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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 Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Top notch brown ale. Pours dark brown, thick looking, with off-white head. Malty and some roast aromas. Very tasty malt job, supporting by light roast. Yeast is there and that taste builds up over a few samples. Very drinkable, made even more so by its sweetness. Recommended.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours into a tall hefeweizen glass with 3 fingers of frothy, pillowy head. Body is deep deep brown with thin streaks of carbonation rising up the side. Head reminds me of a cappaccino or some sort of coffee drink. Body is totally opaque.

S - Deep chocolatey smell. Roasted malts. More pronounced than most smells I've smelt. Slight vanilla?

T - Very interesting taste. Obvious coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt tastes, but something else in there too. Slight fruitiness and spiciness. No alcohol heat. Bitter, but I don't think it's from hops but rather all the roast.

MF - Smooth and creamy. Slight grainy from the carbonation I suppose.

D - Great drinkability. Complex enough, but enjoyable all the way.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Portsmouth tulip glass.

Pours a very pretty deep rich brown with red highlights. It's got some haze to it and really looks classic to the style. Really dark body yields a light brown fluffy 2finer head that is thick and rich. Really looks like a dubbel to me. Nice lacing. The aroma is very nice also with sweet malts, toffee, caramel and hazelnuts up front. A fruity ester takes over on the back end and lightens this beer up nicely. The taste is near perfect. Iconic to the style, this has the body of a Belgian dubbel and the flavors of a really nice American brown ale. Rich roasted malts, a touch of coffee and toasted almonds and hazlenuts on the palate. Has a real buttery finish that coats the palate nicely. Mouthfeel is very full bodied, a real food friendly beer. Nice on a cool night and will definitely be making another appearance in my fridge. Really love the the alcohol is restrained on this one. Would love to finish this bomber and maybe another by myself. Highly drinkable and worth seeking out.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled dec 2009
Batch 4
In a pint glass a red/brown color with a thick tan head that left some lacing.
Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, and some spice.
Caramel chocolate taste, a bit of cinnamon.
This was a very smooth beer, very drinkable. I wish I could find this in Maine.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown color with an inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, vanilla, sugar, and dark fruits.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, dark fruits, sugar, and sweet fruit.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent brown ale. Would give another shot.

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Photo of KAP1356
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 6fl oz. bottle (with awesome label art) into my Funders pint glass. Received as an extra from monsterzero...

A - Pours a deep mahogany reddish brown color with a nice foamy 2 finger light espresso head that sticks around for quite a while.

S - Sweet malts. Some nice caramel and toffee notes as well. There seems to be a slight hint of chocolate as well. Really reminds me of a lighter, softer version of an english porter.

T - Really follows the nose here. Strong malt presence with a great sweet toffee and caramel flavor as well. The chocolate malt comes through much more on the palate than the nose rounding out a very nice robust flavor. A nice bready-ness to the flavor profile as well. A nice bitter hop bite at the back of the palate.

M - Medium bodied and carbonation. A very nice smooth beer with a great nutty finish.

D - Very smooth and very favorful. I was very pleased by this beer and am hoping to investigate more from Pretty Things.

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

The bottle describes the brew as a rustic dark ale but their website describes it as a "Yorkshire-inspired...big malty brown ale." The beer pours a deep dark brown with a light tan head. The aroma is very malty and has some toasted notes. The beer is very easy to drink with a smooth mouthfeel and medium body. The malt character dominates the taste with toasted, sweet caramel and slightly burnt flavors.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a very dark mahogony reddish brown with a good bit of bubbly creamy lightly tan colored head.

S-the nose is big time malt, more sweet but slightly roasted. caramel and toffee, hints of chocolate.

T-the taste is similar, lots of malt, even more roasted malt, notes of caramel malt, a good bit of chocolate malt, all roasted. light malt sweetness in the back.

M-smooth and creamy medium to light body, thins out just a little in the back with low carbonation and a clean finish.

D-this is a tasty brew with great drinkability, not a lot happening and pretty singular...malts and more roasted malt.

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Photo of hopmonkey
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, rich brown with a pleasant, creamy head. Notes of toffee and caramel, but not cloying. Underlying hops contribute to a pleasant bitterness and surprisingly clean finish. I would not mind seeing the ABV increased a touch to give it a little more bite, which might also tame the malt just a touch more. Overall very good.

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Photo of errantnight
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful deep mahogany with a pale tan head that is lusciously creamy, moderate lacing and excellent retention.

Aroma brings a waft of satisfying nutty roast, backed by a light fruit character (cherry?) and chocolate.

On the palate this has pleasing complexity, a tart finish that's a bit sharp (maybe the dark malts could be dialed back just a touch) on a medium bodied beer that's otherwise quite smooth. Fresh medium toast and nuts carry through to a lingering malt sweetness before the faintly acrid and tart notes swing in.

It's delicious and superbly drinkable now, and perhaps a delicate tweak or two away form being masterful.

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Photo of tronester
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Rattle an Hum in Manhattan.

Served cool in a 16oz pint glass. Hazy reddish brown in color with a very small tan head. Smell was of an English yeast strain and a hint of chocolate. Taste was velvety smooth toasted malt flavor, with a ripe fruit middle and finish. Hint of earthy hops in the finish. Mouthfeel was super rich and smooth, very low carbonation. Excellent drinkability, an excellent beer to have on cask, even though it was slighty cloudy with yeast.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden

A-Ruby tinted, deep, dark brown with a medium frothy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves impressive ringing lace.

S-Cocoa powder, pumpernickel and roasted malt with a touch of dry nuttiness.

T-Solid dry roasted malt with touches of apple, cocoa, hearty dark bread and even a nudge of earthy hops.

M-Medium bodied and quite smooth with nice lingering flavours and a light nutty dryness in the finish.

D-A solid offering whose body of work equals up to one mighty fine drinking brown ale. Plenty of flavour and a pleasant smoothness makes this one go down easy.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany body with ruby hues and a generous, foamy tan head that is really persistent before giving way to a sticky lacing.

Aroma consists of sweet toffee and caramel malt, as well as sweet nuts and yeast.

The flavor is very similar highlighted by the toffee and caramel, with a more pronounced nuttiness, and just faint earthy hops at the finish.

This beer is medium in body and carbonation with a pleasant creamy finish.

Quite a tasty beer with plenty of character to offer the palate. Great traditional brew.

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

A - Pours a mostly clear ruby brown with a big billowy off white head that has great retention, and decent web-like lacing down the glass.

S - Creamy coffee, with grassy herbal hops in the back.

T - Creamy mocha and coffee flavors and a touch of both nutty and burnt character with a good herbal, grassy hop bite in the finish to clean it up.

M - On the light side of a medium body, perfectly low carbonation level that I enjoy in a brown ale makes it nice and smooth across the palate with a clean finish.

D - Well rounded, fairly complex for the abv, and well balanced. Easily just found my new favorite brown ale.

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Photo of glib
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has rapidly become one of my favorite beers. It has a powerful, but not overwhelming malty taste, and a very clean finish. There is not a lot of competition between hoppy and malty tastes, so each flavor can be savored separately. An extremely fine and drinkable beer.

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Photo of Walken
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project: St. Botolph's Town (Bottled: May 2010) (Tasted 07/04/10)
22 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Very dark brown beer, capped with a glorious brown head, speckled with bubbles. Monstrous retention and lace.
Odor: Full force yeasty nut character, backed by subtle fruity notes and a big whiff of lightly toasted rich brown bread.
Consistency: On the light end of medium body with an aggressive but fine carbonation that lifts the flavors into view without scrubbing the palate entirely.
Taste: Dry, nuttiness up front, baker's chocolate comes on next with a fruity alcohol character in the mix. Balance comes in the form of a roasted bitterness that runs alongside the chocolate flavors, flourishing in the finish, lingering with that same dry nutty flavor.

This is definitely a mashup, English brown + old ale, and it captures the hallmarks of either style perfectly. Stylistic nonsense aside, this is a well-envisioned recipe that is also brewed well, with a kind of voodoo magic that few can fathom. The flavors are intense and well-integrated, everything about this beer screams excellence to me.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A deep, dark brown body with some ruby highlights around the edges...a thin, light brown head that showed a little retention...some lacing

S - A fairly sweet nose with notes of caramel, toffee, some dark fruits, and the roasted malts

T - The flavors mirror the nose with the sweetness from the caramel malts and the roastiness from the malts as well...the difference in the flavor is the addition of dark chocolate coming across the palate...it provides another level of sweetness but also adds an extra bitterness since the hop bite is very subtle at the end

M - Medium bodied...creamy, smooth, nice and balanced finish

D - This was a very nice brown ale...definitely on the English side with all the malts and very little hops...the low ABV makes it sessionable and I liked the chocolate flavors as well as the balance of the beer

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber shared at woodshop 5.1

Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. Great roasted malt aromas with caramel, and nutty accents. There was also slight faint toffee and hop notes. The roasted malts dominate the flavor with a nice almond nutty accent and faint caramel , toffee, and slight hop character. The beer was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet nutty and slight hop bitter finish. This beer style reminds me of high school cause I use to drink lots of english brown ales. It still drank pretty good and took me back to the good old days. The beer did justice for the style.

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Photo of Damian
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a stemmed glass

Murky, muddy brown in appearance with a thin cap of light tan froth atop the liquid. The head faded to a lasting ring. Steaks of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The aroma was rich, sweet and full with notes of brown bread, raisins and caramel. Plummy. Brown sugar was noticeable as well.

The taste was similar to the aroma. Semi-sweet and malty rich. Plummy and fruity with subtle cocoa notes. A bit nutty as well. Some earthy hops appeared on the finish.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied but super creamy, frothy and smooth with a fine, moderate, tongue blanketing effervescence. Quite impressive, especially for a beer of this magnitude.

Drinkability was quite good. This is a tasty, well balanced brown ale with a rather intriguing flavor profile. It would likely pair well with most any pub fare.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a few notes of red when looked at in the right light. A mild tan head forms on top.

S: There is a nice toasted malt note right off the bat along with some nuttiness. Certainly sweet, but not overly so. Fairly well balanced all around.

T: The nuttiness and toasted malts are the main flavors of this beer. There is a nice caramel and toffee sweetness as well that works nicely with the very mild bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a somewhat light carbonation to it.

D: A very easy beer to drink. Before knowing the style, I thought it could have passed for an English Mild, and could easily drink this like it was.

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Photo of drpimento
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bartender was very enthusiatic about this so I hated to let him down when I didn't find it to be so fantastic. Poured with a thick foamy frothy tan head and plenty of lace. Color was an opaque brown black. Aroma was very malty a bit roasty and a bit of sour. Flavor was the same. Tartness seemed inappropriate unless it woulda been a Flemmish brown. Body was good and ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor and I was noticing the tart more. Not a session.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from growler into glass

Appearance-Pours a rich chocolate colored brown into the glass with red highlights around the bottom and top edges of the glass. A soft off-white fluffy head rises and lasts for quite a few sips before finally receding leaving some nice lace along the sides as it goes.

Aroma-Cocoa, caramel, nuts, dark malts and maybe the slightest hint of clove which I assume is from the Belgian yeast they used. It smells very nice actually, like a very high quality English styled brown ale but with a little something extra.

Taste-A bit darker than average for the style with some slight flavors of black licorice and dark bitter chocolate in addition to the typical English Brown Ale flavors; dark caramel, nuts, dark fruits etc. I also detect some flavors reminiscent of a dark Belgian, probably due to the Belgian yeast strain and the sugars used in the brewing.

Mouthfeel-Appropriate for the style, medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability-It's a bit too dark and bitter and it's flavors a tad too strong to be considered very drinkable, especially when compared to others of its style; it drinks slower than average, at least for me anyway.

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

Batch 2 , bottled April 2009

A: Pours a murky, dark, ruby/brown with a 1-finger, light brown head that falls quickly to a cover without lacing.
S: The aroma is a nice, sweet, malty scent that is my favorite part of this beer.
T: The flavor is very similar to the smell but on the mild side. Maybe it's the age, but before it warmed a bit I got a tanginess in the finish which mostly disappeared later.
M: Is on the thin side with light carbonation, some creaminess would have been nice though not a problem.
D: Fairly low ABV plus a pleasant mild taste makes it very drinkable. Given the opportunity, I would like to try this one on cask.

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Photo of Kallessin
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color, very clear with coppery highlights. Has a huge billowing, light tan head that looks like a dollop of cream on top with great lacing as it settles.

Has a mild sweet maltiness with a little caramel and some toasted notes.

Has a sweet malty taste with caramel and a light fruitiness. There's some light roasted notes with a smokey quality and some toasted dark bread. Mildly bitter on the finish with a lingering toasted flavor.

It's medium bodied and smooth with light carbonation and a slow dry finish.

This is a really good beer. It looks fantastic, but a little light on the aroma. The flavor is mild and well rounded. My only real complaint is the lingering dryness.

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

Purchased in Minneapolis for $7.49 (Bottled August 2009, Batch Three)
A: deep dark color, great rocky head that stuck around
S: Belgian yeast, roasted malt
T: very good taste, almost like a dubbel, roasted malt, Belgian yeast, slight astringency
M & 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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