Baby Tree | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Baby TreeBaby Tree
Very Good
820 Ratings
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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Ratings: 820 |  Reviews: 351
Photo of BrewerB
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sidebordz sent me this gem as an extra in his first BA trade. I'm a huge Pretty Things fan, having enjoyed everything I've sampled by them. Blake - thanks again for the hookup!

Pouring this quad into my SF Beer Week tulip. Somewhat hazy, reddish copper with a 1-2 finger off white head that settled down thin but retains well.

What a nose on this! Caramel spiced apples, figs, burnt sugars. Perfumey alcohol. Excellent rich malty character.

More rich malt character makes its way to the palette. Caramel, bready, with dried figs and brown sugar. Low hop bitterness and not much in the way of hop flavor. Low earthiness.

Medium bodied with a moderate/moderate-high level of carbonation. Smooth.

Overall this is a rich, malty brew with well-layered flavors of caramel, bread, dried figs, and sugars, among others. Could use additional complexity but can't really recommend much other remove for complexity. Delicious and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber hue in my snifter, off white head with ok retention reduces to a small cap. Scent is dark fruit heavy: plum and raisen. Burnt sugar, yeast. Taste is a bit more muted, but sweet. Light bodied and well carbonated. I find it hard to fathom that 9% abv can be this well hidden, but it is.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a dark caramel color with deep reddish hues. Thin wisp of beige head disappears, leaving no lacing or retention.

Plethora of fruit in the nose with plum, cherry, raisin, and date. Faint tartness from ripe fruit skin. Candi sugar and malts with faint warmth.

Roasty malt with fruit sweetness up front. Candied notes with burnt sugar. Plum, cherry, and raisin are all present with a continued sweetness. Layers of richer malt with caramel are slowly finished off with a soft glow of booze.

Fuller body, higher carbonation, sticky and coating on the tongue. Tasty quad, I enjoyed the addition of plums, and the higher ABV wasn't overbearing at all.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.87/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to angrybabboon for half the bottle.

Appearance: Deep reddish/brown. Head is off-white, slightly rocky, and thin. Leaves faint cap on the top of the beer. Pours on the thin side. Carbonation looks high.

Smell: Plums and Belgian yeast. Spice and dark fruit. It smells on point. Booze, caramel malts, faintly bready. Loads of spice, clove and pepper. Lacks some depth. Big aroma up front, but not a lot on the long take. Sweet, almost like fruit juice.

Taste: Big surprise here, plums and Belgian yeast. Sweet caramel malts and candi sugar. Fruit is raisins and just a touch of dark fruit juice (plums!). Warms to a Belgian monstrosity. Tastes more akin to a dubbel than a quad. Flavors fail to meld in any cohesive way. Big yeast assault followed by malts. Also, booze.

Mouthfeel: Thin and slightly overcarbonated. A little harsh on the sip. Drinks like a fizzy dubbel.

Overall: One of the more lackluster offerings I've had from Pretty Things. The flavors never really hit it for me and the carbonation was killer. It's a nice try for the American take on the style, but there are better examples out there. I'm missing the desired complexity of the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet and murky, a fruit stew. Doesn't actually taste very strong. Hints of liquorice and raisins and currants. Odd touch of perfume. Brownish amber in the chalice with a decent but not memorable head. Mouthfeel is a medium body, not sticky. Not much in the way of hops, but there is a bitter twang at the end along with a dry toffee flavor.

Not as interesting as other PT beers. Makes me think of some of the dark, heavy Stone beers without the hop overdose. In some ways it's an improvement over the heavy, syrupy Quads, however.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a pretty dark brown hue. Medium sized tan head is born from the pour. Head then dies off a bit leaving some lacing. Looks good.

S-Robust. Dark sugary maltiness. Yeast. Alcohol. Dried fruit (to a lesser extent than the big-time Belgian Quads). Overall, smells strong and tasty. Interested to see how MA does the all-too-revered Quadrupel.

T-Enjoyable and rich. The yeast really left a mark for me here. The specific yeast strain they employed was enjoyable to me. Rich, dark, sweet sugared malt. Some dark fruitiness. Alcohol is prevalent.

M-Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation. Slick. Yeast leaves a hard to define yet specific mouthfeel. Alcohol dries the tongue out.

O/D-Overall, considering this is not my favorite style, I still think this is a pretty good representation of such style.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice a rich burgundy infused russet with a thinner tannish colored head atop.Funk and more funk overtop of dark fruit in the nose,maybe the most funk I have come across in a quad.Cakey with dark fruit flavors the at turn into quite a funky finish,Iam not a fan of funk so it kinda turned me off a little.A well made beer but I think the funk is heavy handed for the style.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep brown/amber color, off white head

Nice Belgian note to the nose, but that is pretty much all i'm getting.

Taste is fairly subdued for a quad, very little of the way of dark fruit save in the aftertaste.

Kind of disappointing actually, this is the second beer I've tried from PT, and both have only been decent. Meh.

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Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yeah... Pretty Things has come to Washington DC!

Bottled June 2011.

A: Poured a grainy, bark-like brown... but the beer that collected in the glass was somewhat darker and had a sticky, 1/4 finger head on it.

S: Dark fruit: prunes, raisons, and figs. However, the scent wasn't too Belgian-y and there was sort of a clean linen quality that washed over that a bit.

T: Very disciplined, tempered, and extremely smooth in its sugar content. Once again, the cottony goodness washed over all the ingredients, balancing this one out in spades. As a matter of fact, by the time the yeast bleached out the dark funk, I could have sworn that I got a hint of cherry on the back end.

M: Very clean on the palate, which is very unusually for this style IMO. Very splotchy, mildly off-white lacing and the moderately thick and carbonation which was spot on.

O: This one really blew me away. Maybe it's because the last few quads I've tried have been duds, but I thought this was fantastic!

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a June 2011 bottle into a tulip glass:

Appearance: Rich golden brown, with white head.

Smell: malty, estery, caramel, boozy as it warms, brown sugar.

Taste: Malty, caramel, brown sugar, slight citrusy notes.

Mouthfeel: medium-full bodied, boozy as it warms, bubbly at first, smoother as it sits.

Overall: a decent quad, but not overly notable.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

March 2011 bottling, Batch 10

A: Thin head, but good carbonation visible. Really lovely dark red color.

S: Candi sugar, poached pears, bread pudding. Captivating and luscious.

T: Has a bit of a burnt attack that I wasn't expecting from the aroma. Raisin bread and a bit of a brandy note. Doomed to be a let-down compared to the aroma, but still pretty darn tasty. Further into the glass, the burnt notes become less in your face and other interesting flavors appear: apple tart, a hint of pineapple.

M: Fully bodied, but clean finishing. Carbonation is low and there's a light, balancing bitterness.

O: Quite a drinkable quad, not the most complex example of the style, but tasty and approachable.

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Photo of litheum94
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2011.

P: Appears near black until held to the light, revealing a deep brown body with hues of red. A very small, tan head fizzes out quickly, leaving small pools of bubbles.

A: Fairly complex nose, with notes of charred wood, rootbeer, molasses and some alcohol. Vanilla, figs and earth are also present.

T: Starts with some subtle malts, with vanilla and rootbeer flavors. Dark fruits lead into a caramelized sugar sweetness, with earthy yeast. French oak flavors mid-palate. Very light herbal hops and alcohol on the finish. Light carbonation with a viscous mouthfeel.

A nice quad with good flavors. Gets a bit syrupy on the finish, which holds me back from completely loving this beer.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Bottled June 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a deep red-tinged brown, almost opaque. A finger of yellow-beige foam, settles to thick ring w/ large bubbles. Sparse, large bits of lacing.

Aroma of dark fruit and spicy Belgian yeast. Some booze. A little weaker than I was expecting.

Flavor is rather dry with typical candi sweetness taking a backseat. Dark fruits emerge (apparently this was brewed w/ plums), also some banana notes. Caramel and cocoa powder malt dominate the middle. Alcohol is not buried and reveals itself in the finish, but integrates with the flavor. Nice overall finish to the beer.

Body is medium-full with medium-low soft carbonation. Goes down easily and is very drinkable.

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Photo of mikul93
2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A Pours a very murky dark brown with a tint of red. Nice healthy head. Minimal lacing.

S I'm not really liking the smell. I'm not getting much. Some plum is coming through, caramel and slight bready malts.

T Much better than the nose. You get that sweet malt right away, some dark fig. Slight bitter aftertaste

M Medium body. good carbonation.

O This beer was a disappointment. I would not seek this out again. The nose was just not that great and the taste was forgettable.

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Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quads often resemble dark fruits, in appearance as well as taste; this one has a colour a cross between a fig and a prune that, despite a little luster, is completely opaque. It's tough to tell whether it's the colour or complexion, but the beer also looks quite murky. No surprise for a near double-digit beer, foam is near impossible to come by.

Baby Tree has a cute (actually, bizarre) sounding name, but there's nothing cute (or usual) about this aroma of dark and rich malt, sugar sweetness, and intricate yeast. It means to emulate the strong Trappist beers of Belgium and, indeed, it does just that. I'm tempted to boost the score but it seems to go mute on some sniffs. The smell is relaxing as incense.

The malts don't get full points for either depth or richness - just the way it goes when you're held in comparison to some of the world's highest rated beers - but they manage a perfectly serviceable profile of prune fruitiness (40lbs of the actual stuff was added) and molasses sweetness. Likewise, the yeast is mild by comparison to many, but lights up the mouth with a reserved, but dynamic, array of savory herbs and spicy phenols.

It's somewhat of a curse that quads are so high in alcohol - when they're not cloyingly sweet (read: well brewed) I find them among the most sensual and enjoyably drinkable beers out there. A bomber of Baby Tree is no challenge. If anything, the real challenge will come in trying to attain another bottle. I'd certainly want this for my cellar, though I'm not so sure how it'd hold up. This June 2011 bottle (two months old) is almost too mellow already.

Many American brewers see Belgian ales much like their own, but with added yeast…that's entirely missing the point. When it comes to Belgian ales, it is a another country - a story of different worlds as much as different beers. Quads are not just darker, more potent beers; they are intricate, sensual, relaxing tipples. Pretty Things obviously understood that well - this is one of few American-born examples to get it right. And that's not easy to do.

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Photo of haazer
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty new bomber bottled in June this year. Poured into a chalice.

A- Pours about a fingers worth of bubbly off-white head. Settles down onto a brown brew with some violet accents. Fairly opaque, with some lively carbonation.

S- At first whiff this wasn't too pleasant. You really have to take this in and let it sit to get the pleasant aromas. Some heavy bready malts. Some dark plums and toffee. The other aroma is somewhat stale, and burnt wood.

T- The flavor is a very subtle hint of the dark plums. There is a heavy amount of toffee and soft breaded malts. This quad is very easy drinking. No hint of alcohol what so ever. No real standouts, but still pleasant.

M- This would probably be the highlight. This is super smooth and easy drinking. On the lighter side of medium bodied, and the carbonation is felt.

O- This is a decent brew but not a standout amongst the style. I like my quads to have stronger, more pronounced flavors. But it might be the easiest drinking quad around.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber from jsilva poured into an oversized snifter approximately one year from the June 2010 bottling date. A murky, rusty looking brew with a modest head that displays impressive staying power. Streaky scattered lacing is left here and there.

The dried plums lend a pleasant fruity punch to the lightly spicy nose without overwhelming it. The plum flavor is pretty strong, but not overly sweet. The malt profile itself seems to be rather restrained in the sweetness department, too. Tasty, though, with a good balance of spicy, sweet and bitter qualities. Good 'beginner quad', perhaps. Goes down a lot easier than your average 9% brew. A hint of funk now and then has me wondering if there's brett in this stuff. Not terribly complex, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with hints of purple and red when held up to light. Tiny white head that disappears quickly. Scent is heavy with dark fruit and caramel malt. Taste is just as it smells. Initially I get prunes and raisins, followed by plums and hints of brown sugar and caramel malt. No alcohol flavors detected. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light (watered down) side for a quad. Highly drinkable though. Overall, this is by far not the best example of this style, but it is a very tasty and drinkable beer.

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Photo of jtingue
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated June 2011. Poured into a Rochefort goblet.

Appearance. Clear dark copper brown in color. A half finger of head dissipates to a nice layer on top of the beer.

Smell. Yeast phenolics are dominant. Some nice smells of fig and currant are present. More present, though, is a building spice, somewhere between nutmeg, coriander and allspice.

Taste. Like the smell there is a dominant spiciness, with much of the same character: allspice, coriander and nutmeg. Building on this is a nice subtle sweetness which transitions from that of a nice hard candy to that of dark fruits. The finish is quite dry, with equal quantities of bitterness, sweetness and alcohol burns. There is a really nice lingering spice to this beer, which seems to only build with every sip.

Mouthfeel. Thin to medium in body. Good carbonation, but a not enough for my taste.

Definitely a complex and enjoyable beer. Like I said before, it is more dominated my the spice than dark fruits or other flavors.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
1.45/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From 22oz bomber to snifter on 8/18/11
*From notes

A: Unpleasant turd brown. It looks dirty. A standard pour yields a 1.5 finger head that fade fast. Almost no lacing rims the glass.

S: How is it possible that a Quad smells like a Kolsch? Simple earth. Bland and uninspired.

T: Warm caramel up front, though that's where the pleasantries end. Have you ever been unlucky enough to catch the smell of a paper plant, downwind? Well folks, that's what this (so-called) beer tastes like. Fart inoculated prune juice, literally dipped into a monster truck rally Porta-Potty. It's toxic, and abusive to my palate, my stomach and the drain.

M: What feel? Close your eyes and you'll swear you're drinking an adjunct lager or blasé session beer. Really, I'm not kidding. Thin, overcarbed and oily.

O: Pretty Things Baby Tree is a massive, epic failure beyond compare. It's a terrible, vomit inducing beer. It's also an insult to the Quad classification. If asked, "What's the worst beer you've ever had?" Baby Tree will certainly be on my short list. I sincerely hope there was something wrong with this particular bottle, but I'll never return to this redheaded stepchild to find out.

I'd rather huff jenkum then drink this again.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

batch six: june 2010

poured cold from the bottle a deep mahogany to golden brown to a dogfish head signature glass with a thin, though long lasting head

aroma of sweet brown sugars and ripe fruit, plums.

Belgian style yeasts, ripe fruit, and a bit of a tang.

tangy bitter to the tongue, semi sweet overripe fruit.

creamy, high carbonation


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Photo of amphion1065
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the recently-opened Scholars, inexplicably poured into a pilsner glass - let's call it 9 oz.

Body is a sort of turbid brown, with some deep violet highlights. A very small, light brown head leaves minimal lacing on my glass. I appreciate that the glassware isn't helping matters, but this is a very average-looking quad.

Deep, rich dark fruits in the nose. Plums and raisins, some dates as well. This is a very sweet smelling beer, though I can definitely detect some phenol alcohol notes, even when cold.

The taste is quite similar to the smell. There is a borderline-saccharine fruit character, like candied dried plums and prunes mixed together. It's a mouth-coating sweetness that masks a lot of the Belgian yeast underlying the fruit base. Just the slightest hint of bitterness in the finish, but overall the taste is pretty one-dimensional. No alcohol flavor at all.

The mouthfeel is very solid, thick and lush without being syrupy. I could have easily drank more than my pilsner glass-sized serving, though I'm sure the ABV would've caught up to me.

Matched up against any standard Belgian Quad, this doesn't really pass muster. As an inventive take on a seminal beer style (which is really Pretty Thing's M.O.), this is a solid effort that I'm happy to see on tap around town. Treated as an American Quad, this is great to outstanding.

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Photo of DearthVader
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bomber poured to Green Man snifter (thanks for the awesome glass Alex).

Pours a charred brown with vibrant read hues around the edges. When I put it up to the computer screen, it does let some light through, but not much. A nice slightly off white head forms, but fades quickly to a thick crown. Spotty lacing is left behind.

Smell is of raisins, cherries, figs, other dark fruits. Everything is kind of dull, and I look for a very bold aroma in my quads.

Taste is upfront with a cherries and figs. Its very hard to pick up much else. Once again, I expect more from a big beer like a quad.

Mouthfeel IMO was extremely light. Very watery and unlike most in the style.

I am very glad that Pretty Things' distribution is making it's way to California. I've liked a lot of the beers I've had by them, but this one was somewhat of a let down. I wouldn't mind giving it another shot sometime, but it just wasn't for me.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a chimay goblet. Bottled September 8th 2010, batch 10.

A: Hazy, opaque brown with slight red hues. One inch head settles very quickly. Very little lacing, just a few wispy patches.

S: Very fruity on the nose with aromas of plum and cherry. Distinctively Belgian as well with some spicy yeast character. Cocoa powder. Faint smell of alcohol.

T: Fruit juice and plums up front. Belgian yeast contributes earthy and spicy tastes. Malty sweetness creeps in at times, and the malt base also adds flavors of brown bread and chocolate. Maybe even a bit nutty. Quick spike of spicy alcohol lets you know this is a big beer. Vague darkfruit esters trail in the wake of the alcohol. The finish is long lasting with tastes of powdery chocolate and woody smoke.

M: Full, thick, and a bit syrupy. Creamy and smooth too. Good.

O: Not bad. A decent attempt at a quad, but a bit average in the end. Not as complex as it could be, and I found the smoky finish to be a bit too intense and disconcerting.

Notes: I absolutely love what Pretty Things is doing, but this might be my least favorite beer by them so far. That's more of a compliment than anything else, as this is not a bad beer, just not really what I was looking for in a quad.

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Photo of tone77
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My 1,000th beer review
Poured from a brown 22oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1 inch head, good carbonation. Smell is very fruity, plums, maybe banana, yeast. Taste is also very good, plum, cherry, banana, some alcohol is present but well hidden for the most part. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall I would highly recomend this beer.

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 820 ratings
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