Once Upon A Time 1901 KK
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Once Upon A Time 1901 KKOnce Upon A Time 1901 KK
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Strong Ale - English
3.9 | pDev: 13.59%
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Once Upon A Time 1901 KKOnce Upon A Time 1901 KK
Notes: English Strong / Old Ale, or thereabouts.
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 148 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by virinow:
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virinow from New York

5/5  rDev +28.2%

Nov 17, 2011
More User Reviews:
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paco1029384756 from Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to jlindros.

Pours nearly black with two fingers of fine tan head with good retention.

Scent of sugar, sweet hops, a hint of alcohol, molasses, and tar. More pungent than the alcohol content would suggest, but this is a somewhat strange and wholly unique scent.

Taste of molasses, sugar, anise, tar, a hint of peppermint, bitter hops, and very mild alcohol. It's a little overbearing with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slick and had a sharp bite of carbonation.

Dec 13, 2010
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spycow from Illinois

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Mar 10, 2013
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, opaque, black in color

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate--not overly complex

Taste: roasted malt, charred wood, coffee, and citrus hops at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a very bitter finish, medium body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting brew that I would seek out again. This tastes borderline Black IPA. The beer is super dry but the flavors come together nicely.

Jan 04, 2011
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IheartTomorrow from New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Apr 22, 2012
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Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, a lot darker than I had imagined. Like a dark brown leather jacket. Thick fluffy tan head with excellent retention. You can slowly see gravity take it's toll on the head as it settles down. Lots of clinging lacing remains.

Aroma is far hoppier than I had expected. A touch green, also a background of thick musty malt.

Tastes like a charcoal laced Cascadian Ale. Lots of pine hop notes mix with an ash like dark roasted grain flavor. ** I just read the label and the flavor makes a lot more sense now. Certainly seems to have achieved the goal described. What's funny is that despite the unexpected pine hop flavors it actually finishes smoothly (but bitter) in your mouth. I'm thinking this is a good call for a cold December day.

Almost oily and slightly less than silky. A bit too thin to be called silky in my book but not too thin for what the goal was here. Subtle prickle of carbonation.

Pretty nice beer. One that grows on me as I enjoy the glass.

Dec 30, 2010
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micmillon18 from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. Looking forward to this one as it will be my first "old ale."

A - Jet black. Small thin copper head sits a top the beer for quite awhile. Medium amount of laing. Looks very much like motor oil, both in terms of color and consistency.

S - Roasted barley but not overly prevalent. sweet smells. Maple sugar, caramel, banana maybe? Floral, hoppy and herbal scents.

T - Roasted barley, nuts, dark toffee are the bigger flavors. Copper, metallic, very earthy. Lots of malty goodness. very hoppy; pale and bitter at the end. the nuts flavor finishes strong especially in the after taste.

M - Chewy, taste lingers. Not overly smooth but balanced. Alcohol is light, surprising considering this is a old ale.

D - Quite pleased with my first experience with an old ale. There was no problem finishing the bottle. I'd buy again, might even sit one down for awhile.

Jan 07, 2011
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thebouch01 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +28.2%

Nov 14, 2011
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wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Jun 05, 2013
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass and split with Jared and Amyliz4.

Pours a very dark crimson-brown color with a dark tan head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose brings some strong hops with earth and pine really standing out. There are also a few notes of light blueberry and coffee. There is a strong roast character throughout.

The taste is not quite as complex, nor as hoppy. There are some good earthy notes in there, but the pine isn't as present as in the nose. The finish is slightly dry. Medium body. Fairly tasty, with the appearance and nose acting as by far the best components.

Nov 30, 2010
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Billowing clay colored head spills from the glass like a cone of insulation foam. Pours dark brown and sits opaque black. Thick foam layer of retention rides down to glass bottom, depositing swatches of lace along the way.

Aroma is damp, earthen hops. Mildly citrusy?

After awhile in the cellar KK still has some heat to it. Maybe not heat, aggressive warmth shall we say? The beer may look black but it doesn't taste like a black beer. There's some fruity dark malt flavor without any char or roast character.

Not my thing but I could see where a Black IPA fan could dig this.

Oct 15, 2011
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robwestcott from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a great big thanks to ahelm for sending this fantastic and unexpected treat my way.

received today and poured cold form the bottle a bit too aggressively a deep dark chocolate black with a 2 1/2 finger deep tan long lasting head that leaves lace all the way to the rim of it's dogfish head shaped pint glass.

aroma of somewhat fruity, though a bit grassy(?) hops and toffee melding into an interesting combination i've not experienced before.

muted coffee bitter up front with a burnt caramel and dark toffee after - again, quite novel. somewhat hotter than expected on its way down, esp. for a brew that comes in at just under 8% abv.

smooth, medium bodied, medium carbonation, mildly bitter fading to sweet.

drinkable - sure, no problem finishing up a bomber by your lonesome.

Dec 04, 2010
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EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

4/5  rDev +2.6%

Dec 15, 2011
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, back story of the brew is explained on the label.

appears black, with khaki tan colored head. good head retention and a little lacing.

if you blindfolded me, it'd say IPA. but a pleasant hop aroma. not too piney or too citrusy.

very unique tasting. it's hoppy, but also has the dry roasted malt flavor of an irish stout or english porter. very well balanced though. lower carbonation, smooth and creamy.

definitely hard to categorize, but its quite good. and easy to drink.

Jan 10, 2011
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jbertsch from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with a billowly khaki-colored head that sticks, laces, and hangs out until the end.

Aroma provides plenty of malt in the realm of pumpernickel bread. Plenty of farmhouse-funky hops gives this a bitterswet sense.

I taste bittersweet coffee malt upfront that's a bit more sweet in the middle of the palate. Non-citrous fruit notes can be found uderneath it all. Bitter finish.

Enough carbonation is there but this is definitely smooth and silky. Drinkabilty is nice at a slow pace.

I really enjoyed this one! Drinks like a smoother black IPA.

Jan 12, 2011
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splendidsplinter from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +9%

Dec 26, 2012
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GRG1313 from California

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Jul 23, 2014
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black. Only the faintest bit of light showing through the bottom of the glass. Forms a large, tight, deep tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: A mix of citrus and floral hops and dark roasted malts.

T: A hit of citrus on the front end, then chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, and coffee. Finishes with a citrus bitterness. Flavors are pronounced, but not overpowering.

M: Full bodies and lightly viscous with a smooth creaminess to it. Lower carbonation levels.

D: A very curious beer. Much more than a black IPA, but not necessarily a stout. Very tasty with a easy drinkability to it.

Dec 01, 2010
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busterthecat from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into tulip glass.

A- Dark tan head quickly fades. Beer is a think velvety texture. Almost Black in color.

S- Hops upfront. light fruit, candy. Sweet roasted malt undertones.

T- Very interesting. Flowery hops on the tongue. Lots of sweet toffee and caramel. Mild toasted malt. Less intense then expected. Well balanced. Great meld of flavors.

M- Very pleasant. Smooth, mild. Hops rest of front of tongue.

D- Very easy to drink, enjoyable. No alcohol burn present. Will buy more asap.

Oct 22, 2010
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MbpBugeye from Ohio

3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

wn to my last Blind Beer A- 4 Pours out porter looking with a dark cola coloration. It collects in the bowl of my Duvel glass much darker. The head unabashedly leaves light tan lacing S- 3.5 this smell is interesting, and I'm having a hard time describing it. Its not smoke, ash and roast with a dessert like aroma. Caramel? Vanilla? Chocolate? All three? There is some buttery diacytl as well T- 3 Damn roasty, nearly too roasty. Dry black cocoa with a hop kick at the end. Butter is throughout too M- 3 Dry, dry, dry. Long lingering roasty bitterness. Its pretty aggressive and invasive D- 2.5 Low drinkability for me. Its just SOOO burnt With the level of diacetyl here I'm thinking this is a stout with a problem or perhaps some English beer The reveal: Another Pretty Thing! And a want at that. November 15th 1901 KK. Very interesting, its listed as an Old Ale

Dec 30, 2010
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andrewinski1 from New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Nice very dark brown color on this one. Nice light mocha colored head, about half an inch.

First impressions from the aroma are of a chocolate orange (you know the ones from the grocery store that you whack and unwrap). This smells like it will be a little sweet from the malts as well; maybe indicative of vanilla.

Well once again the aroma misleads me regarding the sweetness of the beer. This has a nice citrus start, and the malt is hardly discernible with the hop bite. Not the greatest balance here, and the malt sweetness might be there once the hops fade a bit. As it is now though, because I like hops, I enjoy this one.

Average mouthfeel, not a huge body to make a sipper, but a rather appropriate autumnal beverage. Good stuff.

I am not sure how to score this one to style because it's a style blurring beverage, but it is unique and that counts for something in my book.

Oct 24, 2010
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HopStoopid120 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Dec 19, 2011
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Dreadnaught33 from District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this bottle at Pizzaria Paradiso a while ago, perhaps in early March...

A: Looks like a robust stout with a jet black color and a nice smooth brown head. Nice.

S: Crazy smell with tropical fruit and grass hops mixed almost 50/50 with dark grainy malts. Some bakers chocolate.

T: Definite tropical, mago, and pineapple fruit juicy hops slapped up against dry grainy malts. Bitter chocolate back. Very interesting beer that I would say is some sort of very early Black IPA and certainly has a taste of a beer before the modern ones of today.

M: Ok feel, thinner than hoped but nice carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: Nice stuff. Cool beer.

Apr 16, 2011
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gregshead from California

2.67/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Brown/Black with a light brown head. Head dissipates over a couple minutes.

S: Chocolate and wet laundry.

T: Sourish black IPA hops but the sour isn't a good sour in this one. The funk/sour taste and the hoppy floral bitterness didn't come together right in this one for me

M: A large amount of carbonation was the saving grace of this beer for me.

D: Not a fan of this beer. The funk/sourness is off the charts with the strange intermixing of floral bitterness didn't work for my palate.

Oct 25, 2010
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xnicknj from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a coffee brown fluffy head. Retains pretty well with some spotty lacing on the glass.

Scents of roasted malt, caramel sweetness and some hoppy flair.

Begins with dark, rich malt and caramel sweetness. Some molasses and syrup character creeps in with a punch of roasted coffee. Bitter hops reveal themselves with pleasant character. Finishes a little dry and bitter alongside some sweet tones.

Fuller body, a little sticky on the palate. Decent drinking and interesting flavors, true to Pretty Things form. ABV is masked pretty well with the bold flavors as well.

Nov 15, 2010
Once Upon A Time 1901 KK from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 148 ratings