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Saint Botolph's Town | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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301 Reviews
Saint Botolph's TownSaint Botolph's Town

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
SBT is fermented with two yeast strains for a unique rustic finish. But it’s in the yeast strains where this beer really departs from the typical: one is a German ale strain, the other is a common English strain. Why? Because it’s about the flavour, not just ticking the “style” boxes.

In the end we have an ale of 5.9% abv with a big malty, almost smokey Black Malt character, a bitter attack from Fuggle hops, a rich barleymalt finish, some dried coconut hints and an old ale acidity around the edges. We’ve even timed its tan head, standing proud for ten minutes!

The name “Saint Botolph’s Town” is in tribute to our great home in America: Boston. The original Boston in Lincolnshire, England is an abbreviation of “Botolph’s Town” or “Botolph’s Stone”. When we were back in Yorkshire recently, we found a churchyard where St. Botolph spoke in the year 675; a ‘stump’ (broken old cross) marks the spot. Saint Botolph is a 7th century saint from England whose feast day is June 17th. Perhaps a great day to save a bottle or two for!

38 IBU

Added by morebeergood on 02-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 632
Photo of goblet
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 1 pint 6 oz bottle into my glass .

right out of the bottle i got a 1 inch thick tan frothy head that didn't last long. the color is coffee with a little splash of milk,its light brown and unclear ,no lace ,alot of carbonation.

the smell is very earthy with hints of dark fruits and roasted lite malt .it also has a coffee aroma subtle though noticeable .

the flavor is lite roasted malt and dark fruits like dry figs or raisins it's got a bit of a porter quality to it ,earthy and some grains .

the feel as it coats my palate is a mild spice, roasted and a tad bit bitter after taste.

i find the brew to be very enjoyable and ease to drink, full smooth flavor ease on the palate .

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a brown coca-cola colored body with a big dark white/tan head.

Nose is really a mystery. It's a dark ale for sure, but there are these passing whiffs of German malts, then touches of coffee and chocolate, then some swishes of English caramel notes. Sweet and bready, but earthy and dry. Interesting for sure. Very subtle though.

Taste is medium thick with an immediate dryness. Very very bready, like eating dark rustic rye bread. Dark malts, some subtle chocolate. There's a strong, but extremely muted, hop bitterness throughout. It's the sort of bitterness you don't taste unless you're paying attention, but when you do it's very much there. There's a granite like, stone earthiness to the hops that meld well with the toasted and burnt malts. Sort of a dance between the two. Ends with a soft lingering earth hop flavor.

It's a rustic dark session ale. It borders on so many styles without deciding to choose any one style. Not my favorite of Dann's new beers, but a killer session beer for sure.

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled April 2009. Batch Two.

Picked up a bottle from Abe's Cold Beer after enjoying their saison. This beer, unfortunately, is less impressive. I suppose it's a little rustic in the sense that the malts have an earthy, dry bitter taste that's certainly not unpleasant. Still, this beer just seems to linger between and brown ale and a porter for the dry roasted malt that consumes the aftertaste. The aroma has more of a candy dark chocolate character, but the flavor and feel is very dry. I guess that aspect is more Belgian. Still, a pretty tasty beer, I'm just not sure what's going on.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

EDIT- RE-reviewed from Bath 3, 12/08/09. Changes made as needed.
Poured from 22oz bottle into .5L gold-leaf swiss boot. Label notes this was bottled in April 2009 and is from batch two.

A- Pours a chestnut brown with a tinted, rich head. Very nice looking brown ale. Very dark, porter-like in appearance.

S- Very inviting. Malt sweetness is very prominent. Mild toasted grains and a hint of cinnamon (just a hint).

T- Very good. A very rich, robust, and deep brown ale. This is the real deal. Smoky (well, hefty) malt and bitter baking chocolate, a bit of coffee, and a nice caramelized sugar sweetness combine for a really flavorful beer. Pretty Things describes this as a rustic dark ale. I think it's an apt description. This beer is a 'classic'- while distinct, it shares a lot with the traditional English Brown Ale, only moreso. Very deep, dark, and hearty for the style. I like it.

M- Unique. Healthy carbonation, a rich flavor profile, yet the beer comes across lighter than expected, which is a good thing. A well-crafted brown ale, prob. the best Am. Brown I've had... although I do like DFH's Indian Brown... this is top 3 at least.

D- Very good, although this beer will fill you up. Still, I enjoyed this beer all the way down.

An excellent beer, I came back to this after a few months and found it to hold up to my lofty expectations and hazy memory. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle, capped and sealed with a paper strip. Bottled in April of 2009 per the paper strip. Poured into a 22oz Sam Smith Tulip.

Darker shade of brown than I expected with a lovely off white head that lasts. Smell is light with hints of chocolate, malt and dry chalk.

Taste is much bigger than the smell. Perfect level of carbonation as I like it on the lower side. Very complex flavors come through. Loads of malt and chocolate as expected but also hints of nuts and even figs. Half way through the hops deliver a green flavor that adds depth. I also pick up some toast and something cinnamon like. Fuller bodied but yet very easy to drink. After taste is easily 15-20 seconds.

This is an Brown Ale with some balls. I am not talking extreme, just a bigger beer with loads of flavor yet still remains easy to drink. A pleasure.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St Botolph's was round 2 of the Pretty Things tasting for Artied2 and me yesterday. This bottle was from batch #2.

Poured an attractive, deep, dark, clear chestnut. Head was tan, smooth and tight, with decent lacework on the glass. Some sweetness was found in the subdued aroma, with a bit of caramel and some brown sugar. Medium bodied, St B was also fairly smooth while traversing the palate.

Flavor hits you up with some caramel and toffee, with light sweetensss. A smidge of choco is present, and it hints at having some burnt brown sugar lurking about. Also present is a touch of dark fruit, like raisin. Solid and sessionable. Thnx again to Artied2 for bringing this by, and kudos to Dann P as well!

Zum Wohl!
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


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Photo of damienblack
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich medium brown, like a typical nutty brown ale. Huge head billows up with a flourish of bubbles. Great retention, and leaves some intricate lacing. Has kind of a belgian yeasty smell to it, and the sweet aroma of slightly darkened malts along with molasses. Bit of toffee as well. Taste... this is a flavorful yet mellow sessionable brown. A bit of toasted toffee, some nuttiness, a bit of coffee. Some more flavours as it opens up a bit, I noticed something fruity in there as well. Maybe some burnt caramel. Nice gravitas, filling and bready, goes quite well with dinner tonight (sirloin tips). On the heavier side of medium body while lacking the density of a porter or stout. Nice and drinkable, but had a bit of funkiness at first. I hope Pretty Things becomes a New England staple, Dann deserves it.

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Photo of natasharai
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a large foamy creamy tan head that dissipated leaving very little lacing. The beer is clear with a dark brown color. The head is easily aroused by swirling the glass.

Smell: Fruity, citrus, toasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Fresh cherry, other fresh fruit, toasted malt, some bread flavor and yeasty character, roasted coffee, slight licorice, and a roasted nutty flavor

Mouthfeel: Tingle on the tongue from carbonation, medium body, slightly syrupy, small dryness afterwards.

Overall: Really good drinkability, nice roasty flavors, and a nice moutfeel. This beer has some really nice subtle flavors.

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Photo of digr
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark Brown Opaque Pour.
1/4 inch head to start with smallish bubbles. The foam diminished to a small residue after about 3 minutes.

Smell - mild toffee, slightly "sweet"

Taste - smooth dark toast, slight bite of burnt caramel. Mild bitter aftertaste of hops. Slightly sweet is fairly balanced by toffee and bitterness. I can taste the dark malt, almost like I am chewing it.

Feel -Medium mouth feel.

Alcohol - no alcohol bite.

Subsequent sips evoke coffee tones.
Stronger than an average brown, and milder than an average Porter. Would go good with a hearty breakfast of sausage, eggs, and baked beans!

22 oz bottle says it is the first batch!

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled April 2009 Batch Two indicated on a paper swatch covering the cap. Poured a murky chestnust color with very little light penetration. One inch, tight, frothy off-white head with good retention, eventually settles into a thin, consistent cap. Some thick stands of lacing coat the glass during the session. Nose is malty and suggests dark fruit, perhaps prunes, and maybe a little cocoa. Taste consistent with nose, but some roasted coffee flavors also come out and a kiss of hops is revealed at the finish. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a nice, consistent level of background carbonation. Nice English Brown with a decent amount of complexity, particularly in terms of the abv. Too bad it's not available in sixers; it would make a great session brown.

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Photo of selecter70
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh the glee when I saw this....First Batch! ...Dan Paquette brew!...St. Botolph (aka Boston...like the great label depicts- well from the colonial period)...Nice big bottle that poured an unfiltered opaque, hazy ruddy-brown, leaving a thin whitish head for a short bit. An aroma full of wet grasses, dry grains, sour fermenting and lemon peel. The aroma had a bit more of a nutty malt to it and a nice mildly sour rustic farm ale taste, hearty and full of denseness. I really should've brought out the stein for this one...now, to find it on draught!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown with ruby highlights and a big bubbly head that sticks around for a bit before sticking itself to the glass. Smells of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and sweet malts. Tastes is sweet malts with lots of brown sugar and chocolate. has a hint of spicy yeast in there as well. Crisp carbonation, medium body, light syrupy mouthfeel. Great little session brown, I wish they put this in a six pack I'd buy it all the time.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More good beer from Dann Paquette and the Pretty Things project. Not surprised here. I usually don't go for the brown ales too much these days but this is one I would return to for sure. A robust brown beer, edges of amber coming through, a smallish bubbly head floating atop. Very malty, but not too rich, remaining pretty straightforward and drinkable. A touch of sweetness, toffee and English tea character. In the aroma I picked up a bit of a bubblegum flavor which just slightly accents the finish and aftertaste here. Very interesting. Earthy and musty, which I like. A very good representation of a classic English style, but distinctly American at the same time. Great name for a great beer (Wikipedia it...), making me proud to be a Bostonian once again.

Enjoyed on tap at Vee Vee where I believe it has a permanent home.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.11/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades very slowly leaving some lace. Deep cloudy amber color, some yeast settles out. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Earthy nose. Flavor is a strange grainy coffee, some sweetness. Burnt coffee finish. $6.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First batch, Feb '09.

Pours a thick clear woody brown. A creamy tan head builds about a finger high falls to a thin cap in modest amount of time. No lace.
Aroma is sweet malts, fruity. A little chocolate, a little roasty. Topped with an earthy spiciness.
Flavor is pleasantly malty, following the chocolate, roast aroma. A bit less fruity than the aroma. Leads to a moderately bitterness that lingers but finally gives up to a slightly sweet, coating finish.
Medium body. Carbonation is a little high, but creamy enough to not be damning.

This is solid, but not outstanding, brown ale.

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Photo of gfreed
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dense, yet a fluffy tan head rests on the surface for a good long time. Rather hoppy aroma with some citrus and flowers, with malt in the background. The taste was overall rather unbalanced-- rather, perhaps it was *too* balanced. There was no differentiating between the malt and the hops for me, so there was no real flavor one way or the other. It was just beer. I expected something malty and instead got something... not so malty, but not so hoppy, either. Worth a try, especially if you live in MA and want to support your local brewery. I preferred the PT saison over this one.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.61/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After being so happy with the Jack D'or, I was eager to try this second offering from Pretty Things. Man, was I disappointed.

Off white head forms, then settles very quickly to a thin ring around the glass. The beer is the color of brown shoe polish. No lacing at all.

Aroma is real earthy with some molasses and deep malt. Not the most pleasant.

Um, didn't really like this at all. I enjoyed this with a couple of friends and all of us looked at each other with that look.... Grain, grain, grain. Sweet malt and a strange just shy of sour flavor. Very earthy and frankly a little dirt like.

Mouth feel was a bit grainy and chalky.

Not very drinkable in my book.

Sorry, I hope chapter 3 of the Pretty Things book is a ore enjoyable one.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep, dark brown with a fluffy, bubbly white head that stay nicely on top before slowly fading.

Smell is definitely some caramel, brown sugar and some raisiny/dried fruit sweetness.

Taste is a very nice mix of tanginess and malty sweetness. For an English brown ale brewed here in the states, this is one of my favorites (thus far). This is a very drinkable and pretty straightforward beer and for the price (@$6 a bomber) its a great deal.

Another successful offering from Pretty Things, that makes 2 for 2 thus far.

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Photo of EPICAC
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly cloudy, garnet-tinted, dark brown. It's toped by a light-brown, fluffy head that fades to a film. The aroma is malty with hints of chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, and a nice whiff of coffee on the swirl.

Sweet caramel and bittersweet chocolate malts upfront move through the center becoming fruitier towards the finish with a nice hints of plum. They give way to a slightly astringent character, a roasty coffee bitterness, and a lingering fruity sweetness in the finish. The beer is medium-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation and a mild, minerally finish.

This brew has a good, malt profile and sweetness. The malts are balanced by a good roasted component that still leaves a nice lingering sweetness in the finish.

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Photo of number1bum
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this bomber at Julio's on the way to EBF. There's a sticker across the cap that says Bottled February 2009; First Batch.

Pours a reddish dark brown, a mahogany sort of hue, with a slowly rising and falling three fingers of tan head. When the head settles it keeps a wispy, mostly full lace but leaves a more than average amount of stick on the sides.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, some cocoa, a hint of vanilla bean, and a woodsy/earthy aroma.

Tastes much like it smells, with equal parts caramelized malt and brown sugar, along with some cocoa and chocolate that has a bit of a milky sweet quality to it. There is some earthy and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness in the finish to give it some balance. And that's just what it is - balanced, as well as smooth and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but it's maybe just a hair more carbonated than I'd like it to be; it would be creamier and softer on the palate with somewhat more moderate carbonation.

This is an easy drinking, tasty brown ale. I'm a sucker for a brown ale with some character and this has it. I'd certainly have this again. Pretty Things is now 2 for 2 in my book.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep dark brown with a nice creamy tan head.
the aroma combines nutty toffee brown sugar, and soft ripe dark fruit like raisin, plum and the like. also pear.
the flavor stays in the same vein with the fruits taking a little bit more of prominent role, fig, raisin, plum and pear are all here with notes of coffee, burnt caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a touch of earthy nut, and touch of anise. these falvors transition into some herbal piney bitterness. sweet up front, but finishes clean. my first thought when tasting this was doppelbock.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft creamy carbonation.
it's got a nice drinkability to it. plenty of interesting things going on, but mellow, refreshing and very approachable. an excellent beer, and i'm not even a huge fan of the style. i'm officially really looking forward to the next release from pretty things.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany with chestnut edgework. An inch-plus tan head of froth settled slowly to a solid skim coat on the surface, and revealed some decent jagged ropes of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with dark caramel, chipped toffee, toasted raisins, and cocoa. Hints of butterscotch, brown sugar, and dark rum follow through.

Medium bodied with a thinnish, almost watery mouthfeel. A smidge of tackiness in the end.

Toffee, caramel, burnt cookies, and toasted malt start the palate. Mild hints of chocolate, molasses, and dried figs follow through.

Finishes with a minerally, fruity nod to the English, fading residuals, and raisin bits.

Nice one. On cask would be a treat.

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Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Neutral brown color with a very nice light beige head. Long lasting time. Good rocky lace after each sip--almost forms a ring.

Chalky, brown ale aroma. Mellow crystal malts with a dash of chocolate. Attractive.

I am drinking this immediately after the Pretty Thing's Jack D'Or. I find this to be a better beer--rich darker malt flavors with a generous amount of hop without losing the English Brown Ale character. Again, the body is lower than expected, but I find this to be a creamier offering. Relatively dry, the aftertaste offers great balance between the darker malts and the light hop.

I'd love to try this in a flight of Browns; I think it would fare well.

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Photo of TrevorGW
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the darkest brown possible. Off-white head dies quickly, but looked nice while it lasted.

Aroma is tricky -- some wheat, coffee, brown sugar.

Taste is not as robust as expected. Faint unsweetened chocolate, dark caramel, cashews, and licorice. Semi-sweet and wet finish. Hops are pretty loose and submissive here.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. A good full-bodied beer without the chewiness of an imperial stout or porter.

Overall a good brown ale or old ale. Complex, but not necessarily memorable.

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Photo of Zippie9999
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-Had on tap at the Dirty truth in North Hampton, MA on 2/21/09.
A: Nice mellow brown appaerance. Definite mahogany notes w/ appearance.
S: malty, cherry, wants to be a flemish sour red without actually being one!
T: Sour cherries W/ a hint of molasses
M: smooth, creamy, with a feeling of wanting to be a sour flemish sour red
D: A very drinkable beer. Very hard to catagorize, but definitely one to toss into the mix when it comes to beer, wine and cheese parties!

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Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
4.05 out of 5 based on 632 ratings.
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