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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Ratings: 820 |  Reviews: 351
Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 1. Bottled April 2009

Poured into goblet.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Fades to a ring and leaves a bit of splattered lace. Color is a copper brown with a ruby hue.

Aroma: Very sweet, rich, and malty. A lot of dried fruits here. Plums, raisins, cherries, toffee, and caramel. I like the nose on this quad. Very clean.

Taste: Very malty. Bready, caramel, and toffee malt flavors. More dried fruit shows. Plums, raisins, cherries, grapes, and licorice all show. It is kind of dry.

Mouthfeel: Dry, creamy, smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry.

Overall, it is a decent quad. I like the nose a lot, but the taste doesn't follow up as well. It has a decent drinkability and I think it was a fine choice for a nice fall evening.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber of above average yeasty, slightly sweet dark Belgium. It has a drying finish, with a hint of plum, and the finish offsets the previous sweetness. A little different. Above average thickness,caramel, both in looks and in mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Worth seeking out. Yeasty malty aromas.

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Photo of BigMike
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2010 Batch 6

A: Pours a dark brown rootbeer color. Fairly clear and topped with a thin light tan head. About 1 finger and pretty thin.

S: Lots of dark sticky fruit and yeast. Light brown sugar and molasses with a touch of caramel.

T: I can definitely taste some plum. Some sticky molasses sweetness and raisin. Not much alcohol presence.

M: A bit on the thin side for a quad. However, the carbonation is spot on and it's extremely smooth. (as it warms the body definitely builds up.)

Overall: A pretty good American Quad. An interesting take. I really like how Pretty Things puts their own take on different styles and makes them their own.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber served in an oversized wineglass. bottled june 2010 (batch six).

pours a deep mahogany tone with a fair amount of clarity to it; a solid finger of beige head that quickly dissipates into a collar around the glass... some lacing, though not to the level i generally look for in a quad.

nose is sweet, heavy with yeast and dark fruits; bready malts also evident... flavor profile follows through with a lot of bready/malty-ness; a bit bitter up front, followed by a fruity sweetness, then on to a dry, almost hoppy finish. noticeable plum presence. not bad; perhaps a little more bitter than i would prefer, but a nice take on the style.

medium bodied mouthfeel, a bit of chew; style-appropriate carbonation and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the second Pretty things extra I have received in recent weeks, and I've enjoyed them both. This is advertised as a quad with dried plums, and the plums really come through on the palate, along with raisins, brown spices and light brown sugar. A very solid effort, and one that was enjoyed by most the other night.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby brown with a skim of an off-white head. No lace.

Prune, dark stone fruit, toasted malt aromas.

Alcohol is well hidden. Dark browned malt, less fruit than expected. Fruitiness in long lingering finish. Some bitterness, but oddly of balance. Rich, clean fruit with a conversion to bitter finish.

Full body with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, I dug it, but not as rich as I hoped. Dries out too soon. Fruit/malt/hop/bitter/sweet ratio is way off. Good beer, but not perfect. Worth a try and will get again.

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Photo of mltobin
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

Appearance is a dark brown color with a very thin ring of lace w/ a few bubbles on top for the head. While the smell consisted of raisins, molasses, and was very faint overall. Taking a sip of Baby Tree, I taste malt immediately, with an overall richness. It is also a sweet tasting beer, but has a bitter finish. The mouthfeel on this quad has a medium body, with good carbonation, it is solid. Drinkability on this offering from Pretty Things is better than I had expected, considering the style. Although it has a 9 % ABV and some big flavors to it, it can go down easily. Sip & enjoy.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a snifter glass in two parts. Batch six, bottled in June 2010, so this is about 4-5 months old. Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over an hour and a half.

Appearance: Medium reddish brown in color without much of a head at all. A lot of light penetrates the glass and there isn't any sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Rum soaked plums and raisans. Also, an herbal/medicianal quality that I cannot really put my finger on. It's a bit astrigent. A small hint of booze in here too.

Taste: Bitter notes are the first thing to jump out at me here. Roasted malt and a little burnt sugar here, along with that herbal (maybe hops) characteristic again. Plums and rum notes in the background, but they never really grab hold. Just too bitter for the style for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little chewy. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: The ABV doesn't hit hard but the bitter flavors wear really thin. I could barely finish the bottle.

Overall, a disappointment for me. Too bitter and hoppy for a quad and nowhere near the assertive sweetness I look for. Not a bad beer, but not a good example of the style.

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Photo of nkersten
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4. Poured from bottle into Oerbier tulip. Pours a cloudy dark opaque brown, quarter inch head fades to sides with nice lacing. Not a lot in the smell. Some fruit, a decent amount of hops given the age, iron, and belgian yeast. Taste is also bitter, much more hoppy then i would guess for the style or age. Yeast flavor follows, some candy sugar and a bit of roasted malt. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and clean, but I would like a quad to be a bit heavier. None of the flavors really mesh up in this beer, every taste is fighting to be in front. I find myself begrudgingly going back to this, so based on flavor alone this has a low drinkability.

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Photo of telecomz
2.36/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty Things are homeboys. I love them. This beer disappointed.

A. Color is a medium to dark brown. Minimal head.

S. Aromas are weak, No fruit. Some yeast. Some caramel malt and smells of brown sugar. Not the best quad smell.

T. Taste is way too hoppy. I love hoppy; just not in this style. No real fruit; some sweetness. No complexity. OK.

M. Medium bodied. .

D. I love quads. This is no quad. So disappointed.

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Photo of rudzud
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken on 9/7, on tap at the Armsby Abbey. The serving glass was impressive to say the least. Was served in a long stemmed, almost chalice or wine glass. Very impressive. I've got to pick up a bottle of this and age it to see what happens.

A - Wow! Dark, rich mahogany colour with a fluffy two finger head. Just great head retension. Hung around almost until the end.

S - Definate sugary sweet dark carmal malts. Some light rich, heavy fruit smells too.

T - Picking up a light plum flavor. Its malty, burnt sugar tastes. The alcohol is definately present but its a welcome accompaniment to the complext flavors of this quad.

M - Smooth, creamy, and most importantly strong! Just a great mouthfeel.

D - Dangerous! For 9% its light bitterness leaves you wanting another sip. Before you know it, the glass is gone and its time for another. Superb brew from Pretty Things.

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

"The baby trees are quite a sight
More picturesque than willows
But hide your eyes when fall arrives
And cover the ground with pillows"


Batch 3. Bottled Oct 2009. Deep dark rust orange with bright apricot edges and crystal clarity throughout. The high point of the appearance is an outstanding looking crown of golden sandstone colored foam that filled half the glass on the pour. Attractive lace is icing on the quadrupel cake.

The nose is medium-dark fruity and is clove-peppery spicy. The latter is strictly due to Belgain yeast, since PTB&AP does not use spices in their beer. This is a valid olfactory take on the style... and a good one.

Baby Tree's signature ingredient is dried plums, which sounds much better than prunes. Here's hoping the laxative effect has been brewed out or this could an... interesting experience. First impression: good beer that won't scare the world's best.

Almost one year in the bottle has done this offering proud. To be fair, though, I haven't had it fresh. Baby Tree tastes like a fruitier, plum jammier BSDA, which is not uncommon for some Belgian and Belgian-style quads. The combination of ripe dark fruit, spices, and (background only) alcohol are reminiscent of a mulled red wine. Subtle chocolate notes add even more interest.

Sweet and bitter are both present, with the former having a very slight lead at all points except the finish. This isn't the deepest or most complex beer of this style on the planet, but it's damn tasty and should be drinkable for just about anyone. Even those who might be intimidated by the style.

The mouthfeel just manages to grab the bottom rung of the 4.0 ladder. Positives include a smooth creaminess and enough carbonation to keep things inflated most of the way through the mouthful. Again, ease of drinkability is the result.

Baby Tree is another solid effort from Pretty Things. Quality quadrupels aren't easy to come by in America, so this one deserves credit for doing most things right. Time to get those pillows ready. The 9.0% ABV is beginning to work its soporific magic.

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

Batch number 4. big big frothy off white / light brown head that has some staying power. dark amber body color with lots of carbonation pulsing through it. Smells of solid alcohol and Belgian yeast. Not much malt or fruit smell considering it says it's a quad with dried plums. Overall balance of the flavor is good, with a strong alcohol finish. Surprisingly mild malt front with a spicy hop finish. Mild bitterness. No surprises though, and the plum flavor is hard to detect. Maybe some caramel in the middle. What makes this quad different is its overall lightness and delicate flavors. This is not a heavy quad; you could say this is a refreshing quad. Very easy going and not flashy, but satisfying. I think this beer is one of those cases where "less is more".

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into chalice.

A. Poured a fairly well carbonated 2 finger head. Moderate retention. About a centimeter of head stuck around for the quite some time. Not much lacing left. Color is a medium dark brown.

S. Smell is dark fruit, yeast, raisins, plums, candi sugar. Some thick caramel malt smells of brown sugar. Pretty nice quad smell.

T. Taste is pretty malty. Dark fruit, raisins, and plums. Some sweetness. Not overly complex in flavor, but good.

M. Medium bodied. Medium/full carbonation. Little bit of lingering sweetness.

D. Not the best or most interesting quad I have had, but its alright. Drinkability is ok. I guess I was expecting a little more than I got out of this one.

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

Baby Tree | 650 ml. | 9.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
Glass: Chalice

Not my favorite Pretty Things label, literally a cartoon of babies in a tree.

Somewhere between garnet and hazelnut. Frothy, sandy colored head with a vigorous pour. Decent lacing.

Barely there for me -- vague plums smell, a little metallic.

Bready throughout -- like lightly toasted whole wheat. The most interesting -- and by that I mean atypical -- feature is the finish of each sip. It's bitter, and a bit metallic. There's also a sort of plum skin taste. I don't particularly like it, but it mixes things up.

Very smooth, I love the feel of the carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall, it's very drinkable. The taste is sub-par in my opinion, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Would I get it again?:
No. Not bad, but there are so many good Quads, the bar has to be set high.

Bottled: June 2010 (Batch 6)
Served: August 31, 2010

Price = $11.95

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

Appearance is not what I was expecting. The brew pours a cola dark brown. Sticky head: thick at first thins out and leaves some thin lace. Head color is white with off-colored brown.

Baked goods aroma, nothing extravagant. Seems lacking in sugars compared with quads.

Dry brown sugar and bread flavors. Body is thin but has a heavy presence.

Nice dry and sweet finish. Simple but with character, this one will do well in any season.

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Photo of JimbobAlonymous
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tried a glass of this beer from the Blind Pig pub in Athol, Mass. The beer tap was actually a tree with babies in it.

I wasn't sure how well a beer with 9% alcohol would taste, but I was plesantly surprised.

It had a slightly fruity smell, but not strong like juice or anything, just slightly detectable.

The flavor was fantastic. I have never had a beer like this before, it was very clean and crisp, but still felt like drinking a beer. No bitter taste what-so-ever. It wasn't too sweet either. It was like they made a fantastic beer using the cleanest water in the world somehow...not sure how they pulled that off.

Feels very good in the mouth and goes down smooth. Not a chugging beer by any means, but it's smooth enough where that 9% could get you in trouble pretty quickly.

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Photo of joepais
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Quads and this was a good one. I poured the bottle into a Chalice. It produced a nice tan colored head that laced out well on top of a darker brown bodied brew. The aromas' of dark fruit and spice filled my head. The flavor profile was fruity as well but with enough bitters to keep it from being coy. The alcohol was well hidden but evident after finishing the bottle. I call it a medium bodied brew

The beer was easy to drink for a Quad but a 22 oz's was enough for me in a sitting. An enjoyable brew I will be drinking more of.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

06/08/10- A big thanks to muttyd for this extra; a bomber of Feb 2010 Batch 4.
A: Dark ruby, with a big cream head that died to a nice big collar.
S: Fruity with plum, raspberry, musty bread, leafy hops, slightly cheesy, sweet raisin and craisin, brown sugar.
T: Sweet raisin bread, hops, moldy and not bitter, cinnemon bread, plums, VERY fruity wine/cranberry.
M: Slightly syrupy and frothy.
D: Really good!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/4/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint at first but after it sits it gets stronger and contains brown sugar, dark fruit, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar. Then a hearty malt character and Belgain yeast backbones come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good stronger Belgian-style beer that is worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into a tulip.

Its color is a hazy, murky, dark, maroon. Gives you an attractive, big off-white head that holds true.

Good aroma of bread, dark fruits (plum) and an overlying floral note.

This beer used to be brewed with plum and was much better when it was. No it just tastes like a less complex imitator of true quads one can easily find in the import section. Dark fruits are present in this beer but in a thinner manner than I'd like. A little metallic, too. Underneath all that, there's just an sense of cheapness for a quad that I find a little unfortunate.

Medium bodied with slightly-higher-than-normal carbonation.

Drinkabilty is good for a quad. Even though other reviewers are saying the alcohol is very present, I thought it was masked quite well.

Overall this beer used to be better. It's not bad, but nowhere near as good as the imported ones. This beer has become one of my least favorite of Pretty Things.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Pours a slightly hazy brownish-amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts with good amounts of dark candi sugar. Also present are solid pear aromas with milder amounts of plums and figs.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by sugar-dusted pear flavors. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors darken a bit with good amounts of plums and lighter amounts of raisins. The dark fruit flavors carry through to a crisp and mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this was a solid and well-crafted beer but it was too muted to be great. Still, it's worth a shot to decide for yourself.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark oaky color with a three finger head. The head definitely sticks around for a while which makes for interesting pouring. When ultimately it does subside, it is very foamy.

S: Smells most upfront of wheat, though Belgian yeasts and faint dried plums are also present. Not too much else in the way of smells though.

T: Tastes fairly bready with a lot of fruitiness, mostly mild, but present. Dark fruits, plums, are detectable.

M: Lightly carbonated with a medium body. Slightly tingles the tongue, but feels quite nice on the way down.

D: Very drinkable, I'm happy to have tried this one after seeing such a long line at ACBF.

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Photo of Pahn
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch 4, February 2010.

Appearance: Moderately careful pour yields a three inch, fluffy and rocky offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving sticky rings of lacing around the glass. Pours a translucent but dark red, and leaves smallish streaks and a few islands of lacing throughout.

Smell: Mild Belgian yeast, faint cologne-like smell, plum, and some spice that isn't quite clove. Smooth. Later on, the smell gets taken over by solvent-like alcohol. Still good things happening, but the beautiful notes lose the battle with the 9% ABV, if only in the nose.

Taste: First sip follows the nose very closely, nice and smooth with some plum, caramel, not too sweet, leading to a sugary finish that slowly changes into spice and alcohol heat. Good start. The level of sweetness is, for me, reminiscent of when you have some bad coffee with way too much sugar, then drink high quality coffee black. The lack of sweetness is noticeable, but it's welcome. That analogy could just be relevant to me though, who knows?

The second sip (I'm describing sip by sip for a short time to make a small point) is very similar to the first at first (some caramel and Belgian yeastiness) but in the middle yields a big explosion of fig, plum, and other dark fruit flavors in the back of my mouth, along with some grassy hops and bitterness. Finishes same as the first (bitterness gives way to not-too-sweet sugar, to spice, to alcohol). The third sip is very estery, with a small but distinct strawberry note up front, leading to more dark fruit and spice, along with a building bitterness and heat at the end.

The small point is that each sip is really nice, and pretty different than the one before. For me, this is the whole point of a quad: a procession of deep flavors that are good on their own, but balance together in delicious and unexpected ways. Also, everything here is smooth and subtle; it's never over the top sweetness, never one flavor so dominant that you can't pick out at least two other beautiful things happening at the same time. As I drink more of the bottle, I'm getting chocolate (mixed with caramel), prune, more berry esters, smoke.

Everything happening in the flavor, while robust and complex, is subtle. For example, when there's a fig note happening, it's robust in that it's very full and distinct, but it's not clashing with anything, and the good balance is working together with the mouthfeel to get me to keep writing the word 'smooth'. Another example of subtlety, there's some mild tannic character every so often. Many beers I've had recently with noticeable tannins have been like chomping down on the thick skin of a large raisin, but this is just suggestive of grape skins; a mild dryness, a mild bit of that kind of flavor and feel.

If you're paying close attention, the beer is being endlessly generous to you with different taste sensations. If you're not, it's still delivering extremely palatable dark fruit and caramel notes along with a nice alcohol heat that doesn't get out of control. This is how beer like this is supposed to be made.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. Sugary at times without being chalky or cloying. Hot but not 9% hot, and only in the finish (solvent doesn't influence the main flavors). Mild carbonation. A bit dry in the finish, with a building bitterness that's uncharacteristic of the style but not distracting or unpleasant.

Drinkability: I love quads. I love this quad. What's to say about ease of consumption? It's my favorite style for a reason. Get it right and I'm going to buy it again.

Another exercise in the mastery of brewing full flavored but subtle beer by Pretty Things. In my review of Saint Botolph's Town, I mentioned how I enjoyed the beer for all of its English Brown flavors despite many of them not normally being up my alley. Baby Tree is exactly up my alley, and it's as well-made as Botolph's Town. I'd say it's just a touch below beers like Saint Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very dark red, almost transparent but deep in color with tons of a llight khaki colored head that is dense and creamy leaving a great lace.

S-the nose brings about a fair amount of banana, notes of spicy phenol, pepper, and some alcohol.

T-the taste is similar but not the samw, more of a malt body in the taste, still lots of banana, more phenol, a little metallic, a good bit of spice, light plum in the back with notes of booze.

M-a little messy to the feel, somewhat grainy with a medium to light body and a fair to low amount of carbonation.

D-this isn't bad, lots of phenol and banana in both the nose and the taste but the plums don't seem to really show through. a faint bit of dark fruit towards the back but not like i had hoped for.

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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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