Babayaga | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

very good
454 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

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.

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Ratings: 454 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of RyanLigeia
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pretty unique. Its the darkest brown possible without actually being black.

Smell- I dont know what else to say besides it has the most generic but DELICIOUS stout smell. Its everything normal stouts usually smell like, nothing over powering but not weak at all.

Taste- Same as the smell. Its not unique at all but it is a near perfect balance of everything youd expect/hope for.

Mouthfeel- Like I said for the smell and taste its just pretty spot on for what I'd ask for with the tastes it brings. Could be a little little thicker but not enough to complain about.

Overall- Overall I think it's great. Nothing new, no specific strong point but its not boring by any means. A good stout done right.

 716 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, Duvel tulip, bottled in October 2011. Thank you to Jayli via Secret Santa 2011.

The color is very dark, the kind of crude brown that only grants a very small amount of light passage. I wouldn't say there is a head, only bubbles, primarily a ring of large ones in a dark latte tan.

Lilac or lavender, chalky Mexican chocolate, wood, and phenols. A bit of dairy.

Smoky chocolate and dark malt steeped with herbs like rosemary. Phenolic Belgian yeast with berries, backed with oak. It's like a silky, complex dark chocolate bar. Decent bitterness.

Smooth, silky, and medium weight, with medium carbonation.

All the parts are blended wonderfully and I am not aware of whether this is a beer skillfully crafted from only the traditional ingredients or a masterful mixing of herbs, etc. too. This one was worth waiting for, now where can I get another?

 869 characters

Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Gatch
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a viscous black with a bubbly, light brown, frothy head. Good head retention and no lacing.

S: Earthy, smoky malt with a hint of hops and some dark chocolate.

T: Smoky, roasted, creamy malt. Some earthy and lactose flavors with burnt sugar. A different interpretation of the style that is welcomed.

M: Smooth and easy drinking. The smoked malt is very prominent. Leaves a pleasant taste lingering on the palate.

O: Unique stout from a consistently solid brewery.

 475 characters

Photo of timbre
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Faina
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of DovaliHops
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a medium, tan head that disappears quickly. Scent bring a bit of charcoal to the nose, immediately followed by sweet chocolate. A little bit of oak and citrus as well. Slight bit of anise and a ton of dark malt. Taste is initially citrus hop flavors, immediately followed by some dark fruit and chocolate. Some wooden oak flavors along with a hint of smoke. Finishes with a dash of clove and more bitter chocolate...maybe some espresso. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, rich, and smooth. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is a very tasty stout. It lingers nicely between stout and imperial stout with some complex flavors to it.

 662 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an opaque black with a red tinge around the edges. There's almost a finger of mahogany head that dissipates quickly to a wispy topping. Thin layer of lacing trickles down leaving film behind.

N: Red licorice, dark chocolate, cocoa, smoke and citrusy hops. The aromas bring together a sort of peppermint quality to me (I don't know why).

T: Cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate and citrusy hops upfront along with honey and plum. Mid-palate is mostly toffee along with a little charcoal, smoke and red licorice that transforms to black licorice. Finishes with a lot of roasty burnt flavors along with a resinous pine bite and what tastes like a mix between coriander and clove.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, soft, chewy, bitter and dry.

O: I was expecting an Imperial Stout for some reason and instead got an "American Stout" that tastes more like a Black IPA. Highly bitter with a good amount of charred roasty malts. Fruity notes are apparent along with some subtle spicing.

 999 characters

Photo of rowingbrewer
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at a Monday night tasting at Julio's.

A - Pours a nice deep brown with a thin white head that leaves a light, thin coating of lacing.

S - Aroma is relatively average with some light chocolate and coffee with some burnt sugars and roast malts. There is a slight herbal note from the rosemary.

T - Tast is nice chocolate and light coffee with lots of roasty sweet malts. Nice bitter chocolate with a light smokey note and maybe even some black licorice.

M - Mouthfeel isnt all that bad. Nice carbonation for an American stout. Somewhat light, a bit more prickly than used to. Still, a good beer.

O - Overall this is a solid offering from Pretty Things. While its not the best stout on the market, it is one that is readily available in my end.

 754 characters

Photo of jpd7374
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head. Solid retention, good lace.

S: Dark chocolate, light vanilla and rosemary.

T: Dominated by that dark chocolate flavour. Has some wood/bark character, licorice and herbs. Nice complex flavour.

M: Medium-bodied overall, soft carbonation, creamy and resiny.

O: A really tasty winter stout. I love the idea, and it's pulled off effectively. The price is tough at $10 a bomber, but it's worth a try at least once.

 473 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Ralphs66
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of HopStoopid120
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of brewcrew76
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to phnphilly for this one.

A - Black with ruby highlights and a few finger tan head. smalls bubbles of foam remain after the head fades.

S - Roasted malt, hint of rosemary, chocolate, coffee, spice, light smoke.

T - First taste is smoked malt that has a touch of smoked meat flavor, licorice, rosemary, chocolate, coffee, nutty, some dark fruits.

M - Full body with a lot of carbonation. Dry finish.

D - A solid beer. Not that big of fan of the smoke in it.

 469 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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 bkny27
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of gdrydenc
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of tkelley
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of ahq514
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into St Bernardus chalice. Bottled in Oct. 2010 from Batch 2.

Pours an extremely dark brown head with almost no head, appearing to have very low carbonation. Almost no lacing.

Aroma is complex. Roasty, slightly smoky, oaky, dark chocolate. Has a little bit of a belgian element to it. I pick up a touch of oats too.

Creamy and slightly sweet oats come through first, followed by a dry roastiness, dark chocolate, and subtle smokiness. Real slight Belgian yeast characteristics. Has a real dry wood component. Not much in the way of hops.

A little higher carbonation than I thought would be there and a little too much for the style I think. Creamy at first and then dry, Medium to full body. Fairly drinkable for 7%.

An enjoyable stout overall, but nothing to really seperate it from the pack. Pretty dry for a stout. Would like to try fresh.

 872 characters

Photo of gory4d
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Babayaga from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.92 out of 5 based on 454 ratings.
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