Baby Tree | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Baby TreeBaby Tree

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Baby Tree was our first Easter beer. We LOVE Easter here at Pretty Things. Usually after the long Boston winter, we’re itching to bring out the bunnies, bonnets and yellow fluffy chicks and get on with our Springtime.

The Baby Tree is a real tree. This must be said. It dwells in Sexhow and carries cavorting baby-dolls and in season, a few pears appear. It belongs to great friends of Dann & Martha, and they chose to rescue these small plastic people from a landfill-fate by allowing them to ride in their pear-tree many years ago. And thank heavens they did.

Our Baby Tree is a very magical, traveling tree filled with waving, happy babies, some of whom may or may not resemble Mikheil Gorbachev. There may also be some discrepancy in the number of limbs, but we cannot be sure where other baby heads may be poking through the leaves so we don’t worry ourselves about it. If you want, read our poem about it.

Baby Tree beer is a Pretty Things take on the best of Abbey-style brewing from Belgium. Inspired by monastic and abbey quadruples, embellished with dark fruit flavours, not too sweet, not too heavy, it’s a springtime beer with some of the richness of late winter. It makes it perfect year round, so that’s when we offer it! You should be able to find it most months of the year, on draft or in bottle.

All in all, it’s our way of bringing a bit of Springtime to you and to us, all year round. Hooray!

Added by twelvsies on 04-21-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 820
Photo of albern
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a thick and slightly syrupy beer that has a bit of a creamy head that doesn't retain much, a bit of lacing, a clear amber color. The nose has a bit of ABV present, lots of sweet malts and florals, and a slight alcohol soaked fruit aroma.

This is a sweet, fruity, thick, syrupy ale with a grape like taste, from the plums, and maybe some pineapple, a touch of citric tanginess, and good dose of ABV. This is a sipping beer, it is strong, it has some warming alcohol notes on the back end that lead into the finish. It's a nice, strong, fruity type ale that has much to recommend it.

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Photo of John_M
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a darkish brown color with OK head retention and not much lacing. While the beer didn't look all that impressive, in this case looks were deceiving. The aroma profile is undeniably pretty sweet, with brown sugar and chocolate, coupled with some underlying prunes and cherry. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose pretty closely, but I was impressed by the amount of flavor and richness in this beer. I would describe the mouthfeel as no more then medium bodied, with a fairly long finish. Drinkability is OK, though you can tell the alcohol is up there a bit in this one, which coupled with the sweetness, makes drinking this beer rather slow going. Nevertheless, I thought this a very nice effort from this "new to me" brewery.

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Photo of berkey
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2 July 2009 1 Pint 6 oz bottle received via trade. From 10/07/09 notes.

Pours a dark brown color that shows garnet hues around the edges when held to light. Forms a great large head that fades fairly quickly. Active carbonation is easily visible. Fair lacing.

Plums are right out front on the nose. More than I expected actually but it works very well with the other dark fruity esters typical of the style. Figs, dates, raisins, also seem to be coming out as it warms. Pleasantly yeasty while the alcohol is detectible in a brandy-like aroma.

Flavor follows the aroma somewhat with the same plums and brandy notes but seems much less complex somehow. My first thought was that upping the ABV might improve this but after a few sips I think the brewer made the right call capping this at 8.6 as it's just on the verge of becoming 'hot'. Very well carbonated which works well in beers like these.

I have mixed feeling about this one, the aroma is right up there among the best of the style but after that I'm not sure if it does it for me. Overall, though, this is a very interesting beer and I'm very curious to try more Pretty Things brews in the near future.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber from the first batch in April '09. Pours a very dark, cloudy brown with a small light beige head that doesn't really last. Smells of bready, fruity, and even tangy yeast; pretty reminiscent of Chimay Première, actually. A wee bit of chocolate/roastiness. Sweet overall. The taste has all of the same characteristics; a doughy but fruity yeast presence, along with a good amount of sweet, dark malt. Brown sugar. Very sweet finish that leaves a rather cloying aftertaste; kind of like Cracker Jacks. Warming. Full body. Too sweet, though I guess that keeps with the style.

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Photo of mjl21
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade...thanks Russ. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Part of Batch Two and was bottled in July 2009. No abv info is given.

A-Pours an opaque cola color. It has a one finger tan head that quickly dissipates into a bubbly ring around the glass along with a nice layer of swirling film.

S-It smells big and sweet from the get go. The plums used in this are readily apparent and smell liked they have been soaked in rum. The Belgian yeast is also noticeable. As it warms I pick up on molasses.

T-The taste mirrors the nose. Lots of sweet rum soaked stone fruit, clove, and banana. There is some noticeable booze, but it is not distracting. It has a really nice hoppy bite at the end.

M-It is a fuller bodied beer that is sticky and thick. I found it to be well carbonated.

D-Definitely a big beer best served as a nightcap. Filling and boozy good.

I really dug this one. I think a tad bit of aging would smooth it out even more. Nice to have such a hopped quad. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of crossovert
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to discovolante65 for the 22oz bottle, with odd almost demented label artwork. A quadruple with dried plums. Batch two, bottled July 2009. No sign of abv on label though this site proclaims 8.7.

Pours into my Duvel glass a thick, moderately opaque black. When held to light the exact replica of plum color is revealed. The head is foamy, off white, and leaves some thick lacing behind. Carbonation bubbles are clearly seen rising to the top despite the dark color. The carbonation bubles that make it to the top form an intricate ring of bubbles that feed the head and keep it frothy atop the beer (thanks to the Duvel glass as well). Very nice appearance to this one.

Smell is very clovy which is the main scent, with some dark fruits (plum). As it oxidizes the fruit and sweet malt scents come out a bit more. The smell is decent, slightly different from and not as complex as the other quads I've had.

Flavor is bursting with fruity sweetness. Slightly bitter finish. I'm not that huge of a fan of the semi-cloying sweetness mixed with the bitterness. This sort-of reminds me of Koeningshoven. The alcohol content is less than a Koeningshoven but is just as prevalent, as it mixes with the bitterness and sweetness with some burn. I would have liked it to hide a little bit more. But the exiting depth of plum flavor and nice complimentary malts excuse a bit of the alcohol and sweetness problems this one has. The mouthfeel is right on, I love the carbonation level, it works well to cut through some of the sweetness. I would have to dock the drinkability down a bit because the alcohol isn't too well hidden, a 22 oz is good, but a 12 would have been primo.

Overall a good entry for the Quad field, impressive considering this brew is American.

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Photo of bum732
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark ruby red, good bubbly head. Smells of spicy malt, mostly clove and cinnamon, some dark fruit, mostly plums. Big plum sweetness up front that is countered by an undercurrent of clove like spice. A nice pronounced earthy, bitter component ends the sweetness giving way to a spicy and dry finish with a nice kiss of plum fruitiness. Fairly high carbonation cuts through the medium mouthfeel. Alcohol noticeable.

A really nice quad, balanced without being too cloying. I love the plums in this beer, really drives the flavor and pushes the fruit to the forefront. Highly recommend.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Batch Two
Bottled: July 2009

Poured into a chalice a ruby red color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some figs, raisins, plums, slight spice. The taste is sweety, malty/yeasty, with some dark fruits thrown in, slighlty spiced. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little brew, glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch Two, 22oz. bottle shared with others at an Austin BA tasting. Thanks to Jwale73 for the trade!

Clear, amber-cola body with a toffee core. The taupe-beige head retains insanely well for a quad, and leaves thick legs of lacing draped along the inside of the glass. Aromas of plum & vinous white grape raisins, a bit muted but still quite nice. Sugary toffee malts provide a modest backbone.

This is a hoppy quad--much hoppier than I had expected--but it works, as the bitterness balances well with the sweet dark fruit notes of plum and fig. Finishes clean with some toasted malt and Belgian candi sugar. The medium body is well-carbonated, making this also one of the more drinkable quads I've encountered. Great beer; Pretty Things is definitely headed in the right direction.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, tape over the cap says "Bottled July 2009,Batch two". Pours a moderatly dark shade of brown, murky and welcoming. The Frothy head is dark khaki, long lasting and leaving a rich collar, then well developed and quite beyond respectable sheeting/lacing. Nice looking beer. The sniff is soaked in ripe dark fruit, raisins and figs. Full flavor and quite tasty brew. Dark Belgian beer lovers rejoice. Loaded with notes of rum soaked raisins, ripe and goey figs and plums. Pleasing mouthfeel and smooth finish. Alcohol present but well folded into all the other good stuff going on here. Classy sipper, night capper, dessert beer. Well done, PT crew...

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened up a bottle from the first batch (according to the cap label) and it poured a hazy brown with a short off-white head. Overall, this beer reminded me a bit of Ommegang's Three Philosophers, but less-so of traditional Belgian quads like St. Bernardus 12. While the beer is smooth drinking, it's also considerably more bitter and has a roasted toffee flavor that stands out. Of course, there's also cherry, caramel, fig, and plum flavors rolling around in this almost too-drinkable beer. Definitely worth a try for an interesting and tasty take on the style.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA. Cap tape says Batch 2, Bottled July 2009.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 3/4" brown head over the cloudy dark red brew. Frothy head receds very gradually, with a thick coating of lace. Aroma is yeasty, spicy, and dark fruits. Taste is moderately sweet upfront, fruit in the middle, and the close finds the spice and alcohol coming together. I'm having trouble separating the flavors, they all merge so well. Mouthfeel is way smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Liking this.

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Photo of mirish72
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from Pretty Things. I have tried several of their other beers, but this was the first time I was able to sample the Baby Tree.

I don't have much experience drinking Belgian style Quads and was a bit apprehensive about the whole prune thing. When I tried it, I was really impressed with this beer.

Pours a dark amber with red highlights, really nice lacing and a 1 finger head. The beer has a sweet, caramelly aroma. Key for me was that is was balanced and it wasn't overly sweet. It was very drinkable and hides the booze well.

Not as strong or sweet as some other Quads I have tried, but that is a good thing. Good thing I bought a few because this will be a great beer in the fall.

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Photo of Perkyanda
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It pours a dark brown, with a creamy chocolate color, with a touch of grey to it. It's head is a lighter color--not true white, but a light yellowish color about a finger's width wide, with tight bubbles. It smells a little like caramel to me--I can't really gt any other sense of the smell, and its very faint--there's maybe a touch of an earthy scent, but that's all, really.

This beer strikes me as relatively cool, for a beer of its strength--it doesn't warm me up immediately, and it goes down smoothly. The first actual flavor I notice is one of sweetness--again, a sort of rich, caramelly sweetness. I can sense some dark fruit, but can't get the plums themselves. The beer almost seems to have a creaminess to it as well, both in flavor and texture--the mouthfeel is both thick and smooth. It doesn't have a lot of a flavor kick to it, but it does make it extremely easy and satisfying to drink.

I absolutely love this beer. It's one of my favorites. I'll be buying it again, and again, and again.

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Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy brown color with a 1/4" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale and crystal malt scent along with a nice fruity yeast aroma. It's dry with a bit of warmth and plum aroma. It's not overly fruity; just complimentary. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that's rich in crystal malts and Belgian ale yeast. The dried plums add some complexity, but the yeast is the dominant flavor here. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a tastey brew. I tried it at the ACBF and couldn't wait to buy a bottle for home. Nice work!

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Chimay glass. Excited to try this brewery's quad.

A- Baby Tree has a dark brown look with some red seeping through especially when up to some light. A light tan foam rose up than faded, but there was a light skim throughout my drink so the retention is nice. Not much lacing or sediment.

S- This one is all about the plums, they are in the forefront for sure. Under that, some spice and a smell of light alcohol. Other dark fruits pop up but plum is king. Getting some cocco and light bread from the yeast addition. Not the greatest smell I got from a quad, but far from the worst.

T- Plums, Plums and more plums. Seriously, Im getting dried plums and plum juice combined. Some residual sugars come up but are lighter compared to other quads, which is good for me. Under the plums and lighter amounts of other dark fruits some cocco nibs, spices, bread and some alcohol in the back, it is not completely masked.

M&D- The mouth is nice on this, sweet and a bit syrupy, I would say baby tree as an above medium body with light carb, especially when it warms. A smooth sipper with just a bit of heat when going down. The ABV is not as high as other quads which is a nice change of pace, The lighter ABV does not take away from the taste which is superb. I would have no problem drinking a whole bomber of this & I would not be stumbling around afterwards. This might benefit from some short term aging, but it is great where it's at now.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a faintly hazed reddish dark brown. it's a finger worth of khaki head that fades pretty quickly.
the aroma is pretty subdued. it's a got plum and raisin, with some other more nebulous dark fruitiness. there is also a vaguely nutty earthy yeast component that is also ever so slightly musty.
the taste has got juicy dark fruits (plum and rasin etc. again). the malts take the steering wheel towards the middle, with a nice earthy brown sugary roasty caramel. faint nuttiness and non diacetyl buttery-ness. a little drier than you might expect.
the mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium bodied with a soft delicate, but fairly active carbonation. this one starts off being a little ho-hum, but it grows on you. i'm liking the earthy sort of dryness.

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Photo of younger35
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew recently from the one and only BeerTruth. This will be my first brew from Pretty Things and honestly after the Bros review in the magazine I was pretty interested. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Bottled April 2009 - First Batch!

Appearance- Pours a very hazy brownish crimson with a nice big one finger off-white head that recedes fairly slowly. A nice cap and collar is left the entire beer along with a bit of spotty lacing.
Smell- Surprisingly yeasty with a dark sort of spicy earthy phenols. Obviously fruity with dried plums dominating along with some freshly picked apricots. A light bit of bubblegum and banana mix in a sort of odd couple like marriage. This is definitely one of the fruitier American Style Belgium's I've smelled. A bit of alcohol is definitely detectable but this beer is still hella young.
Taste- Starts lightly sweet with a deep dark fruitiness that tastes exactly like the nose smells. Prunes, Apricots and raisins are all deep dark and rich. Brown sugar and candy coated peanuts are all part of the lightly toasted maltiness that hides under all that fruity goodness. The yeast doesn't seem all that prominent but it is sort of earthy and raw. The alcohol shows on the finish and the fruit lingers and lingers.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a creamy/velvety feel and fairly light carbonation.
Drinkability- Definitely not bad. I think it may be slightly young at this point but honestly it's packed full of big flavor and not too sweet (the most important trait for any Belgium for me). Very impressive for such a young brewery (or at least a young bottling brewing, honestly have no clue about them). Thanks Adam!

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Photo of jaxon53
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FishGetter for getting me this beer.
First batch, bottled April 2009. This is my first Pretty Things beer. Served this slightly chilled, in a Westvleteren chalice, from a twenty two ounce bottle. Great label.

Appearence: Baby Tree pours out a deep reddish brown color that appears to be a bit murky. A somewhat strong pour resulted in a soapy, one finger, dull white head. Decent head retention, slowly faded into a thin skim coat of foam that left some spotty lace.

Smell: Great big nose on this beer. Big, sweet smelling malt aroma is the front runner. Definitely smell the plums and a bit of booze. Slight tones of brown sugar. Yeasty and earthy.

Taste: Big flavor in this beer as well. A definite malt monster that is a bit on the sweet side. A nice plum flavor that isn't overpowering. Underlying notes of brown sugar and chocolate in the background. Flavor is quite balanced, and a bit spicy. A slight tartness finishes this beer nicely.

Mouthfeel: Almost syrupy , full bodied mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the lighter side.

Drinkability: Drinkability is good but suffers a bit from the sweetness. Overall a pretty good beer from Pretty Things.

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Photo of damienblack
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark prunish purpley-brown into my tulip with a nice lofty head, and some sticky lacing as the beer goes down. Smell is sort of boozey, which is odd, kind of sweet. That boozey smell may be plums, since I get it on the taste too. It doesn't taste boozey, but something with that slightly bracing bitterness, that eventually smooths out. I think it is the plums. Sweet, plum, velvety. Nice and smooth. It takes a bit to get used to, but it becomes very drinkable when you do. Probably my least favorite Pretty Thing so far, but by no means a poor showing.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For the Summer, it is a pretty cold, dismal day out that reminds me more of Fall. For this reason, I decided to pick up something with a little alcohol girth to it. Before I go any further, the artwork on this beer, and all Pretty Things beers (which I believe are drawn by Dann) are some of the coolest out there. On to the beer...Dark in color, sort of burgundy, a quick forming head that quickly becomes white lacing with multiple levels. Dark stone fruits meld very well with the Quad character. Sometimes this style gives off smells and flavors of dark fruit not unlike the ones found here. In this case however, the addition of dried plums does raise the bar a bit without becoming too sweet or artificial seeming. Besides the fruit, other accompanying complexities include some brown bread, molasses, bubblegum, powdered sugar and delicate alcohol. Mouthfeel is full bodied, yet very manageable. When this brew first hit the shelves in April, some friends of mine felt that it was a bit too hot. If that sentiment was true, it is drinking superbly right now. Still, I am sure a year or more of cellar time would do wonderful things to this brew. My final thoughts are that this fits in perfectly with the rest of Pretty Things exceptional line of beers. BAs not within the distribution area of this brewery should be setting their sights on Baby Tree and the rest on the lineup.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz, first batch bottled in April. Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance is ok - slightly opaque, amber brown, effervescent, with faint tan head fading to a ring.

Maybe I'm congested, or just served this too cold, but there wasn't much to the smell - rich fruits and maple syrup.

Taste livened things up a bit - Starts with Belgian-style yeasty quality, followed by ripe plums, raisins, and brown sugar. I did not pick up the 8% ABV. Pretty sweet, pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel was a little thin, but a good balance of carbonation. No heavy residual aftertaste.

Quite drinkable - might be a good gateway Quad for the uninitiated.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and lightly translucent mahogany hued brown color with a big light tan colored head of big bubble fluffy foam that settles quickly. Shallow surface collar kept alive by underlying effervescence. The smell is good too...earthy Belgian yeast, figs and plum. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied and creamy. A damn fine drinker; taste is sweet and fruity, like my favorite Belgian Strong Dark Ales without significant signs of the 8.7% ABV. Had a ton of fun with this one; going back for more :p

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MGambleWWS for the bottle.

Pours a cloudy dark brown color with a small off white head.

Scent of pungent dark fruit, yeast, and biscuity malts. The heavy sweet dark fruits are a nice touch. It could use more malts, but there is not much fault to find in the scent of this beer.

Taste of yeasty, bready malts, and sweet dark fruit. Finishes with sugars and dark fruits. The sweetness takes over here, but that is not entirely bad. I prefer more of a crispy malt flavor, but this is still one tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a crisp carbonation.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Cracked this one open when fixing the rigged bike that fatty lent to Tom.

Great label! Poured a deep and muddy brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits (plums for sure), roastiness, yeastiness, and chocolate. Tastes of the same dark fruitiness, chocolate, breadiness, candi sugar, and some nuttiness. Alcohol content overall well hidden.

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.86 out of 5 based on 820 ratings.
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