Babayaga | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

BabayagaBabayaga
BA SCORE
77.5%
Liked This Beer
3.93 w/ 454 ratings
BabayagaBabayaga
BEER INFO

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

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Babayaga, our autumn seasonal beer, appears each year just as the winds begin to blow a little stronger and the nights bring Winter’s first frost. The beer is a 7% export-strength woodland stout. We found this beer in a cauldron in a tiny wooden cabin perched on chicken legs in the woods near the Volga River. The old lady inside, an ancient witch/wise-woman/baby-eater called Baba Yaga, let us try some. We liked it so much, she said we could brew it for all of you here back home, as long as we named it after her. And so we did! How could we not have: she’d have eaten us if we didn’t!

It took us a while to figure out the secrets to Baba Yaga’s recipe, but we think we’ve got it: We smoke some malt with rosemary, and we add a few other eerie embellishments that she’s making us keep hush-hush. We ferment with a mix of English and Belgian yeast strains. This beer should taste like Eastern European folklore, like woodland, streams, cold dark nights and woodsmoke. Enjoy it!

…And what’s over here? A poem about the eerie old woman and the beer she brought to us! Close your eyes, imagine yourself lost deep in the foggy thicket somewhere, and click the little linky below…

Added by m1ked on 11-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
192
Ratings:
454
Liked:
352
Avg:
3.93/5
pDev:
10.18%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
58
Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 454 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from bierkraft, bottled in October 2011. A very pleasant drinking smouth. Silky mouthfeel, not thick like an IS. Black with enormous retained white bubbly head. Mild roast and anise on the nose. Great stout, with a bit of smoky head in the finish. Great drinkability.

 274 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: half finger head which disappears quickly, little lacing.

S:light roasted malt with a subtle vanilla, hops and smokey notes.

T: Burnt and bitter coffee mostly. Some roasted malt, with chocolate, vanilla and firey.

M: full bodied, very oily. Moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: Very interesting beer. The first sip is a little overwhleming but after a few sips this mellows out into a nice complex stout. Has some strong Rauchbier characteristics.

 456 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting at MrHirschybar's place.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, dark fruits, and some slight cocoa and coffee aromas. Taste is pretty much the same. There is a medium roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good roasty stout with some nice smells and flavors.

 511 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high creamy tan head that faded away very quickly but left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is quite dry.
D: The stout is quite easy to drink because it isn't very filling.

 527 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grab me the baggie pants, cause this is a beer that drinks like a meal. Strongly malted and hearty enough to satisfy both the stomach and the sanity of those dark and dreary winter days.

It's strong black pour matches that of the winter mood. But a creamy mocha head brightens the mood as memories of hot cocoa start to come to mind. Like a thick blanket, the foam tucks in the beer and laces with intricate patters as the beer fades.

Aromas of burnt stuff is all over the beer's nose- burnt sugars, torched wood, burnt fruit, burnt coffee, burnt nuts- all that's missing is the heavy smoke elements that you'd expect from all these dry roast elements. A faint backbone of vanilla and cream burrows deep within the roast and carry with it a mildly ester and perfume note.

Although the flavors are heavily circulated around roast as well, it leads with a creamy starch and soothing malted milk taste. But then the strong roast coffee, burnt toast, seared wood embers, and cocoa come soaring in with aggressive burnt barley taste. Even the caramel sweetness seems scorched as it accompanies mild licorice, grape, and perfume taste.

Its full creamy texture is chocked full of char and dryness that hold onto its robust structure until very late in finish. Only then does the dryness of roast and warmth of alcohol prevail. This leaves room for coffee-like bitterness and roast astrincency to become noticed.

Of course there's the perfumy lavender notes that distinguish this "winter warmer" from an export stout that could come around any time of the year. But the spice aids in aroma but distracts in taste and texture. Added fruit esters and better supporting malt sweetness could have garnered better accolades. Keep in mind, this will be a fan favorite for those that prefer extreme roastiness in their stouts.

 1,817 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Weizen glass in low altitude Orange, California. Expectations are average. Reviewed live. This is me first beer from the brewery.

A: Pours a one finger head of appealing tan colour, incredible cream lacing, great thickness, and good retention (~ 5 minutes). Colour is a nontransparent solid black.

Sm: Caramel, cream, nuts, and chocolate. A mild strength aroma.

T: Chocolate and cream and the most pleasant flavours in the build. Hints of caramelized malt. It's not as complex as I hoped, but it's pleasant and enjoyable. Bland and a bit boring, all things considered. Well balanced.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and a bit creamy. A touch too thin, but it's forgivable.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but also boring and unremarkable.

 797 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a charcoal black color topped by a rocky tan head that leaves a fair amount of splashy lace

Smell: Heavy on the roasted malt, but with some unusual elements which I presume come from the secret rosemary smoking process

Taste: A little bit of chocolate and a little bit of fruit and then the roasty, charred malt really steps up; I wouldn't have guessed rosemary, but there is an almost Belgian Stout character to this, though it doesn't have the yeast profile I have seen from the Belgian versions; a bit of sweet licorice on the finish but also some spicy rye character as well

Mouthfeel: The body is clearly influenced by the malt bill, what with wheat and oats in the grist; as a result, the body is light and creamy for a stout, with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: Love the creativity and love the flavor - kudos

 841 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with light residual sugar notes (maybe some lactose) and light smoked notes. Taste is a complex mix between some dry roasted malt with some light smoke notes and some light spicy malt notes. Body is quite full with light creamy texture and good carbonation. Well brewed with good level of complexity while retaining a good drinkability level.

 481 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey, served in a pint glass.

A: Huge thick rich head that never wants to leave. It takes 3-4 minutes to pour as he has to keep scraping off the head to fill with more beer. Eventually when I get the glass, the head very slowly fades, but still wants to hang around and enjoy the party. The pitch black color traps light surrounding it, almost as if they dimmed the lights just as the beer arrived in front of me, or did they?

N: Nose beckons you with roasted malts, coffee and toffee. Some slight oatmeal flashes me thoughts of breakfast, with my coffee on the side. Then some dark chocolate gushes out in waves, battling its way into the nose trying to fight through the roasted malts and coffee. The chocolate starts to win and become more dominant as the beer breathes and warms.

T: Wow, I think this weighs more per density than the glass its in. Its super rich and pretty thick. Again it bombards you with roasted malts and some more dark chocolate. I'm detecting quite a bit of caramel as well, and I don't mean caramel malts, I mean real caramel. Perhaps it is a product of the malts, but it adds a nice touch. Almost like one of those really interesting coffees you get that have lots of chocolate and caramel in them, except this time in beer form. Some creamy chocolate milk presents itself a little as the beer warms and breaths. As my taste buds start to get past the rich chocolate coffee roasted flavors, I start to get some bitterness that builds a bit. It's a combination of the earthy stout-like charred bitter flavors, and some spicy hop characters pushing out. Then almost a very hint of alcohol warmth that starts to build, both the hop bitterness and alcohol warmth build as the beer magically gets drunken.

M: Very rich and pretty thick, almost have to chew it. Good carbonation to go with it, no Tomme'd beer here. It also leaves a coating around the mouth and tongue reminding you of the flavor for a while.

F: It finishes semi bitter and a nice slight hoppy flavor. The rich creamy chocolate also sticks around, giving you memories of being a kid and drinking the chocolate milk from the carton. Most of the roasted malt and coffee flavors have subsided by the finish. The bitter earthy charred stout-like flavors present themselves quite a bit at the end, probably accentuated by the bittering hops. Although, except for the coat of chocolate and caramel that coats the mouth and tongue, it finishes pretty clean.

 2,467 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Bottled Oct 2010 Batch 2” poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a sweet burst of dark fruit and bourbon up front but those flavors fade and transition into the more constant flavors of milk chocolate and coffee. There’s a hearty roasted malt character and a mild but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

 905 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a one finger head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles rapidly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S - Rich, dark notes of chocolate, molasses, coriander, and a hint of smoky coffee.

T - Sweet, sugary malt up front with some brown sugar and caramel. A bit of bittersweet chocolate comes out in the middle with a lightly smoky note. Finishes as caramel, molasses, and light coffee flavors join the party with light grainy bitterness to balance the significant sweetness.

M - A thick, syrupy body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - The various components imply that this might be an over the top type of stout, but it is actually fairly drinkable and the more unusual flavoring aspects such as the smoke are well integrated. In fact, it almost goes too far into being a smooth, well balanced beer to the point that it comes across as kind of bland in the finish with an excessive level of sweetness that lingers on the palate and hurts the drinkability towards the end of the glass.

 1,049 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black malty beer with a taste of the campfire.

A fairly strong taste of smoke and ashes. Dark roasted malt provides a little sweetness. Herbal flavors like sage. Bitterness pervades the stuff. Burnt raisin toast and dark caramel. Bitter chocolate cupcakes. Fairly thin body. Dark, dark brown in the chalice with pleasant foam and lacing. Flavors are clean and intense with an aftertaste of malty grains. Bitterness subsides into an artichoke taste, like Cynar.

22 oz bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland. Quite sippable, but be prepared for a different kind of smoke.

 574 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in 2013, opened 2015

A - Deep cola black body with black cherry highlights. Medium khaki head with ok retention and lace.

S - Really nice, unique nose. Deliciously roasty with campfire smoke, sage, allspice, savory spice, onion powder (in a good way), and molasses.

T - Earthy, boozy, and surprisingly bitter with a woody smoke. Chard wood, coffee grinds, cream, caramel, strong herbal bitterness through the center, touch of vanilla, a sharp espresso acidity, and a pleasant dry wood smoke.

M - Medium-full body is par for the style.

O - Nice complexity with a pleasantly net-bitter balance. I'd say this is would be one of my niche personal favorites within the style.

 695 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

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Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 77.5% out of 100 with 454 ratings
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