Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Russian Imperial Stout
4.24 | pDev: 6.37%
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Smoked Russian imperial stout
View: Beers
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 95 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottled in: Dec 2015

Pours black with a tan foam head. Some smoke is still apparent in the aroma with dark graham cracker and slight red apple skin notes. Roasty, toasty, nutty, smoky, and full of rich dark chocolate fudge notes. The taste is full still with rich fudgy dark chocolate and coffee roasted malt flavors with an overlying sweet smokiness with notes of vanilla, dark caramel, dark fruit and toasty dark nutty graham cracker. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and thick, medium bodied with low carbonation. Overall a really great smoked imperial stout.

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Photo of Witherby
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2015. My last remaining Pretty Things bottle. Opened to celebrate the opening of their new brewery in England. Didn’t ever drink the beer when it was fresh so I’m not sure how smoky it was originally but three years on it had no noticeable smoke aroma or flavor. Instead the flavor and aroma are dominated by chocolate. Thick and rich and strong but no hot alcohol flavors. Very tasty.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a bottle at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow. The beer poured with a black appearance and a thin, brown head that lasted throughout the evening. Aromas were full of malt, dark roasted coffee, mocha, and chocolate wrapped around a woody, earthy tone. Incredible taste of boozy, sweet chocolate and caramel. Great texture and mouthfeel; creamy and dense. Overall, a fantastic drink from a brewery I will miss.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ahhhhh shit I'm gonna miss these guys. A stout right up there with the best of them. Deep space black. Aroma of oats, fresh dug earth, coffee, chocolate, charcoal and smoke. Great cascade of sweet malt, bitter coffee, sugary chocolate and an incredibly complimentary smokiness. It works so well. Finished with a creamy mouthfeel and a heavy dose of sadness.

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Photo of foundersfan1
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very dark with a middling cappucino colored head. Full of great smoky aroma lightly backed by chocolate. Full of wonderful smoke, the chocolate is more present than in tharoma and coffe finishes with flavor and bittering leaving you to come back for more. Thick, syrupy and chewy mouthfeel exactly what I want from a RIS. Sad to see Pretty Things coming to a close, especially since I just found this great beer. I will be heading back out to pick up more of these while they are still left on the shelf.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bubble show produces a thick, frothy, two inch mocha head that leaves a skein of lacing; the liquid is pitch black

Smell: Chocolate and smoked meat with hints of coffee and caramel

Taste: Smoke forward with sweetened dark chocolate building; the hints of caramel and coffee arrive after the swallow but the smoke and chocolate continue to dominate through the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and rather creamy; low to moderate carbonation

Overall: I am not the biggest fan of most smoked beers and while that would limit my desire to revisit this one (despite being sad about the demise of this brewery) this is a good beer for the style

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Photo of PhillyJ
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sweet and Smokey! Bought this as I've never had a smoked stout and gotta say I'm impressed im now searching for their other stouts. I was also really impressed with the flavor behind the smoke which dominates the nose and the intro flavor profile then flows into a sweet and roasty flavor like a traditional ris.. This would pair so well with a steakhouse style burger. The smoke hides the complexity that I think their standard ris will have can't wait to find it. Good job Pretty Things

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Photo of Damian
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Bottled in: MAY 2015
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a thick and viscous near pitch black. Motor oil-like in appearance. The liquid was topped by a small, frothy, burnt sienna crown that quickly fell to a thick ringlet. Streaky lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was quite smoky and really complex. Somewhat peaty. Rich and robust. Moderately roasty and fairly sweet. Good dose of brown sugar sweetness. Raisins and plums were noticeable. Dark chocolate came through as well. Very fudgey and rich. A hint of port-like booziness was also noticeable. Spectacular.

Flavor wise, the beer was very similar to the aroma. Malty and robust. Moderately smoky. Again, dark fruits were noticeable. Raisins and prunes came through strongest. Hefty amount of brown sugar. Hints of dark chocolate and powdered cocoa were noticeable as well. The chocolate notes were however much more subtle here than in the aroma. Perhaps some vanilla and sweet cream. Moderately boozy on the back end. The beer finished with an intense whiskey-like kick but somehow strayed from being overly hot. For 12% ABV, the alcohol was actually rather subdued. A touch of earthy hoppiness also appeared. Really fantastic.

The liquid was uber rich and thick on the palate. Viscous. Super creamy and frothy. The liquid contained a fine, zippy effervescence that, despite the beer's hefty weight, gave it a fantastic fluffiness.

I try not to expect too much from a $10 imperial stout, but this beer really blew me away. With such an intense flavor profile and mouthfeel, and the added element of smoke (which I love in a beer), Fumapapa ranks up there with some of the best stouts I have ever tried.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared bomber bottle in Atlanta.
Lots of dark roasted malt flavor with minimal burnt toast and essentially no char. Some alcohol esters
Rich and flavorful but not very complex.

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Photo of jlindros
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice foamy but fizzy 1 finger darker head fades fairly quickly, no real lacing but long legs, just about pitch black.

Nose some sMoked malts, hint of campfire, lots if roasty milk chocolate, creamy, like a dried lactose creamy, dark chocolate and cocoa dusty, little caramel, little biscuity cookie, smoked malt disappears quickly.

Taste brings more dark chocolate, cocoa dust, mild dried lactose creamy milk choc, just a hint of campfire smoke, some caramel and biscuity cookie again, creamy thick chocolate milk, mild bitterness like an earthy spicy hop note. Finish is drier, hint of warming booze and lingering creamy milk choc and dark choc, little bitterness, hint of smoke.

Mouth is fuller bod, fairly rich and quite creamy, decent carb, just a hint of booze warmth.

Overall pretty nice, wish the smoke was a bit more, otherwise quite tasty.

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Photo of RichD
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep, deep pitch black. Not even the brightest of light could penetrate this beer. There was a finger of tan suds that disappeared into a small ring around my glass.

S: Smells of burnt, smoky malts initially with some chocolate and a faint bit of coffee in the background. The smoke melds with the chocolate very well and makes this smell great.

T: The smokiness comes through right off the bat. Then it transforms into a strong chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee in the background. There's not much else going on, but there really doesn't need to be. The flavors that come through are bold and flavorful which more than make up for the lack of any other flavors.

F: If you asked me to guess the ABV on this beer I would probably say that it was like 8%. The fact that this is 12% is absolutely mindblowing. There is no alcohol burn whatsoever when it comes to any aspect of this beer.

Overall: I've had a few beers from Pretty Things and all have been great. This beer is no different. Fumapapa is a nice, smokey russian imperial that has bold flavors. The smell is as straight forward as it gets and the taste follows that. Perhaps the best redeeming quality is the fact that the 12% is completely nonexistent. Great beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Weaving in the element of smoke to the already earthy, roasty and toasty taste of imperial stout, the extreme flavors aren't shy on nuance and complementing flavors while being smooth with a soft caress on the palate.

Beyond its ominously dark austere, the expresso creme that the black beer sheds brings its dark and earthen perfume of fresh espresso roast, burnt toast, seared in toffee and maple, coffee and all wrapped in that envelope of mesquite and maduro. Its taste is lavishly sweet and roasty with wonderfully burnt sugars with a nougat-like center.

The middle palate is awash in all things bold turkish coffee, bittersweet baker's chocolate, roasting walnut, burnt toast and smoldering embers. Deeply penetrating, the flavors of burnt toffee retain command of the tastebuds while gentle waves of grape, cherry, plum and licorice- all just ahead of the campfire whimsy chases the sweetness into a long and savory finish.

Its full and lavish body is creamy, smooth and silky. Highly deceptive, its nearly reckless alcohol content is warm and brandy-like but hides behind the lingering sweetness and smoke effortlessly. With coffee and smoke supplying a bold afterglow, the stout exits the palate begging for chocolate desert or creme brûlée.

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

Pours black with small tan head, and is not overly smoky in the nose. The flavors work well together and it's very smooth. I really like the amount of smoke, it's not overpowering like some others. I didn't read the bottle before opening and was surprised it was 12% abv. I would have guess 9-10%, it was smooth.

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Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date: May 2015.

Poured a deep chocolate brown color with a 4F head in a Stone Imperial Pint glass.
The head resolved to 1F in a few minutes.

Very strong aroma: Roasted malt, vanilla, Chocolate, cocoa powder, light smoke.

The MF is one of the better I have tasted on an IRS- quite malty with little carbonation.

Taste: Deep Cocoa, chocolate, nutty, roasted malt.

Overall: extraordinary IRS. A bit too easy to drink at 12%. I enjoyed the malty MF, the deep flavors and the excellent color.

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Photo of barczar
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is rich with dark chocolate and roast malt, with deep nutty notes, cocoa sweetness, and dark fruit adding complexity. Smoke is not at all overwhelming.

Flavor reveals big dark fruit notes of black cherry and plum underlying a backbone of roast malt, which finishes a touch bitter. Smoke weaves throughout, along with dark chocolate. The dark fruit character is really impressive, as is the restraint with the smoke. It's a bit hot.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brewed in May 2015.Pours into an imperial nonic a jet black with a creamy craterous deep beige head atop.Raw smoke and earth stand out most in the nose to go along with chocolate and caramel underneath.A smooth feel is spot on for what I was lookin for here.Deep roasted coffee flavors with hardwood smoke hits you upfront on the palate with chocolate and brown sugar sweetness coming in the finish, the alcohol comes into play as it warms.I think this is what a smoked RIS should taste like and it delivered,really good stuff.

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Photo of trevorpost
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with a small amount of tan head. Smoke dominates the aroma, with faint hints of chocolate hidden behind. Taste is more subdued smoke. Chocolate and some dark fruit mix with a hint of smoke. Full bodied without being syrupy.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, brown head of foam. It smelled of smoked malt, coffee, oak and chocolate. Nice roasty and smoky flavor with chocolate and vanilla notes.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Jet black. Two fingers of light brown head eventually settle to a half inch. Spotty lacing.

S: Deep fudge and brownie batter malt aromas. Woody roast and French roast coffee beans. Campfire and beechwood smoked malt. Whiffs of dark fruit every now and then.

T: Smoked malts hit first and remain in focus throughout. Campfire and jerky. Woody. Distinct note of earthy peat smoke. Underlying fudgey and brownie batter flavors. Dark fruit and berries pull through too. Figs. Leather. Subtle hints of alcohol as it warms. Woody smoke and chocolate sauce on the finish, along with some drying hop bitterness.

M: Big and thick in body. Creamy, silky and satiny texture. Just a bit coating in an Irish Cream sort of way. Lots of body, but it's very lithe and not at all sludgey or weighty. Acute carbonation prickles around the tongue just a bit.

O: Excellent all around. Just like the original Barbapapa, it possesses great depth of malt character and lots of malt body while still managing to feel elegant and refined. The 12% abv is is so soothing and easy that you really don't notice it until the beer nears room temperature. The smoked malts fit in perfectly and elaborate further on the smokey aromas and flavors already present from the roasted malts, adding their own nuanced complexities. The nose is all Bamberg, but peat smoked malts eventually reveal themselves in the taste. Also like the original Barbapapa this is ready to drink right out of the gate and really doesn't require any aging, though it would certainly hold its own against Father Time.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Bottled May 2015. Sampled on June 6, 2015.

It pours black as night with a long lasting, tan, and soft head.

I do pick up that hint of smoke as promised on the nose along with roasted caramel dark malts and sugar sweetness and roasted coffee. Low hop profile.

Medium to full body.

The taste begins with malty sweetness and then there is this coffee bitterness that catches things up at the end. Lingers some. The flavor of alcohol is well masked for 12% but my head sure felt it.

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Photo of SABERG
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle,into a modified tulip glass. Label notch dating system, 4/2015.
A - Gorgeous color of molten bakers chocolate, topped with a dense, creamy mocha, copper colored froth. Carbonation acts like dark matter, supporting the luxurious cap but hard to see through the dark body.
S - Delicate use of smoked malts, starts a dance with tradition RIS smells of cocoa, dark fruit, fig, raisin, anise, shade tobacco. The blend is wonderful.
T - Cocoa forward, notes of dark roast coffee, blackberry, cherry wood char, all wrapped in a little heat from the alcohol.
M - Super smooth,silky, wonderful coating with just enough bitterness, and heat to leave a long calling card. Desert in a glass for sure.
O - A big, well constructed RIS, the addition of the smoked malts is pleasant not distracting. The richness of this offering never lets up, in body, flavor, or the wonderful aromas.
Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of ksimons
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-almost black in color with a dark tan head that disappears fairly quickly to leave a cover of lace around the top

S-dark malts, roasted coffee, chocolate, and a bit of smoke

T-roasted malt and dark coffee, some chocolate sweetness, with a smokey finish

M-rich body, creamy, light to moderate carbonation

Overall an amazingly rich body with just enough smoke coming out of the smell and taste

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Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i wish i had a regular barbapapa to drink with side by side. i rated Barbapapa a 4.25 but so far folks have rated this much higher. i'm not a real fan of smoke but do appreciate it when it's done well. this beer still has sweetness from the IRS. the smoke enhances the beer . dark color, nice nose. i don't think i'll buy another one but still love PT's Barbapapa and Babayaga.

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Fumapapa from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 95 ratings