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

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Saint Botolph's TownSaint Botolph's Town
631 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 631 |  Reviews: 301
Photo of claspada
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice dense creamy head with great lacing.

Aromas of toffee, caramel, cocoa, hazelnuts, with some earthy and grassy hops.

The tastes are initially toffee and caramel malts, with underlying hints of light cocoa and vanilla sweetness. Slight fruity bitterness; the hops come through in the finish helping to slightly dry the palate. Nice creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and as the beer warms the alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Overall this is a very solid brown ale, especially nowadays where I feel this category is skipped over/mailed in by many breweries. A little heavier in style, almost bordering on being a brown porter, but without the astringent qualities. This beer has nice layers of flavor with a rich creaminess that works wonderfully.

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Photo of abrand
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber acquired in a recent trade poured into a pint glass

The Saint Botolph's Town pours a deep cola brown color with a huge pillowy tan head that never goes away. Smells of sweet malts. Some chocolate and coffee come out as it warms. Also a nice nut aroma throughout. Taste is delicious. Plenty of roasted malts with hints of cocoa and hops. Quite refreshing as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with solid carbonation. Drinkability is spot on. Great tasting beer from a new brewery for me.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After hearing about what a deal Pretty Things are in a recent topic I decided it might be time to drink the St Botolphs town that has been in my fridge for some time. I have to say I was overly impressed with this one as I have not been in the past with some other PTB&AP brews. Good job I say this time!

Pours a nice english chestnut brown ale color with a decent tan head that led to just lacing in a few minutes with a few stormy areas on the top of the glass.

Smell of delicate brown sugar (not overdone) nut brown aromas mixed with lightly roasted malts and cocoa.

Taste was spot on for the style and I cannot say I have had many of this style that I really thought were great. Perhaps it is the cocoa that really took it over the top and made this one of my bigger surprises recently, or perhaps it was the fact it has been in my fridge for the past two months as I passed over it for whatever else was next to it... Either way, this is a great english brown ale and I recommend you go and get it while it is still cheap!! (sorry had to)

Anyway, lots of nutty english ale flavors , a good amount of carbonation, and a light mouthfeel. All very good things for this style. Cocoa is not overpowering and doesnt need to be with a 'lighter' ale here at 5.9%. All things considered I would definitely get this again.

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Photo of deafcat
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/6/10 On tap at Sunset Bar and Grill in Allston, Mass.
13oz pour into tulip glass

a - dark brown color - 1/2 inch head with decent retention. A little hazy. Surprisingly darker than I expected.

s - not much to the nose, little bit of spicy tones. Not very distinguished.

t - wow - sweet, delicious, full-bodied brown ale. Not usually a big fan of this style but this one is a pleasure to sip on. Delicious, slight malty character with strong hop presence.

m - decent carbonation - heavy feeling on the tongue.

d - very drinkable beer - a good warmup to a night of sampling some different brews.

Overall this is a solid choice - if you're going to drink a brown ale, this is the way to go. Full-bodied with excellent, hoppy attitude. Choice in all respects.

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Photo of mjrod2142
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer with Sunday brunch and I loved it. I'm disappointed that I didn't keep better notes, as it's been a while and my memory of the details has faded.

The beer was poured by the bartender into a red wine glass, which I found very interesting. The color was rich and dark brown. The head was small and slightly bubbly.

This beer has a delicious nut brown flavor. It wasn't hoppy or over done. Just a classic nut brown that I haven't been able to find lately. I picked up a hint of chocolate on the finish.

This is very drinkable brown ale that I'm looking forward to having again.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle picked up at Cook St Liquor in Victoria, pours a ruddy brown with a lovely creamy head, leaves rings down the glass.

This is a delightfully complex beer. Earthy tones meld with cocoa powder, dark fruit sweetness, a hint of citrus hops in the finish, wood and nuts, hint of licorice. Biscuity malt, brown bread, almost as blend of brown ales and Belgian darks. Highly drinkable, smooth mouthfeel with just a prick of bubbles to kick it up a notch. Really the top tier in browns.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a huge foamy three finger head which slowly dwindles to a nice sea foam leaving a lacing on the glass as it diminishes.

S: Most definitely a nutty smell to this beer, accompanied by some sweet roasted malts with a little bit of caramel and a "bready" smell.

T: Dark malts a present followed by the nuttiness noted earlier. I also detect some molasses, a little bit of cocoa and coffee followed by a tiny bit of bitter malts.

M: Feels nice on the tongue, fairly light with a distinct "earthy" feel. Light to medium carbonation suits this beer quite well.

D: Very drinkable. Actually sampled this one at my local store and enjoyed it enough to buy a bottle. Quite good, will definitely be finishing the bottle.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Head of this beer built up quite thickly and tight laced. The beer itself is a very dark brown. Must have been a whole lot of dark malts in this one.

S: Nose is of roasted barley, chocolate malts some dry cocoa and a small amount of alcohol. Not sure what "eclectic" yeast was used here, but it is lending an interesting sweetness to the beer.

T: Dark malts, some sweetness like a caramel. Definitely well executed as far as style goes. Just the slightest bitterness on the end, but the sweetness of the malts and the yeast take the cake here. Nice beer.

M: Just light enough. Has a good, creamy body and the low carbonation you would expect for an English Brown.

D: Very easy drinking, and I look forward to trying some other offerings from Pretty Things. If they are as good as this one, I won't be let down! Abv is low as it should be, making this one a perfect beer for a chilly fall day.

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Photo of micmillon18
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Possibly my new favorite brewery. Had this one previously, thought I'd actually review it this time. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Labeled as Batch Four, bottled December of 2009.

A - Poured a thick, creamy beige colored three finger head. Lots of lacing around the glass. Head subsided slowly after I took my first sip. Very dark reddish brown; almost mahogany in some areas where the light is able to shine through the glass.

S - Roasted barley and nuts. Sweet at times. Scents of caramel. Dark chocolate is also there.

T - Roasted barely, nuts and coffee are present. The taste of dark chocolate is there, really delicious and this is from someone who doesn't like dark chocolate. It seems to mix well with the other flavors, creating a sort of roasted chocolaty, coffee goodness with a nutty undertone, if that even makes sense by anyone else's logic. It ends with a nice hoppy bitterness that adds to its complexity, rounding out the great flavor.

M - Very smooth and clean, one of the bests I've had in terms of the style. It knows how to stay on the pallet just long enough to keep you wanting more without becoming too present.

D - Definitely something thats great to sip on a chilly Autumn night. The rich, malty flavors made for a real treat, almost warming in fact. The bottle was easily finished. Another great from Pretty Things.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BigBalls for this extra. Cheers!

Appearance -- Pours a deep mahogany brown with ruddy highlights and one finger of sudsy khaki head.

Smell -- Chocolate, brown sugar, coffee grounds, roast malt, and earthy herbal hops. Overall, rich malty sweetness tempered with dark roast bitterness and some minty/herbal hop character.

Taste -- Molasses, cocoa, coffee with cream, licorice, and crusty whole grain bread. Hop bitterness is pretty substantial and, along with the dark roast malt presence, lends an earthy counterbalance to the malty sweetness. Finish is char and hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with mild carbonation, a bit creamy. Some mild tannin dryness in the finish.

Drinkability -- Pretty Things, pretty good! Tows the line between a traditional English Brown and a robust Baltic Porter with an extra boost of roast flavor. Very unique, very tasty. Definitely an above average brown.

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Photo of Axic10
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Robust, dark brown with a finger and a half of foam on top.

Smell: Caramel, coffee, nutty aroma.

Taste: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, bready malt, bitter hops come through and a subtle bite of the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and quite smooth.

Drinkability: Very impressive take on the Brown Ale. I've been drinking a lot of this style lately and this is one of the better tasting ones. I will definitely pick up again and not hesitate at all.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an imperial pint glass. Labeled as bottled on December 2009 Batch Four.
Dark ruby brown, nearly opaque, with an impressive 1 1/2" light brown, thick, foamy head. Leaves thick lacing. Settles down to 1/2" with awesome head retention.
Smells are a little subdued, but I smell some maple/brown sugar, caramel, some kind of nuttiness, a little spice- anise or nutmeg maybe.
Rich tastes of brown sugar, roasted malt, some breadiness, light smoke, a hint of caramel and cocoa, some oak, and an interesting earthy and nutty finish with a nice bitterness. Malt forward but nicely balanced with some slightly spicy hops. A little sweetness comes out as it warms up.
Nice texture, medium bodied, ends light and clean.
For its complexity, its still smooth and engaging, easy to drink the bottle by myself.
This is a pretty awesome beer. Has some stout-like qualities mixed in with the great brown ale qualities (the bottle calls it a "rustic dark ale", which seems fitting). Complex and unique. I look forward to having it again.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch six bottled in May 2010

Poured from a 1pt. 6oz. bottle into a Clown Shoes Pint glass.

The color is dark black some maroon highlights and about three fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is filled with some dark malt flavor. There is a bit of brown sugar that comes out in the nose and teases at a sweet flavor to come. There is a bit of a dark fruit flavor like prunes or raisins.

The taste is a bit black licorice with some sweetness that is interesting. There is a nuttiness that is there but is just a small hint before going into a dark malt flavor.

The feel of this beer is a bit medium bodied but never knocks you off balance. There is a nice even feel to this beer it seems to just go down so well.

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Photo of BigMike
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2009 Batch 4

A: Dark brown rootbeer color. Mohogany with some ruby highlights. A soft fluffy head of about two fingers that matches the bottle lable in color almost exactly.

S: Tons of roasted nuts and malts. Chocolate and a small amount of coffee. Some dark raisins also. Smells great.

T: Starts off with a dark fruitiness. Followed with roasted hazelnuts, chocolate and finishes with a light touch of coffee.

M: Smooth, creamy and medium bodied. Perfectly carbonated and easy to drink.

Overall: Brown ales are usually one of my least favorite styles of beer. They tend to be bland and somewhat boring. This beer from Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project changes all of that. This is a terrific beer with tons of amazing flavors and mouthfeel. I'm completely impressed with this beer and will seek out more asap. I highly reccomend trying this.

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Photo of crusian
3.44/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle from awesome girlfriend from boston area.
batch 5 april 2010.

pours a deep rich brown, almost black color with about an inch of head, nice.
Carmel malt and some brown sugar on the nose, but not much, very faint to be honest...
a lot of caramel malt, hmm, just noticed some mold or something under the cap, great. doesnt seem to have any affect on it though. has a bitter finish... this is very dark for a brown ale, not bad though. not great, as there really isnt much here, roasty etc... but all seem a bit subdued. Not bad for a session.

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Photo of bruachan
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the beer pours a deep mahogany color, which translates even to a somewhat reddish head (which seems to have good staying power). good lace

floral hop aromas and a touch of caramel. the nose really doesn't get the treat to which my tastebuds are party

deeply rich and roasty flavors...deeper and more robust than i would expect from a brown ale. we're almost into porter territory, folks. in fact, we're definitely in porter territory. bitterness finishes strong and coarse, along with some almost woody tartness. dry finish

there is something wrong with this beer and i think is has to do with the hop choice: something harsh and even medicinal. makes for a weird tactile experience. you know, this thing is fading, but endures. it can be experienced as blackcurrant in the hops right up until the end, when it gets a little iffy. yet it is still only so offensive

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bomber served in an oversized wineglass. bottled may 2010 (batch six).

pours a dark, murky chestnut tone with a bit of ruddiness to it; two fingers of beige head, respectable showing in both retention and lacing.

aroma is caramel malty; nutty, a bit bready, and the hint of bitter chocolate loitering in there somewhere. great smelling ale.

first sip delivers some more of the above. notes of dark fruits and yeasts, a touch of almonds. some definite hop bitterness.

medium-plus body with moderate carbonation (a lot heavier a body than i was expecting); a bit creamy. pretty drinkable, although i can see myself getting bored after a couple. all in all, a really respectable beer, especially in a style i don't necessarily seek out.

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Photo of Brideshead
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In appearance, a dark-brown bodied brew with ample, yellowish head.

As far as English brown ales go, this one is thick enough and loaded with enough flavor to remind one of a good complex porter. A thick, mouth-filling malty character takes over at the first sip, while the aftertaste and subsequent sips give way to the flavor of raisins and brown sugar, balanced by a mildly-bitter hop taste. A very nice sipper, especially around the fall season.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saint Botolph's Town | 650 ml. | 5.9% ABV | 2009 vintage

Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Style: English Brown Ale
Glass: Pint

"Inspired by Yorkshire. Named after St. Botolph, whose name became 'Boston.' We hope you enjoy the beer.!"

Love the bottle. Label art is quaint, cartoony, and old-world. I always enjoy it when the bottle cap is covered by a paper strap.

Dark chestnut brown with faded ruby highlights. The head plumes magnificently. It's khaki in color and very patchy.

Toasted almond bread, yes, with a smoky, brown sugar, and raisin background. Welcoming.

Toasted malts and whole wheat bread crust hit first. Mild but very tasty. Raisins, brown sugar, and an ever-so-slightl charred background. Middle is lush and fruity with hints of nutty yeast. Evaporating, semi-dry finish leaves a hearty wallop of earthy malts.

Smooth and lush with a medium body.

Very balanced. I appreciate the moderation on the charred/smoky front. It's just right.

Would I get it again?:
Yes. It's complex and nuanced enough that I could keep coming back.

Bottled: December 2009 (Batch Four)
Served: August 27, 2010

Price = $7.99

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Photo of kenpo23
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is by far my favorite Pretty Things brew. if i see it, i buy it, simple as that.

A: Pretty dark brown color to it with a nice frothy head to go with it.

S: Smells like hearty malty goodness.

T: amazing malt and toffee taste to it with some sort of spice taste to it, that i can't quite put my finger on, to round it out.

M: one heck of a smooth beer.

D: it has alot going on for something that i thought would be simpler. so i would not want to sit and have more than one of these in a night but if i could drink one daily i would.

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Photo of Freshie
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the line for Pretty Things at the most recent ACBF is any indication, which was only beat by DFH, then you all must run out and sample these tasty brews for yourself.

There is a lot of heart and soul put into the brewing of these beers and you can tell.

This one is probably my favorite thus far, with Baby Tree coming in a close second.

Pours a dark and deep caramel brown, with slight hues of amber. Head is creamy brown with great cascading lace.

The smell is just perfect, with lush complexities. Strong wafts of cocoa, coffee, and raisin or another dark fruit, maybe currant.

Making a beer be both spicy and sweet at the same time and in balance is hard but Pretty Things accomplishes this. You are first hit with a sweet malt flavor with hints of chocolate maybe a bit of fresh bread or oats. Then a spicy clove emerges on the back end, and finishes clean on the palate with a touch smoke. It all combines and makes this one a very earthy and refreshing ale.

Probably the most complex brown ale I have ever had, but o so good.


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Photo of Nipitato
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken on 2.21.09

Purchased a bomber at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA

A: A very thick mahogany hue with ruby highlights. Pours with a buff head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smooth malt sweetness with lots of layers - roasted, caramel, and cola. Fresh tobacco. A robust nose.

T: This tastes very fresh - organic and earthy. There is some stealth bitterness in here. Slightly roasted but almost exactly like burnt toast. Some cola. Earthy.

MF: Medium body. Quite dry. Moderate carbonation.

D,notes: A full robust, earthy brown ale from a top shelf brewery.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby8405 for bring this one over.

A - Deep brown, verging on black, with a copious mocha-hued forth that leaves plentiful lace.

S - The aroma is a full-on barley throwdown; it smells like unmalted barley, deeply roasted barley, chocolate malt and some caramel-toffee notes, too. The hop contribution perfectly balances things out, while not being intrusive in terms of flavor.

T - This beer is an awesome showcase of maltiness without overt sweetness; the nutty chocolate undertones are very nice and the hints of caramel and toffee are well-placed. Small raisin and dark fruity notes develop after awhile. An earthy and herbal hop lingers faintly in the background. Quite delicious.

M - Fairly rich and creamy

D - I really am impressed with this one. Pretty Things makes some good stuff.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
BATCH FOUR Bottled DEC 2009

This one pours a very nice, dark brown color with some deep ruby tinting. Almost three-fingers of tan colored foam make the head, Which sticks around for quite a long time. The lacing is in thick, sticky, strands.

The first scent to hit me is hazelnuts. This is followed by some nicely toasted malt notes. Very light traces of caramel sweetness. Very mild hints of fruitiness.

The toasted malt notes outshine everything else in this beer. There is a light, earthy, nuttiness here, also. Very interesting yeastiness. From crackers and dry toast all the way too mild hints of barnyard funk. Light traces of leather and smoke. A light touch of bitterness, right at the end.

Medium, but almost sliding into thin, bodied. It has a light-to-medium level of carbonation to it, which gives it just a slight hint of creaminess. Could benefit from more body.

It's certainly a drinkable beer. While I'm not rushing to track down another bottle, I'm glad that I had this one. I'll drink this again sometime, but now I'll search for some other beer from Pretty Things.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06/01/10- Had a 750 mL of this one marked December 2009, Batch 4.
A: Deep brown with a ruby hue, it had a good foamy creamy head.
S: Cherry cinnamon, yeasty but mellow bread, raisins, altogether very mild.
T: Cinnamon bread, moldy and leafy hops, caramel yeast, smoother.
M: Syrpy, smooth, frothy.
D: Very good.

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Saint Botolph's Town from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 631 ratings
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