Baby Tree | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Baby TreeBaby Tree
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 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 Naugros
3.44/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've seen ads for this brewery and heard some about them and was curious to see where these "artisanal" ales stood. I, and my senses, were to be disappointed. Batch 9, bottled Dec 2010.

The eyes are up first. It pours brown and hazy and it's not a chill haze. If we drink with our eyes then I'm tasting mud. If you blink you'll miss the head. You get a short fizz on top and then the show's over. It's like a car drove through a mud puddle, stirred up a froth and then it all subsided and the puddle went flaccid. It's possible that way too much sediment got mixed up into the brew, but I'm pretty careful opening bottles and pouring, so if that occurred, it didn't take much. I even let the bottle sit for a while after the first pour to let any sediment settle and for the beer to warm up. No difference. Others have reported clear beer with a good head. I made sure my glass was clean before I poured. This has failed on the eyes, so now on to the nose.

Much improvement here. Raisins and milk chocolate, ripe with banana esters and some citrus hiding behind it all, but detectable with patience. It smells like a quad and even like a good quad. The nose passes it along to the tongue with good reviews.

The tongue is jealous of the nose and suspects it lied. This beer has a lot of complexities in the taste. The malt sense is dry with the alcohol adding to the dryness. The alcohol gives a bit of horse blanket, but after further contemplation it's more like tobacco. Dark fruits are a big player here. The taste is of raisin, but I heard they used plums. I can see that. There is a bit of citric bitterness that borders on acrid. There's also spiciness, but I feel that is from phenols since it has a clove sense. Some beers can marry this many flavor elements into a cohesive, enjoyable whole...not the case here. The tongue has quit from exhaustion and the rest of the mouth takes over to clean up.

The mouth notices that it's got the appropriate feel for a quad. The alcohol is noticeable, but that's not uncommon for the style. The mouth is not impressed, but it's not disappointed either. It's not sure why the tongue quit. Perhaps the brain will have an opinion.

I expected more. Maybe 9 was not a good batch or there was something in my bottle before brewing. I dunno since my reviews don't quite match what others got in the appearance. It's true to the style for sure, but seems sloppy in quality controls...or yeast control, more likely. Due to the banana esters and clove-like phenols, I suspect that German weizen yeast was used. If so, that's where it went wrong.

I love the bottle...the label is whimsical and the bottling date is VERY clear. I WANT so hard to like this beer, but I just really don't. So I'll switch to wanting to like this brewery and will give some more of their stuff a try and hope that this an anomaly and hope they do better with other styles. It's not an easy style to master and with that much malt in the mix it's really difficult to keep it all in check.

Sorry for the verbosity.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 2

A: Fairly clear brownish color with some red highlights. The head on this beer was impressive. A quarter finger of bone colored head with good lacing and excellent head retention.

S: You get the plums but they are quite muted. Ther esters are there and the nose is quite complex albeit muted. I want my quads to have a strong nose. The ABV is well hidden. It smells like it has more time on it than it actually has.

T: The plums are there for sure but for me the majority of taste from a quad comes from the yeast. I think they went with something more neutral and tried to bring out that wonderful dark fruit taste you get from quads by adding the plums. Honestly genius idea. There is a little bit of plasticy burnt taste right before the finish that was not the pleasant.

M: Super dry. They really let the yeast chew this down to almost nothing. The good thing is there is no residual sugar left.

D: Enjoyable for sure. We had a batch one fresh and I remember liking that more. A good American example of a style that is difficult to make well. I really am curious as to the yeast selection. I think this one might be better fresh.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to cosmicevan for the hookup on this one...

Batch 6. Bottled on June of 2010...

Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours a light mohagony with a two finger tan head. Head retention is decent, and there is a little bit of slippery lacing to be had...

S - Dark fruits, sweet caramel, brown sugar, and a little alcohol. Smells alot bigger than nine percent...

T - Starts off pretty sweet with plums, raisins, grapes, caramel, and brown sugar making an appereance. Ends on a smooth hop bitterness. There is alot going on here, but plums are definitely the main attraction. Very well balanced between the sweet malts up front, and the more bitter hop finish. Very clean finish with no heat to be tasted. Tasty...

M - Smooth and creamy with a good amount of carbonation...

O - Solid offering from PT. Looking foward to trying some other PT brews, as I really enjoyed this one...


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Photo of womencantsail
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber in color with a couple fingers of off-white head.

S: Rather heavy on the toasted malt aromas. Caramel sweetness with a little bit of burnt sugar and hints of dark fruits. A mild level of roasted malts. There's a slight acidity to the nose, not quite sour.

T: Caramel and toffee give a decent enough sweetness. But, this is pretty bitter for a Quad/Belgian strong. Some sweet dark fruits, toasted malt, and the same acidic character from the nose. There's also a little bit of a metallic taste.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Pretty Things beers continue to disappoint me. This just didn't have many/any of the characteristics I look for in a Quad.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip.

A: Poured a dark brown with slight redish hues on the edges. Came with about 2 fingers worth of a off white head that had good retention.

S: This beer has a big malty backbone to it, lots of sweet malts piercing through. Dark fruits are theres, especially Plums - biggest component to the beer. Slight caramel and yeast as well.

T: Very sweet and malty up front followed by a, i don't know what to call it - a plum blast. Plums are the dominate dark fruit mixed with various others such as grapes, figs and currents. Trace amounts of alcohol and yeast are present as well as caramel.

M: Medium to slightly heavy bodied beer. Had your average amount of carbonation for a Quad. Not a bad thing, but just average. Alcohol was there, could have been a little more hidden but not bad, but just not has great as its brothers over seas.

O: Standard Quad that I would love to try again. Hard to get out here in Oregon, but I guess that means i will just have to start trading more for it!!

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 22 Feb '11

A: Brown Red Ruby and orange tinted. 1/4" head dissipates quickly with minimal lacing

S: Not very fragrant at all. Really have to get in there good to get anything. First thing I get is spices, touched with candied sugar. Allspice, clove... hard to get any of the plum in the nose.

T: Light body, taste, and barely any detectable alcohol. Some barely there, curious sweetness complemented by an also curious hint of barely. Again plum not detectable. It seems like the dryness of the malt body:carbonation dynamic masks a lot here. Not belgian like at all. Interplay of things is interesting but honestly nothing is prominent or very noteworthy.

M: Malt flows throughout in this light mouthfeel, leaving a slight dryness which seems to be at no cause of the moderately low carbonation.

O: Had high hopes, and was prety dissappointed. I will revisit, possibly after aging this batch, and trying others.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, Queens on 4/7/11.

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a dark brown color. It has a nice off-white head on it. The head has pretty good retention, and leaves some specs of lacing behind on the glass.

S - It smells of nice sweet dark malts. There are good notes of dark fruits, caramel, hops, and some booziness.

T - It tastes sweet and malty up front. There are nice notes of dark fruits such as plum and grapes, yeast, and clove. The finish is clean, and leaves just a bit of a sweet aftertaste in the mouth. The alcohol is hidden quite well in this beer.

M - This has a medium body and moderate carbonation. It goes down easy, and has a rich smoothness to it. I would have lived a little more weight to it.

O - This has good drinkability. Its easy to drink, and it has a nice flavor. I could easily put a few of these back, even though its 9% ABV. I recommend giving this a try.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly dark black with a hint of reddish-brown around the edges and a finger of frothy off-white head. The head has very good retention and nice lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma is full of lots of dark fruit aromas and lots of plumbs. There is also some deep malty aromas that act as a nice backbone. Just a touch of yeast in the nose.

T - Starts off with some sweet dark fruit flavors and again lots of plums. There is also some deep malt flavor. Through the middle some richer fruit flavor comes through with a touch of yeast and a bit of alcohol flavor. The finish is heavy on the plums with some with rich caramel malts and some alcohol flavor that lingers a bit.

M - Medium-heavy bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Very rich but still very smooth. The finish is surprisingly not as heavy on the palate considering the flavors.

D - Pretty drinkable. Lots of flavor and more of a sipping beer. Very nicely balanced flavor with all the flavors mixing well. Bit of alcohol taste, but it fits in well.

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Photo of WobblyPopps
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bottle, poured into small glass.

A - Pours a red caramel with one finger off white head, quickly dissipates.
S- Am I the only one who gets banana? Light malts.
T- Medium in power. Malt, fig, there's that banana again, but not in the sense you'd think. An essence, if you will. Finishes clean, with a lingering alcohol bitter.
M-Velvety, medium body. Not overly carbonated, but enough tickle for it to be crisp.
O-For a brew of 9.0%, it's incredibly sessionable. I could easily drink these by the pint while out with friends. The baby tree picture on the bottle creeps me out though.

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Photo of wcintula
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This seems like a very different take on the Quadrupel, not to say that I've had two that are too similar. The smell takes on more of the yeast with hops and a dry sweetness as secondary aromas. The beer has a nice taste to it, again, more of a dry and bittersweet quad with a that bit of alcohol peeking through the rest of the flavors. Nice take on the style.

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Photo of Brianjames16
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- This one pours a dark ruby color with a one finger width tan bubbly head on top. Thin lacing sticks to the glass.

S- Here is the interesting part. I'm getting a tarty aroma from plums and some figs. I'm also getting some other dark fruits like raisins. Good malty bread backbone.

T- A lot of dark fruity characteristics. This one also has a decent bitterness from the hops. It's a mixture of tart and bitterness on the palate.

M- Light body with a big amount of flavor. Very easy to drink and extremely refreshing.

O- Not a bad Quad overall. Pretty Things always seem to put out legit brews.

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Photo of jale
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Eric(turdfergison) for this bottle.

A: Pours a clear brown with red hues. A good finger of frothy tan head.

S: Belgian yeast and roasted malt. Hint of tartness.

T: Mild belgian yeast upfront followed by some alcohol heat, sweet malt, and burnt sugar. Hop bitterness in the finish. You can definetly taste the plums in here.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of grub
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

another that jlindros hooked me up with. thanks jared!

22oz bottle. sampled march 27/2011.

pours nearly clear deep red with great ruby and garnet hues when held to the light. a small cap of fine tan head forms, dropping fairly quick and leaving a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. tons of delicious dark fruit. date, raisin, fig, plum. touch of molasses. caramel and a bit of toffee. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. earthy and lightly herbal. perhaps a hint of chocolate hiding in the background.

taste is good. much like the aroma, but with an added bitter burnt/astringent character. the big dark fruit character is there, but a litlte more narrowly focused on the raisin+date side. lightly toasted white bread. just over medium bitterness level, but it sort of creeps up on you... starts a little mellower and builds to that level. lightly warming alcohol. earthy and woody. bit of caramel but with no real lingering sweetness. touch of bittersweet dark chocolate.

mouthfeel is nice. medium body with a very dry finish. medium carbonation level. bit of building astringency.

drinkability is pretty good. fairly well balanced. nice depth. the astringency takes away from it slightly, but overall i still enjoyed it.

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Photo of Viggo
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing! Had this on tap at the BBF a couple years and dug it.

Pours a slightly opaque dark red, almost brown away from the light, pretty ruddy, medium sized light tan head forms and settles to a thin ring and layer around the glass, some lace spots stick, looks pretty neat.

Smell is neat, big and boozy, some raisin, alcohol, comes across a little spicy, a touch of wood, candi sugar, caramel, some biscuit/toast, pretty sweet and malty, light orange peel and some citrus, more booze, pretty intense.

Taste is interesting, burnt toast up front, then a lot of sweetness, plums/raisins, caramel, candi sugar, quite fruity, wood, some booze but not as much as in the nose, lightly spicy in the finish, almost molasses like with a big astringency.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost oily and slick, low carbonation, not enough for the style. Pretty warm going down, and a little too astringent for my liking. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of ksimons
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-deep cloudy brown with a small amount of tan head that quickly disappears to leave a bit of lace around the top

S-sweet fruits, ester, and a hint of spiciness

T-tastes of rich malt, very light hop bitterness, juicy plum tartness, and brown sugar to finish it. Alcohol is present but not overly.

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

D-an interesting take on the Quad style, not my favorite offering from Pretty Things, but better than may others which are too hot

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Photo of meadowstream
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at Hulmeville Inn in Hulmeville, PA. On tap it was very good (not as good in the bottle.)

Smell is excellent - little hoppy, little malty, great belgian aroma. The flavor is good - better than the usual US dubbel (athough this is called a quad, I am not sure that it can fall in that category...) As draft beer goes, this is a great choice.

In a bottle, it has a bit of metallic flavor and there is a syrupy flavor and sweetness that is a bit overpowering.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bomber for $7.99 at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, MA. Batch 9, bottled Dec 2010. I'm tempted to let it age a bit but even more tempted to dig in. Served at 40F in a tulip at the same temperature. A little cold but I plan to sip it for a while, so it'll warm.

A:Thick cloudy cherry red brew gives 1" of nice frothy tan head that settles to a modest layer. Minimal lace.

S: Big nose of banana peel and yeast, almost like an Imperial Hefeweizen. As it breathes some malt and stone fruit and bubblegum develops.

T: Y'know how when you bite into a plum there are two distinct flavors... mild sweetness from the flesh and a good bitter bite from the skin? Well this is just like the skin part, a good plumy bite right on the tip of the tongue. Plum skin and astringent banana peel strong up front. Then yeast, licorice, herby hop, and peppery booze mid-palate. On the back end there's some strong herby hop, licorice, and booze that lingers long into the finish. Quite complex despite lacking much malt presence.

M: Medium-bodied, not too thick or heavy, appropriate carbonation. Almost completely dry, quite different from most others, which can be pushing the boundaries of sweetness. This could be considered a diet-quad.

D: Super tasty and light enough to go down dangerously easy. A significant booze burn that the accompanying licorice and herb hop seems to accentuate. Alcohol not hidden nearly as well as other examples of the same strength. A bit of EtOH is expected here, so that's not too big of a flaw. Maybe age would mellow it out. Come to think of it, I can see how this could benefit from at least a couple more months in the bottle. Wish I'd gotten a couple more to lay down for a spell.

Ah, and I misjudged. This didn't last nearly as long as I had intended and it never got to even 50F. It's been quite a while since I've had a quad, let alone a good one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear medium copper color ale with a super large light brown head with great retention and some very good lacing. Aroma of light brown sugar notes with some light maple syrup notes and light dry fruits. Taste is a nice mix of brown sugar and light dry fruits with not as much character as expected. Body is below average for style with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I must admit to being slightly disappointed by this one with thin body and not much character but again though style to brew considering the best in style.

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

A- Poured into a oversized snifter... starts with a light head that doesn't last long leaving spotted lacing. Beer is black in color, ruby colored when held up to light

S- Smells pretty typical of a belgian style quad... sweet malts, belgian sugars, hint of alcohol

T- Starts out with a little bit of sweetness that lingers slightly through the finish. Then gets very bready and metallic tasting

M- Medium/heavy body with light carbonation

D- Not all that complex... good but not great. You could definitely sit down and put a few a way though


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Photo of paulozanello
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled June 2010, Batch six.

Pours a dark brown color with faint red hues when looked against the light. It produces a 2 finger light brown head with good retention and nice lacing.

Aroma is a bit unexpected coming from a quad. I get only mild grain, dark malt/caramel, some dark fruits and a light yeasty sweetness. The smell of a Quadruple should be very strong, with lots of sweet and yeasty notes, which is not the case with this brew.

Taste starts with some nice malty notes, mainly bread, caramel and toffee. Also a light dark fruit taste (plums, raisins, dates). It finishes with a lot of hop bitterness along with some earthiness and spicy hop notes. Again, very mild yeast presence.

Mouthfeel is average with medium to high carbonation. Body is medium to high.

Did not like this beer too much. IMO quads should be way more sweet/complex and yeasty than this one. I found that there was too much hop presence and that's not what i look for in this style.

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3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 4, bottled February 2010, aged just shy of one year. Bomber to tulip.

A: An enormous POP sounds off upon uncapping. As recommended by the label, Baby Tree is poured down the center of the glass and produces a monumental 5 finger head. Light tan in color, the head is comprised of dense compact bubbles, and it is very long lasting. Deflation occurs faster along the perimeter of the glass and leaves a proud foamy mound in the middle. Eventually, a thick and uneven collar is all that remains. The body has bright, magnifying clarity and is dark brown in color. Backlighting changes the color to ruby.

S: Richly malted. Aromas are molasses, heavily rendered caramel and faint chocolate. The hop qualities are minimal, yet resin, herbs and orange citrus come through. A deeper inhale reveals some freshly cut wood. Average booziness for the style but perhaps bigger than the 9% would lead one to believe.

T: Fresh fruits of plums, raisins and brandy macerated cherries. Second tier flavors include apple cider, hints of orange Cointreau, brown sugar, honey and cola.

M: Full body with a thick and chewy texture. The carbonation is soft and fizzy but is ample enough to clean up the tongue and eliminate the chance of any unwanted cloyingness.

D: The drinkability is good enough that I could finish the bottle without any help. Towards the end, however, I was wishing I opened this one up with a couple friends around.

Another very solid effort from Pretty Things. I remain impressed.

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Photo of jera1350
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

October of 2009 bottle date- Batch Three.

Pours an amber color with a head that isn't real big but is creamy and tan with excellent retention and lacing.

Zesty, sweet and fruity complexity. Some bubblegum and lots of sweet fruit notes.

Mimics the nose quite well although not as complex. Still an nice fruit presence with some floral notes and just a hint of spicy white pepper at the back. The plum is there in subtlety, but it is nice.

Creamy texture, soft and smooth. Really a great feel. Dry finishing.

A really nice example of the style and an all around enjoyable and well crafted brew. Nice to see American breweries putting out such nice examples of the belgian style beers these days. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of GradyS1
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-dark brown orange color, small head, this looks thin, translucent
S-light smell with a small amount of fruit characteristic, sweet
T- Figs and brown sugar, there is a small taste of alcohol in the finish
M- this one is light, not much body to it, especially light for a quad

As far a quads go, this was not one of my favorites, the fruit characteristic is there but light and it is a bit Sweeter than I like

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Photo of Wintermath
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8 bottled in September 10'

First sip is a little strong, but it starts to grow on you after a few drinks. Dark brown in color, with some sweet undertones. It has a high alcohol smell, and like someone previously said it tastes better then in smells.

Enjoyable beer, but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into cervoise

A - A 'swamp water' brown. Very little to no head formation, slippery lacing

S - Smells like dark fruits, plums, currants, some purple grapes and some bready and sweet malt

T - Better taste than smell. The dark fruits in the nose come out on the palate. Mostly plums and currants. Very minor caramel. It tastes a little astringent

M - Too thin for a quad. The mouthfeel is a bit 'hot' from the alcohol, could be hidden better.

D - Easy enough to drink, the plums made it nice but could have been more complex.

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Baby Tree from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 75.1% out of 100 with 820 ratings
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