Confounded Mr. Sisyphus | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Confounded Mr. SisyphusConfounded Mr. Sisyphus
Very Good
55 Ratings
Confounded Mr. SisyphusConfounded Mr. Sisyphus

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

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
We brewed this beer as a single batch in 2009, our first full year of brewing. We only brewed it once, then we decided not to do it again. It’s hard to say why, except it seemed like the right thing to do. Maybe we’ll make it again one day.

Anyway, for the sake of history, here is our description:
Confounded Mr. Sisyphus is a subtle beer, full of yeast, bacteria, leafy hops and grains. Mr. Sisyphus’s roots are Vienna-style lager malts, which give a golden orange colour and a malty nuttiness. Light esters and phenols from four strains of yeast give fragrance, and a malolactic bacteria has softened the acidity during conditioning and will continue to do so in the bottle. At his extremities you’ll find herbal German Hallertau and American Crystal hops, like leaves basking in the sun. Finally come Balaton cherries, with their spicy, musty, earthy character.

This is a beer to drink at sunset, be it in the quietness of a darkening forest or with the stillness of the city surrounding you. We even wrote Mr.S his own bedtime story…

“A gentle breeze blew through the forest. The leaves fluttered, and the ripe cherries on the Sisyphus tree bumped against one another. Then all was still. A tiny, contented sigh then came. It would only have been audible to a bird close by, or perhaps a child standing amongst the blossoms near the ground. But a sigh it was, and a most extraordinary sigh, for it came from Mr. Sisyphus.

If you stand at the bottom of the Sisyphus tree, close in beside the trunk where leaves surround you, and gaze up into its depths, you might notice that amongst all the cherries hanging there, one is not quite the same as all the others. Perhaps you will notice a tiny foot, a twig-like hand, or even, if your crane your neck, an eyeball twinkling there amongst the hanging balls of fruit. Unpluckable, never picked by hand, nor pecked by bird, nor pitted and preserved in a pie. Never to fall gently and bounce on soft moss, to be planted and grow again. For there hangs Mr. Sisyphus, the cherry who cannot fall.”

Added by Patrick on 06-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 47
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle got in trade with I-forget-who, sorry! But thanks.

Single batch, June 2009, so this is over a year old by the time we got to it. Drunk with Todes and Bobby8405 from Florida. Note the bizarre bottle art; a cherry playing a flute. Hmm.

A. Clear gold; active carbonation and a fat head that falters but does stick around for the duration. Some specks of lace.

S. Weird. Golden-strongish ale, sweet, sour cherry notes and tons of vague smells I can't pin down. Is that vanilla? Almond? Pilsner malt, it seems, the fruit is minimal but there, and the experience is head-scratchingly vague, but not unpleasant.

T. This is quite odd. No real fruit flavor in this haltingly sweet ale, a decent amount of bitterness but zero hop flavor, and some sour-funk going on plus caramel malt sweetness in the finish. Simply defies easy description.

M / D. Seems till under attenuated, even after those 4 yeast strains... effervescent carbonation, a bitter-sweet flavor lingers with hints of sourness.

Not totally sure what Pretty Things was going for here, heck, maybe they don't even know. Everything about this beer is off-kilter and a bit bent, and while Confounded Mr. Sisyphus is surely confounding, I'm less eager to call it a good beer. Certainly stays with you after you drink it. Recommended to drink if you have one, but I wouldn't seek it out.

 1,349 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle. Pretty label, nice touch on the label over the cap giving Bottling date info, and "one off" decleration. Pours hazed dull tangarine with a green olive oil hue. Quickly departing head, then not even a film a NO lacing, unusual. Subtle nose of light fruit (cherry?) Unusual, interesting brew. Rich and somehow heavy mouthfeel, notes of ripe, dense fruit, moderatly sour in the mid section, then more fruit and seemingly a hint of dull spice in the finish. Yeasty final pours clouds things up and adds a hint of nut and adds to the intrigue. Complex in a delicate fashion. Boutique and arty. Ever so precious and feminine, interesting brew.

 652 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Blue labeled bomber with a June 2009 bottled on date. Poured into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Bright orange with a 3 finger white head that dissipated relatively slowly. As the head receeds, a nice creamy lacing is left on the glass. Really impressive.

S: Musty citrus aromas cover a bit of hops and a twinge of alcohol. Simple, yet very enticingly simple.

T: A citrus, cherry, and deep creamy orange flavors lasts from beginning to middle and ends with a light alcohol flavor that lingers on the palate for a second. Little to no aftertaste.

M: Light and goes down a bit course.

D: A great session beer. The flavor is light and crisp and not overly complex but very enjoyable. I can't wait to get myself a case of this.

 724 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber via trade.

Excellent appearance: hazy golden with a well-formed white head and good lacing.

Great saison aroma - light and floral with good funk and malty sweetness.

The flavor is pale malt, very slight cherry, barnyard funk, pepper, and floral hops.

Decent mouthfeel, not as lively as I'd like but well-carbonated with medium body.

A very good saison, and after drinking this I've now ticked all 9 Pretty Things beers. I should get a gold star or some shit for that.

 479 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split into several glasses at a recent tasting. Thanks go to Deuane for this one.

Pours a clear, honey gold, with thin brite-white head. Thin yet creamy layer of retention, leaves a thickish cascade of lacing behind. Aroma is subtle cherries and yeast, spice, extra fruity esters, and sweetness. The spiciness of the yeast is really adds some sharpness to the nose here.

The taste is candied sweetness, fruits, and spice, giving off a light dryness. Much like the aroma, the slightly tart cherry flavoring is very subtle but does get a little stronger as this warms. The profile is fairly sweet overall. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a very easy creaminess to it, that helps the higher ABV and relative sharpness of this go down nicely.

Nicely done. I liked how the cherries never dominated the flavors, instead nicely blending a soft tartness in with the other characteristics of this. It was pretty amazing to me as well, how much spicing they got in this, just from the yeast strains. I enjoyed this.

 1,037 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Pours hazy gold with a medium white head that dissipates quickly. Decent lacing. Smells of yeast and cherries. Slightly bready and faintly spicy. Stronger cherry in the taste, with some light medicinal phenols. Again, some yeasty character over pale malt. Traces of alcohol. Light-medium body with high carbonation. I was expecting more from this one.

 365 characters

Photo of Jettanbass9
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bomber served into a GI IPA glass.

A - yellow to golden in color, hazy with a frothy, pillowy head. remarkable head retention in such a highly acidic brew.

S - yeast, musty, earthy, brett like aroma. fruity esters of banana along with some spicy phenols. a light grainy sweetness lingers. fantastic, saison like aroma. very refreshing aroma.

T - musty brett like flavor, along with fruity banana esters, peppery phenols, tart, faint cherry flavor, grainy sweetness. very well put together flavors that mingle on the palate.

M - creamy, medium bodied, void of any astringency. carbonation is almost lifeless and fails to miss the mark of a classic belgian/french ale.

D - a smooth easy drinking beer with more body then your classic saison this beer is really easy to put down. it's refreshing qualities balance out its medium body... i could see throwing down another one of these with a friend on a warm day.

 918 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Nick. Cloudy blond appearance with a large white cap.

Soapy, yeasty nose with a touch of cherry and spice. Pretty mild.

Dry, yeasty, peppery. The cherry is subtle and well integrated, lending the essence of the fruit without any sweetness. Light-bodied and well-carbonated. Light maltiness up-front, with a spicy, fruity finish.

 338 characters

Photo of vrazionale
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. Bottle reads: "Bottled June 2009 - One Off."

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with a thin, wispy head that recedes and retreats to the edges of the glass.

S - Yeasty bread, basement funk, and sour fruit - distinct flavors that mesh very well together here. The yeast notes are nicely counterbalanced by the funk, and the fruit notes are varied and complex: I pick up tart cherries (of course!), a touch of blackberry, apricot, and unripe banana. The spice profile is complex and difficult to pin down, though I am fairly convinced that I can pick up a touch of nutmeg.

T - Nice bitterness from the cherries and the hops - they work well together. There are lots of juicy, mouth-watering fruit flavors here, but it can be difficult to pick up amidst the cherries and hops. The cherries and the hops have a broad range, though - they are at once bitter, earthy, and floral. The finish is a little disappointing - it kind of falls off for me.

M - Perhaps a bit under-carbonated, with a slightly sticky mouthfeel being the major consequence. Fairly light-bodied - I wonder what type of malts were used to make this brew?

D - Certainly enjoyable to drink, with a complex nose and a unique flavor profile. In my opinion, this brew is just a little rough around the edges. I think a bit more carbonation would have helped round off some of those edges. I'll bet this brew gets much better with some age - in a few years this could become a collector's item!

 1,517 characters

Photo of mountdew1
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a golden amber with a thick 2 finger foamy off white head. The head lasted 5-10 minutes then left a thin layer that clung to the sides. Copious amounts of carbonation rose from the bottom, that switched to lesser amounts after 10-15 minutes. Aroma was fruity sweet mostly, but occasionally had sour undertones. Taste was slightly sweet, small amounts of cherry type flavors. A very small hint of vanilla milk sweetness. Felt great in the mouth. Very smooth, coated extremely well. Just a touch of carbonation remained. Very pleasant to drink, kept wanting more.

June 2009 One Off on Neck Label

 640 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Duvel tulip beckons this new creation of the PT from its bomber...

a lemony, resiny honey-ish hue greets the eye with a head that at first is a bit on the gooey side. Staying power is limited so we're down to yeast wisps and good lacing - maybe a few more bluish bubbles than that. May not be able to see a lot of carbonation but it is definitely audible. Slight haze - more of the opaque lemon custard than the translucence of a boughten lemon meringue pie...

There are cherries and coriander all over this bitch (to quote the "Check it...peep Delta" spoof). Big-time yeast 'lectriciteee with some soft cherry funkiness, a fair amount of honey and even a little wheatiness in perception. Carbonation fuels the fire well. Hops - well, they are noble in this round.

I have let this warm for quite a while and there is a first blush of earthiness on the palate. The spicing comes about quickly...carbonation is helping the yeast cover the 'lectric bill here...a little hop grass emerges. Finish isn't tight - it's spritely and fluid. Still a bit of earthy ginger that beckons more from the cherry side of the house. A little more ester-y than expected.

Palate feel is a bit more rustic than would think, but still pretty damn good. Grass and earth yield to heaviness as expected. Looking for more spritely-ness on the finish but solid - on tap this must be exceptional.

Another solid offering from PT - I root like hell for this crew. Innovative, enjoyable, fun, affordable and, more importantly than not...extremely well-constructed. "Solid" isn't a negative because it's not "Outstanding." On the contrary. This is a very good hybrid Belgian style. As for the cherries? Well...they could be a little more pronounced...but on its own as it stands this is a very enjoyable beer.

 1,785 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Special thanks to gnOsis for this from our recent trade!

Bottled June 2009
One Off

A: Pours a completely lovely looking, hazed and glowing apricot color with four fingers of creamy bight-white head perched on top. Retention is excellent and sheets and multiple rings of lace were left behind.

S: Spicy/fruity yeast is the dominator here. Aromas of biscuits, floral hops, and candi sugar round it out with fresh cherry wrapping it up into a nice little package.

T: Same as above. Spicy/fruity yeast and candi sugar with some earthy/floral hops, toasty malt, a hint of funk, and slightly tart cherry.

M: Medium carbonation makes for a spry, zingy mouthfeel. Dry hops, sweet candi sugar, tart funk, and bittersweet cherry.

D: An excellent beer. I loved how the fruit was so no way overpowering.

 859 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade a while back...I forget the trader who sent it but thank you again.

Crystal clear light amber color with a fizzy finger of head. Smell is biscuity malts, belgian yeast, and the very slightest hint of cherries that I really only can pinpoint because I know they are there.

Taste is dry malts with a lot of earthy and grainy qualities. The cherries are subtle, I wish I would have drank this a bit fresher...I'm not sure if they faded over the last few months. This has a nice clean taste, nice and easy to drink but not a standout really. If there was a bit more cherry taste I could see myself really enjoying this a lot. Mouthfeel is light to medium. This one might be hard to acquire since it was a one-off, and I have to say it probably isn't worth tracking down. But if you have one drink it now. It is tasty.

 847 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Paper seal over cap noting bottled date of June 2009 and that the brew is a one off.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the cloudy golden amber brew. Head melts quickly to an uneven layer of foam, with average lacing. Aroma is delicate and minimal, lightly spicy. Taste lightly sweet upfront, tart in the middle, and closes with approachable bitterness. Mouthfeel is somewhat prickly, and drinkability is pretty good. Not quite what I was expecting, but an interesting brew. Didn't really see the cherry's effect, except many in the moderate tartness.

 649 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a slightly sour mustiness, driven by both the cherries and the yeast. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild cherry/yeast yeast flavor on the tongue. The extreme finish was where the cherry had a chance to assert itself and not in a sweet way. Baletons are not sweet by nature, nor are they particularly tart. This was a good choice of cherry to put into a beer. I liked this as sort of an aperitif, but as an everyday, every time beer, it might be a little much.

 571 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a cellar temp bottle with Stopper. Poured into a snifter the beer pours a slightly hazy golden hue with tightly packed bleached white head. The head fades quickly to a wispy surface layer.
Aroma is musty with some bready yeast notes and hints of tart cherry but less fruity than expected after reading the label.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation with relatively smooth texture.
Flavor is some fruitiness but not distinctly cherry, bready doughy yeast notes which remind me of a scone. SOme light tartness and bitter hits on the finish. Maybe hops but not very distinctive flavor just a faint bite on the end of each swallow.
The beer is a fairly easy drinker, but isnt as much cherry or complex as I expected. A decent beer but not an outstanding brew.

 788 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small but lumpy head. Cloudy liquid of dark gold/light amber. Little lace.

Sour aroma of cherries and blackberries; some malt. A touch of metal.

Starts as a dry malt flavor. Near the swallow the hop shows up, but the aftertaste has the sourness that shows in the smell. Good mouthfeel--creamy coating after the swallow.

 321 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a hazy golden color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is rather bland and unimpressive. There's some light notes of orange peel, yeast, and a mild spice.

T: The flavor is certainly an improvement over the nose. There is a slight hop bitterness which goes along nicely with some sweet malt and orange flavor. The "Belgian" is there too with some spice and yeast notes.

M: The body is medium with a high level of carbonation which tingles the tongue.

D: This had some nice flavors, but nothing spectacular. I enjoyed my sample, but I wouldn't seek this one out again.

 627 characters

Photo of rmalinowski4
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of jaxon53
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2009, one off. Haven't had a pretty things beer yet that I didn't like, this shouldn't dissapoint. Served chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce bottle. Great label too..

Appearance: Mr. Sisyphus pours out a cloudy golden color that is somewhat bright. A hard pour results in about two fingers of bone white head that is quite fluffy. Pretty good retention here, head hangs around for quite a while. Thick bands of lace were left behind on the glass after each sip.

Smell: A rather simple nose in my opinion. A very thick malt aroma seems to dominate. Slightly yeasty and grainy. Very Earthy with just a slight note of cherries in the background.

Taste: Again the malty presence is quite strong, and a bit grainy, but seems to fit the beer perfectly. Yeasty and slightly tangy. A very faint cherry flavor can be detected. Finishes crisp and clean. Not too shabby at all.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant, medium bodied mouthfeel. Smooth and crisp with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Sort of on the lighter side and easy to drink. At seven percent ABV it goes down nicely. This beer seems like it would be the perfect fall beer. Thanks for another fine offering.

 1,196 characters

Photo of Deuane
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Bright copper with a thin off-white head that left spotty lace.

S-Spicy pop with hint of sour cherry. Not overly aromatic or complex.

T-Much like the aroma with a fairly robust yeast spiciness and subtle backing from the slightly sour cherries.

M-Medium-light bodied with a sharp, crisp, dry finish.

D-Nice...the fruit is not overwhelming and this is a pleasant drinking, spicy affair.

 391 characters

Photo of albern
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice creamy white head, good retention, lots of lacing. The nose on the beer is cherry with a touch of raspberry fruitiness, sweet malts, zesty yeast, and just lots of florals all around.

The taste is quite complex. There is a definite tartness to the beer, and there are clearly cherries in the background, but the cherries are not sweet per se, more tangy and acerbic. There is a prickly Belgian yeastiness to the beer, there is also a hoppy tartness in the finish, with maybe a citric bite. The cherry really comes through the nose, and that may influence the taste as the glass is tilted. This isn't a sweet beer, more a tart, acerbic, mouth puckering, slightly sourish floral one. The mouthfeel is a touch prickly, definitely soury and mouth puckering, the aftertaste is modest. The beer is medium bodied, plenty carbonated. A nice selection, not brilliant but interesting and good.

 946 characters

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ZeroSignal
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, bottled June 2009

A - Pours perfectly clear and golden colored; with a foamy white head that settles to a thin layer with sticky lacing

S - Aroma has a saison funk to it, and a yeasty, bready note. A semi-sweet smelling malt aroma and the faintest bit of hop aroma round things out.

T&M - Carbonation feels brisk and lively; medium bodied. The fruit (cherry) is very well done; there is a very authentic cherry flavor without any added sugary sweetness, but the sweetness is there in the form of the malt; any added fruitiness would be too much I think. The yeast adds a bready and somewhat cracker like quality. At the end is just a bit of funk and grassy hop. Finish is dry and yeasty.

D - Wonderful beer with lots of flavor and a reasonable ABV. I'm sad that this is a one off, and very happy I found it pushed to the back of the shelf in a beer store.

 873 characters

Photo of joepais
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Corry for this one.
Bottle poured into a challis produced a good two finger white head that trailed of to a thick lace. The body was a clear golden yellow in color.

The aroma is great fruity sweetness of cherries and some wonderful yeast. This brew is really quite pleasing in its aroma department because of its simplicity. The flavor is nice somewhat lightly bitter cherries. Followed by some great Belgian flavors reminiscent of a Duvel in taste as well as feel in your mouth . It is nice and carbonated with a solid medium feel in your mouth

The bomber went all too quick for me it is extremely drinkable. I will be revisiting this brew hopefully rather soon

 675 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Confounded Mr. Sisyphus from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 55 ratings