crisp carbonation.

This is a nice brew to try. Too bad I can't get it on tap regularly.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 03:56:43 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Puttenham
Puttenham

Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with no cloudiness.

Settles down to a steady half inch head that lasts to the finish.

The aroma is of a subtle bready maltiness. Very subtle.

I kept this one in the cellar (no refridgeration here, no Sir!) so that the experience would be as close to a true English session ale as possible.

The taste is bready, just like the aroma, and very understated. In a good way.

Carbonation is present. Check.

2.8% alcohol. The least alcoholic beer I've ever had. So this is a session ale! This ale could be drunk for hours on end! Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

No bottle conditioning.

This ale would go well with a meal or over a long...er...session.

I like. The only other version of an English Mild I've had is Magic Hat's "+-" so I have little idea how to compare this ale with it's brethren.

This Mild is meant to be drunk alongside the 1838 version (see my review on that one). It's amazing how the same brewery can make the same named ale but how the actual product can change so much over time. That's what Dann Paquette and Ron Pattinson are trying to demonstrate and they succeed with flying colors.

I've been a fan on Pretty Thing's "Once Upon A Time" series since it's inception. The X-Ale 1838 vs. 1945 project is a great idea and the best yet in the series.

Dann and Ron, if you're reading this please see what you can do about reviving the "lost" German bier styles I keep on reading about: Broyhan, Mumme, Koyt & etc.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 01:08:10 | More by Puttenham
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice medium orange with an off-white head that does not last. No true lace.

Nice grain and malt in the nose. Not much else, but what is there is nice.

I liked this. Malt forward, and very toasted bread and grain-first. Leads right into the bitterness. Malt is a touch lean, but does not disintegrate into something that should not be. Bitterness is not overbearing, but has a firm hand in all of the flavor profiles. Nice malt and bitter finish.

This beer feels thinner than it is. A little watered down , and somewhere between light and medium in body. Still works. Needs touch more carbonation, but still is fine.

I liked this. Nice malt notes and easy drinking body will make me want another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 04:53:42 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
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
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A medium brown pour with some red in it. Large fluffy white head. Head retention is decent with nice speckles of lacing all over the glass.

S: Subtle smell. Grainy mostly with a bit of toast, caramel, and maybe even nuts? Like a really mild brown ale.

T: Very grainy overall. Some hints of toasted malt, nuts and caramel. Again, it's like the world's weakest brown ale.

M: Thin, but what do you expect? It's 2.8%

O: For the third time, it's similar to a watered down brown ale. Drinkable and honestly fairly tasty, just very mild as the name suggests.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 04:51:49 | More by Dope
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Bought to compare with the 1838.

A- Golden brownish, about a half finger of frothy head, hazy translucent. Similar characteristics as the 1838 however a darker brown color compared to the light yellowish of the 1838. Similar head, maybe slightly more carbonation.

S- Malts, barley, a little bit of chocolate, some light spices. Definitely much more malty and less hoppy then the 1838.

T- Malts, a little bit of barley, very light spices and chocolate flavor, a little bit bitter. More watered down then the 1838 version.

M- Fairly light bodied, smooth, easily drinkable/sessionable.

O- It was interesting to see how much this beer changed from the 1838 version to the 1945 version, definitely shows the times of change between the centuries. Both versions had similar appearance characteristics, however the 1945 version definitely had more of a malt backbone then a hop. The 1945 was a little bit less flavorful but much darker both in appearance and taste. I liked the 1838 one a little bit better, however the 1945 version wasn't bad. Definitely worth trying to compare the two.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 23:37:30 | More by jaasen64
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours dark copper with an inch of bone head that settles to a solid skim coat for the duration. Rings of lacework as well.

Aromatics are a blend of husky, sweet malt, light roast, and a hint of caramel.

Light bodied with a thinnish mouthfeel. Crispish.

Grainy malt with an earthy, bitter bite leads off the palate. Shades of acridity, burnt toast, and dirty crackers follow through.

Finishes with roasted malt, bitter acridity, and burnt bread crusts.

Interesting beer. With the grainy nature I wonder if it is the second runnings of the 1838 version.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 01:25:37 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of rinhaak
rinhaak

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I should start by saying that this is a well made beer. Pretty Things did a great job researching this old recipe, and it is always an interesting experience to travel back in time and experience the drinks from earlier eras. Bravo to the project!

That said, while I appreciate the low ABV, this beer offers little beyond a history lesson and a nice lunchtime beer. It pours fairly red with a mild head that fades quickly (though it does leave behind a nice lace). The smell isn't strong, but there is a definite aroma of a fruity jam on toast.

The taste is mild, though pleasant. Lots of toasted malt flavors, a dark – almost rye – flavor, and an ever so faint hint of smoke. There is also a slight rustiness about it that reminds one of a red ale. The mouthfeel, probably due to the low ABV, is a tad watery.

Overall, this is a good lunchtime beer, though honestly not among my favorite low ABV milds (a style I tend to enjoy). And though I'm glad I had it, I don't know that the bottle is worth the price. If you're curious to try a sip of 1945-era beer, give it a shot. Otherwise, reach for something else.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 02:49:48 | More by rinhaak
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours darker than the 1838 (a cloudy amber/brown) with a huge off-white head that laces more in chunks while it recedes in average time.

much, much maltier in the aroma. toasted crackers, a bit nutty, a touch buttery and caramelly.

nutty, caramelly, toasted nuts, brown sugar, no hop presence.

much lighter, and with a watery finish when compared to the 1838.

Some nice flavors, but much more one-dimensional than the 1838.

Overall take on the series: LOVE it. love the historical learning experience this provided. While I'd much rather drink today's more refined, complex, and tastier beers, this experience of comparison between historical timeframes was worth the price alone.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 01:47:01 | More by silentjay
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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.