Barbapapa | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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342 Ratings

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barbapapa is our Imperial Russian Stout. A big beer, brewed using one of our crazy double mash methods, whereby we brew once, run off the wort, and mash into-that-wort to brew a second time. The result is a beer of great depth and maltiness. Job’s a good’un.

Added by DomingoOrtiz on 12-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 342 |  Reviews: 53
Reviews by krome:
Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of RickS95
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about the appearane is simply stunning. From it's dark thick pour to its slow-forming, cascading brown head, it's really a head turner. Pitch black beer with a thick dark head, the look can't be improved upon. The head is over a finger thick, creamy, and retains well. As the cherry on top, the lacing fills the whole glass.

Has the smell you'd expect. Dark roasty things fill the grain bill, slight bittersweet chocolate hiding in the background. No hop presence and the alcohol is well-hidden.

A malt bomb of epic proportions. Milk chocolate coats the tongue. Bittersweet chocolate provides balance before the beer crosses the line. Alcohol is finally noticed.

Feel reminds one of hot chocolate. It's so smooth and creamy, it simply coats the tongue. Bittersweet chocolate emerges mid sip to begin scraping the palate clean. In the finish, alcohol provides a bit of heat for a lingering finish. Very full-bodied. A great winter warmer.

I can't believe how good this is. Virtually flawless. It's extremely strong, but so easy to drink. A stronger scent and this would have run the table with 5s.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, bottled December 2013. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stayed around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit (cherries), molasses, nuts, and bittersweet chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted malt, coffee, milk and dark chocolate, nuts, molasses, smoke, nuts, and a bit of dark fruit. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. I think this is a pretty good overall imperial stout, I'll have to pick up more the next time I come across some. Pretty Things did a great job with this brew! $8.99 a bomber.

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Photo of RickGrimes
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big viscious black colour with brown, frothy and ethernal head. Aroma of reisin, black dark choccolate, licorice, plump, Coffee. Flavour is the same, big chocolate, sweet plump, reisin, cocoa bean, cofee bean. Best imperial stout in the world.

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Photo of imscotty
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%

A: Pours a dark black, some amber coloration when held to the light. A small tan head quickly forms and then fades away. Some lacing evident.

S: Roasted grains, some alcohol, chocolate

T: Wow, really flavorful. The roasted bitterness is beautifully assertive. Roasted, chocolate, coffee, smoke, hazelnut flavors move in waves on the tongue. There is a nice balance and interplay between sweet and bitterness. The bitterness dominates in the finish and leaves you wanting another sip. This is a great beer. Gets better and better as it warms.

M: Fairly well carbonated for a beer this full bodied and assertive, it has a great mouthfeel. A bit oily and thick bodied like I want in a RIS.

O: I have always been a fan of Pretty Things, but I think they have hit this one out of the park. One of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever had that is not Barrel Aged. My hats off to Pretty Things.

PS: If anyone knows of a bottle shop that still has this on the shelves, please please PM me. Thanks.

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Photo of jlindros
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally a new beer from Pretty Things... and on top of that a style I love, RIS, just in time for a big snow storm. Best time to enjoy a beer like this, right after coming in from snow blowing the driveway, then playing with my son in the snow for a couple hours. I can warm my cold body nicely with this beer.

Pours pretty dark and semi thick, a nice cocoa colored creamy 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, Long legs descend slowly and leave a nice lacing, the beer does look thick pitch black oil like with no light getting through.

Nose is pretty nice, loads of bakers chocolate and black malt, a big caramel and fluffy nougat like center, nice biscuity like malted milk ball too, with a big roasty like black malt without a big acrid roast. A hint of alcohol but it's mostly drowned out by loads of malt, and a hint if an earthy hop mixed in.

Taste starts just as expected, waves upon waves of rich thick dark malts, lots of choc to start, bakers choc and thick cocoa, some black malt and toasty flavours, no real roast or acrid flavours. It gets quite rich and chewy even, some oats I think with a nice creamy flavor. Malts also bring some caramel and mild fluffy nougat, rich thick malts get a little syrupy but not much, and carry a little warming booze, nice touch for a warming beer in the frigid winter. It's even a bit fudgy with all the dark malts touch oats and cocoa and a bit of earthy hops. Finish is long and a bit sticky, fair bitterness, lots more cocoa and choc, sticks to every part of my mouth for a long time.

Mouth is heavy and thick, creamy and a bit lush, mild warming booze, nice fluffy carb.

Overall really good, I had high expectations for this and it met them if not surpassed. Great malt flavours without getting too roasty or acrid, big mouth rich and coats the mouth nicely, and booze is hidden very well. I'm going to cellar a few of these.

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Photo of Damian
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1pt.6fl.oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Bottled in: May 2014
Served in a snifter

Outstanding appearance. The beer poured a viscous dark brown (bordering on black) and was topped by an incredibly tight and creamy, inch tall crown of cappuccino colored foam. Phenomenal retention. The head took minutes to reduce in height. A blanket of drippy, patchy lacing coated the glass and lasted throughout the session.

Really solid aroma. Rich, smooth and robust. Roasted malts and light and dark chocolate notes dominated. Chocolate brownies and chocolate fudge came to mind. Lots of smokiness as well. Brown sugar and molasses were also noticeable. Hint of booze.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose but perhaps not quite as rounded. Quite roasty and smoky. Chocolatey. Very fudge-like. Espresso came through in the middle. Good dose of brown sugar-like sweetness. Perhaps some maple syrup. The finish was roasty and rather boozy but not overly so. Even with a year of age on this bottle, a touch of piney hop bitterness appeared as well. Ashy notes lingered after the swallow.

The mouthfeel was absolutely incredible. Outrageously creamy and frothy. Super smooth and supple on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, slick, moderate effervescence. Had I not known, I would have sworn that this was poured from a nitro tap. Toward the end of the session, the sugars in the beer left a sticky film on my lips.

Barbapapa is a whopper of a Russian Imperial Stout that drinks far bigger than its 12% ABV would suggest. While the taste and aroma were both commendable, the appearance and mouthfeel were simply spectacular. Unlike many of the limited release stouts, this one can be purchased for a mere $8. That said, dollar for dollar, this is one of the best stouts I have ever tried.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like year old motor oil into my Bruery tulip. Huge deep, dark tan head that doesn't so much float atop this pitch black beer, as it does live and grow upon it. Thick and chunky lacing drips, sticks and clings all over the glass. Nice oily legs. I'm not sure I've ever seen an IRS this amazing!
It's key to let this huge brew warm up. Giant notes of dark Belgian chocolate, vanilla, espresso beans and fudge. It has a nice brightness from the citrusy hops with underlying dark dried frruits. Whisps of caramel rolled in cocoa and orange zest. This has amazing depth! Not picking up any of the 12%abv at all.
WOW! just... I need a moment here! LOL! This everything I always hoped I'd find everytime I popped open an Imperial Stout, but almost never do. Rich dark chocolate covered coffee beans, vanilla caramel candy rolled in citrus zest and dark cherry pieces. The alcohol is barely noticeable and that's saying something in a 12% IRS. Just an absolute perfect blend of Citrus, cocoa, coffee and charred malt. It doesn't get much better than this.
So thick you almost feel like you have to chew each sip. It's so creamy in the way it just envelopes your tongue and mouth. Perfection!!!
I'm not sure I've ever had a regular IRS that WOW'd me like this! This is damn near perfection. I'm not even sure if barrel aging this would improve, or take away from what is already damn near a perfect stout. Hat's of to Pretty Things yet again! I need to do a Black & Tan of this and Our Finest Regards!

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Photo of galwayjoyce
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible RIS.
Velvet mouthfeel, Rich with chocolate, vanilla, and almost overwhelming caramel notes. Best last-minute beer purchase I have made in recent memory. $6 with my employee discount, but at under $10 retail, a GREAT value.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours black. Zero light penetration. Oily consistency. When agitated, the head grows into a well-sized mass of dark tan foam. Lacks a ton of lacing.

S-Very pungent and unique. It doesn't smell like your generic Imperial Stout. A ton of cocoa powder with a very clear dark fruitiness. Dried, nearly burnt, oaty malts. Espresso and dog food (not off putting). Dark liqueur.

T-A tide of rich, dark complexity. Cocoa powder and pure fudge. Roasted nuts, namely hazelnut and chestnut. Burnt malt. Uber-roasty espresso. Flat root beer. Dark fruit, not raisin but maybe boozy black cherries. Bitter, robust flavors slowly lead into a sweet middle ground that reminds me of candy bar chocolate. Reminds me a bit of Fernet. Lots to describe but it also meshes into one encompassing flavor that is memorable.

M-Soft carbonation. Big, viscous body. Espresso aftertaste is endless. Bitter with lingering feel. Alcohol simmer.

O-Right up there with Our Finest Regards - my favorite offering from Pretty Things...or is it better? Now let's me see if I get a nice message this time.

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Photo of sdeese21
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bad boy up at a beer store in Louisiana! Light beading of carbonation around the edge of the glass and jet black in color. Definitely a noticeable hoppiness upfront. This velvety beer finishes strong with a nice heat at the end. A top notch non-barreled RIS for sure!

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Photo of Flounder57
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

22 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A two finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything.

Smell: Smoke, roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate, caramel, a little soy, toffee, earthy, toasted, a little nutty, and oats.

Taste: The flavors blend really well together. Ash, roasted, chocolate, oat, toasted, nutty, molasses, toffee, caramel, earthy, slight soy, and mild bitterness in the rear. Alcohol is barely noticeable given the 12% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, deceiving hidden alcohol, low to medium carbonation, and ashy bitterness.

Overall: Truly one of the best RIS I have had. I will look forward to more of these in the future. This beer got better as it warmed.

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Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of sabitu
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of cincysig
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%

Photo of JakerLou
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of petewheeler
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerDrinkingDiver
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ccurrid
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of buyyourfreedom
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of doremite
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

This is a great RIS but has a slightly thin mouthfeel and comes across a tad hot in the finish. It is 12% so I get that kind of punch is hard to completely veil. Very flavorful stout overall. A must try for big stout fans. Only factor holding me back from drinking this regularly is abv!

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Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

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Barbapapa from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 342 ratings