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: Belgian 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 BeerImmediately
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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 +10%
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 +5.9%
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 +2.3%
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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Photo of rye726
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, muddy brown with a silky tan head. Some light lacing. Nose is quite fruity with spicy yeast, plums, bready malts and a tinge of alcohol. Taste lacks the complexity I look for in this style. Nice bready malts, Belgian yeast and more plums. Body is a bit thin, but well carbonated.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First batch, bottled April 2009. Really nice label and bottle seal. Poured 22oz cold into a .5L gold-leaf Swiss Boot. I only break this out for special occasions- this beer looks good.

A- Deep, rich brown. Light won't pass through. Not much of a head. Very active foam, though.

S- Sweetness. The dried plums are smelling nice. Something behind them, but I can't quite place it. Perhaps tart apple. Still, a very inviting smell.

T- Wow. Lots of flavors going on here. The malt sweetness and the alcohol/fruit sweetness work VERY well together. The aftertaste is like a fruit juice, honestly. This beer is extremely flavorful and delicious.

M- The beer is not terribly carbonated, but its all good. Suits the beer nicely.

D- Good. I thoroughly enjoyed this 22oz. I'd like another, but at 8.6%, it might be too much. Still, I wouldn't get sick of this beer, but it has too much alcohol to become much more than a rare occasion brew. For what it is, though? Awesome.

I'm really impressed at the Pretty Things artisanal beer/community project thingy whatchamacallit. I want them to keep 'em coming!

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks to Chris (cakanator) for another chance to try another beer from this brewery... project... thing. Batch 1/April 09, served somewhere between cellar and room temp.

Pours dark brown with a two-finger head that's fluffy and just off-white, and that quickly settles into a thin soapy cap. Some stickage.

Nose is dark fruit, the dried plums comes out very vividly, a bit vinous, brown sugar is clear and prominent. Quite boozy.

Taste is dominated by brown sugar and rum-soaked dark fruit - dried plums come out clearly and beautifully, and they and the yeast add a nice tanginess to the taste. A burst of cloves at the front end. Just a bit of a vinous alcohol edge, with a light earthy bitterness towards the very finish. Very well put together.

Mouthfeel is full, lightly sharp carbonation. A bit syrupy with a nice heft and smoothness to it.

Drinkability is top notch. Delicious, a very nice quad.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours light mahogany with a murky haze. A one inch head of off white sank to reveal a partial skim coat on the surface and some dotted lacework.

Aromatics lead off with dark rum, raisins, plums, ripe malt, and grape jam. Vanilla, anise, figs, and clovey phenols follow through.

Medium bodied with a creamy, crispish mouthfeel. Sticky and lightly syrupy.

Juicy malt, candied grapes, dark fruit, and rum-soaked raisins start the palate. Pepper-dusted cloves, boozy alcohol, and plum pulp follow through.

Finishes with a building alcohol nod, lingering dark fruits, and spicy residuals.

Another tasty one from Pretty Things. Possibly a good cellar candidate. Not the biggest Quad, but plenty interesting and quite fruity.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into 25oz snifter.

Opaque deep plum hue with a thin off white head that settles to a bubbly rim.

Up front are the spicy phenols, which add a little bit of pepper to the aroma. Some dark fruit in the background, maybe a little more enhanced compared to the standard Quad due to the extra dried plum (or prune).

The spice is very noticeable in the flavor, sitting on top of the dark fruit. The extra plum (prune) seems to add a bit of a sharp and sweet, slightly tart flavor to the overall profile. Full bodied.

An interesting Quad, adding dark fruit to contribute to the normal dark fruit profile. High drinkability as well. Recommended.

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Photo of matty
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brownish amber colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is dark fruits.Taste is dark fruit soaked in alcohol and sugar cane.It has a nice mouthfeel and warmth to it.Very smooth despite high alcohol levels.I would recommend at least one try and I would gladly purchase again.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, chocolate brown, and is topped by a transient, half-inch, brown head that fades to a wispy ring. The aroma is sweet and malty, there are notes of candi sugar and an intense aroma of dark fruit. There are notes of raisins, dates and dried plums. There's also a light, husky graininess on the swirl.

The beer is initially sweet on the palate. A nice, cindi sugar, sweetness unfolds into a plum fruitiness in the center. The dark fruit characters in this quad are much milder than other exapmles of the style. There's a brief, peppery flash towards the finish, which quickly moves into a husky graininess that's punctuated by a mild bitterness and light sweetness. Medium-bodied, smooth and moderately carbonated. The grainy quality gives the beer a bit of dryness.

I liked Baby Tree. It's not as intense as other Quads, but it has a pleasing fruity maltiness and a nice dryness in the finish.

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Photo of smcolw
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled on April 2009, first batch. I like this. Since they are obviously trying to appeal to the beer connoisseur, this really works for me.

Cloudy, cloudy brown with some light penetrating. Nice off white head with foam-like qualities. Relatively light lace given the head.

I haven't had an American-made Belgian in quite some time that featured this earthy smell that I associate with the Farmhouse Ales in France. Some Belgians will feature this barn-like smell (Duvel comes to mind), but the American versions tend to shy away. The alcohol is also quite dominant here.

Like a true Quad: Lots of alcohol warmth, dark malt flavors with a touch of sweetness. Some spiciness in the swallow. Short lived aftertaste. Only distraction is the thinnish body--just under the standard. Overall, a very nice entry into the Quads.

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Photo of timmay41
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First batch, poured into a tulip

A: Pours a sort of muddy brown, purplish hue that looks earthy. As Nature intended. The off-white head crackles with carbonation but dissipates quickly on the first pour, dissolving into nothing. The second pour offers a more lively head that's retained a little longer.

S: Distinctly Belgian yeast, dark fruit, candied sugar, and some herbal spices. I took this out of the fridge and let it warm for 20 minutes and am glad I did. The nose offers many subtle notes that need warmth and time to breathe.

T&M: The plum/prune comes out in the taste... the first sip is a little sweet up front and then more tart on the finish. Light, refreshing overall (words not usually associated with quads, for sure). Balanced, well carbonated. Light to medium mouthfeel with a somewhat thicker coating on the back of the throat. Subtle, complex notes of caramel and dried fruit. Very little alcohol noticeable at all.

D: The quad designation is somewhat misleading; this is just a straight up good, dark, higher octane brew with some Belgian characteristics. Suspend disbelief on style expectations and enjoy. It's an engaging, inviting offering from Pretty Things that embodies the fecundity of late Spring.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good to see something new from Pretty Things. Loved the Jack d'Or, liked the St. Botolph and am hoping that the big bad quad can bring it too. Bomber into Ommegang chalice...

Pours a turbid root beer/sewage brown. Head is primariy ginger color...about 1/2 finger that doesn't really make an evening of it. There's a little carbonation sticking around.

For a quad the scent is a little faint - a little bit of smokiness to the dried fruits...dates, plums...the usual suspects. Trying to put the finger on it. Good but not exactly what I'm looking for.

Taste is similar. I remember when I was a kid my parents made this soup in a big tureen. They had company over and I'm eating this soup and all of a sudden I open my big fucking mouth and say "this tastes like cigarette butts." And their company says, "Y'know, Larry, you're right." Under normal circumstances I would've been mortified but shit, I was 11 and didn't know better. Fool on my parents, God love 'em, for not using the friggin' tureen in about 15 years. The soup tasted like butts. Y'know what? So does this. I take it back - it SMELLS like cigarette butts. No, there's a faint taste of it too. That along with the traditional huge malt (Special B?), yeast electricity and that leathery dried plum and prune deal. Slight booziness abounds too. Methinks some time would chill this deal out nicely. There's way too much tannin from something or other in here. It's really muddying up the breed 'cause this could be pretty damn good. And it ain't bad as is, either. (Edit: Y'know, this needed a little time. I never finished the bomber last night and there was about 1/3 left. Just curious, I poured the remainder into the glass to give it another shot. The butts scent had burned off and it tasted like more of a boozy quad with dried dates and figs...more of what we're looking for. Mental note: Definitely let this one breathe. Adjusted ratings for nose and taste to a 4.)

As flat and smoky as it is, this one feels good on the journey. Just enough spritely carbonation to tighten up the raw leather and smokiness on this pretty young thing. Finish is still a cross between earthiness and volcanic ash, but there's no surprises. The collar matches the cuff.

I like this but I want to like it more. Maybe 'cause I'm an unabashed homer that wants to see a plan come together like the Pretty Things Project. I don't want to only drink this out of local loyalty. I'm straddling the fence. It's good, and I'd have no shame sharing it with anyone. Could it be better? Of course. Ditch the butts deal and this is an excellent local with a Belgian take. As is, it's merely quite good. I'll definitely look for it again.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Bottled April 2009 First Batch indicated on a paper swatch covering the cap. Poured a murky plum color with a half inch creamy, off-white cap. A swath of thick lacing is revealed with each tilt of the glass. Mild nose, but definitely picking up belgian yeast, candi sugar and some dark fruity esters. Taste is consistent with nose, but dark fruit (plumes/prunes) really comes out in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and lightly effervescent with a slightly dry finish. Solid Quad. I have yet to be disappointed by any of the offerings from Pretty Things.

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

Pours out a very murky brown with a short tan head that falls quickly to no covering.
Smells of the plums with a hint of alcohol
Tastes of fruits, Belgian yeast & sweet, candied sugars.
Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with just a little carbonation.
Drinkability is very nice. Either sharing or drinking it alone works well.

I prefer this as it warms to the 55 and higher temp. It does seem to follow Belgian Quads in style. While good, it isn't quite in the ranks of the best Quads. Having another small, high quality brewery (project) in Philly like this is appreciated.

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Photo of taez555
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a murky brown body with a decent off-white/tan head.

Nose is very subtle with some soft chocolate, yeast and dark fruit notes. Honestly it's very very subtle and needs a bit of time to warm before any strong aromas come out.

Taste is full bodied with an immediate Belgian quad kick. Dark muted dark belgian malts, some subtle wheat, yeast and dark fruits. Rich raisins, plums, figs, currants, dates and other dark muted fruits. A slight candy sweetness blends in well. Hops are kept in balance giving a nice firm, but subtle bitterness and at the same time adding some earthy, leafy flavors that work well against the earthy dark fruit flavors.

Jesus Christ, I used to say no one could brew a decent Belgian quad except for the Belgians and Unibroue from Canada, but this has proven me wrong. It's definitely not Dann's previous Rapscallion Creation type quad, this is very much it's own beer and with the addition of the plums actually very true to style. This beer can hold it's own with Chimay or Westy any day of the week. Kudos to Dann. Every beer you've brewed is phenomenal.

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Photo of bsend
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 22 oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a hazy brown color that lets no light through. A proper pour yields about a 1 finger white head. Nice amount of lacing on the glass afterwards.

Smell: Mix of perfume, dry plums, sugar and alcohol. Strong yet inviting.

Taste: Beer starts out sweet with the mix of dry and candied plums and high sugar notes. Finishes with spice, slight malt character and definite alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: Nice champagne like effervesence and a body that lets you experience all of the wonderful flavors.

Drinkability: This beer was great. I enjoyed most of the bottle with someone else. I could have easily sipped through the whole bottle and started another with someone else.

Final Thoughts - Good sipping quad. I really enjoy this new brewery propject. Even in Boston they can be a little difficult to find, but they are well worth the effort.

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Photo of selecter70
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

mmmm...Pretty Things...bad name, great brewery! Dan used to bring oddities of his years ago while he jumped around breweries & they were always anticipated. Much like reading about the new offerings now, the anticipation is quite itchy! My wife & I eagerly grabbed up another First Batch for the evening of bison burgers & spinach salad. Brewed last month, we happily started the dinner with this lovely 1p9.6oz big bottle of lovely Belgian Quad-style plum ale...mmm, plum. The pour was a nice cloudy brown with reddish hue and minimal head & lace, but an immediate banana aroma that disappeared and did not linger in the slightest. The dark plum-skin - currant wheat aroma prevailed thereafter, but not in any overwhelming manner. The flavor was likewise with some wheaty-malt & lemon peel, leaving a bit of mustiness in the nose. Quite a delicious dinner session.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Authentic (almost) Belgian beer brewed in Massachusetts. Gotta love it. Rusty brown in appearance, not incredibly dark, with a healthy head affixed on top. Lots of dark fruit in the nose, robust and malty. A light sweetness and caramel come through up front in the flavor as well. Really flavorful and not shy. A welcome presence of dried plum (i.e. prune). There are actually plums added to this beer, yet it is not a fruit beer. Just enough to enhance the complexity and provide another layer. Mild spicyness in the finish. Smooth but lively on the palate. Excellent.

I tend to find that most (not all of course) Belgian style beers brewed in America tend to fall just short, coming across as a bit of an imitation. But this one is just great. It did not cross my mind that I was drinking a particular style of beer, or beer from a particular region meant to taste like X Y or Z, but simply that I was drinking good beer. That's the way it should be.

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