Our Finest Regards
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
English Barleywine
4.06 | pDev: 10.84%
Aug 11, 2022
Dec 03, 2010
Our Finest RegardsOur Finest Regards
Notes: From Pretty Things to you this winter season: “Our Finest Regards”. Four years into our project and we’re grateful and amazed that so many people love and support great beer these days. The fact that we’re still here is a credit to you all.

But for the question of primary importance: What is the beer? Well, it’s our Pretty Things barleywine. Inspired by malted barley, a tribute to the barleycorn. Yes, it’s simple, but that’s what barleywines are all about. Ever since brewing in England, Dann has dreamed of making a barley-focused beer using the malts of Yorkshire (and never hesitates to plug his favorite: Thomas Fawcett & Sons). The American version of a barleywine is normally a sad beer indeed, lots of hops and alcohol but the star of the show is left scratching his chin in the eaves of the theatre. This is not one of those beers. The English invented this style and they’re the only ones who know how to make one, save the rare American brewer.

Give barley a chance and this mysterious little grain can do grand things!
To get the density of sugars needed for this sort of beer, we employed “double mashing”. The brewhouse that we work on can only get to maybe 18 plato for a single running of wort: but we wanted 27 plato! So we combined two brews by running wort into the kettle and then using it to mash in the second batch. We don’t take credit for this idea. We’re certain it has been done many, many times before. But it wasn’t until Will Meyers (the great Cantabridgian Cervecero) brought this method to our attention that we realized we could brew a barleywine of proper gravity… (he never told us that he hadn’t actually performed this sort of brewing before!). Anyway, it works!!
Expect an aroma of juicy sultanas, wet wood, green apple, malted milk balls, marzipan and alcohol deliciousness. It’s got a medium body and is a little more spritsy than we’re sure the Brits would like. Serve over 50 degrees fahrenheit in a stemmed glass.

Very suitable to drink this year or next, or even the winter after that!
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Photo of fujindemon74
Reviewed by fujindemon74 from Pennsylvania

4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
L- deep amber

S- sweet dark fruits, figs, raisins

T- exquisite, sweet caramel, sherry, and a strong malt backbone

F- medium, no carbonation

O- a very well executed English Barleywine, would immediately purchase again if I could find a bottle
Aug 11, 2022
Photo of Sheppard
Reviewed by Sheppard from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a cinnamon/pecan color. Incredible notes of caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee on the nose. Expectedly, it tastes along those same notes. It's got some creme brûlée. There's charred burnt sugar. Some tobacco. Maybe the slightest hint of oxidation. It is boozy and I am both glad that I only had a few ounces to enjoy yet disappointed that I cannot have more. After 7 years, this beer is still beautiful. Maybe as beautiful as ever.
Jun 03, 2022
Photo of LeRose
Reviewed by LeRose from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours cloudy brown with a short-lived, very short stature head. Basically just a ring around the glass so kind of obligatory to call it a head at all. It clears pretty well at serving temp for the style, 50-ish. Becomes a rich, red-brown color that is quite pretty held to the light.

The aroma is interesting. Fairly fruity and leaning toward prune-like, but a bit of apple, cherry, kind of a woodiness, still boozy after all this time, and...almond???

Man, is this still loaded with flavor! It drinks fairly sweet, but not a syrupy clinging sweet. Malty as can be. Then the role players layer on. Raisins, figs, a bit of apple, caramel, toffee all in the mixture. I get a bit of a high grade tobacco note, and yeah there is that almond thing again. I do get the marsala or sherry-like vibe as well. The ABV even still peeks out with a little warmth and mild spiciness.

Feel is medium, slight carbonation, a little bitterness. Sweet-leaning but not cloying at all. Feels rich without being syrupy.

Malt-driven, interesting brewing process, no oxidation I can find, no additives to get the flavors. Where is the almond coming from, eh? Kinda wish I had done the drink one/store one thing with this one.
Feb 07, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

May 10, 2021
Photo of LiquidAmber
Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured into a Fremont small snifter. 2011, properly (if a bit too long) cellared bottle. Pours a very dark orange brown with little light transmission and a one finger dark khaki head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt, raisins and dates, light oxidation. Flavor is dry caramel and biscuit malt, figs, dates dried plums and a hint of cocoa, very mild oxidation notes. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. Another over-cellared beer from my basement, at its 10 year anniversary, but another that has survived gracefully. The flavor is definitely mellowed and thinned out, but there is still very pleasant caramel and dark fruit notes. There is little sign of oxidation and no off-flavors. Like many long-of-tooth barleywines, there are some sherry-like flavors, but the classic English barleywine profile is still intact. I really liked this brewery and was sorry to see them go. I wish I had tried this with a few years on it, but its still a very pleasant ale at this point. My finest regards to the brewers at Pretty Things, whatever they may be doing.
Feb 18, 2021
Photo of SABERG
Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured from a 22 oz bottle 2015 version into the test glass
A - Dark Mahogany color, gentle carbonation moves gingerly top side. No cap only small islands of off white
S - Caramel, toffee, fig jam, cognac reduction, cigar wrap tobacco. There's a port element in there that is spectacular.
T - Follows the aromatics, adding some heft to the tobacco and fig jam, molasses and juniper are all in play
M - Solid feel, body is hefty, semi slick start then a slide toward the dry side. Jammy for sure but in the best way.
Finish is sweet and decadent.
O - A real treat, this offering at 6 years is on the trajectory to be very Madiera like in a short time. Luscious and rich.
Glad to have had the patience to experience at this stage
Jan 31, 2021
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2015 bottle drank in 2020: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt notes with light toffee notes with light residual sugar notes is quite enticing. Taste is a great mix of caramelized malt notes with some toffee notes and light residual sugar notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well balanced beer with right level of complexity and good drinkability.
Dec 27, 2020
Rated: 4 by fossage78 from Massachusetts

Feb 23, 2020
Rated: 4.18 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Apr 12, 2019
Rated: 3.9 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Mar 14, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Was thankful to my in-laws for scoring a bottle of this for the holidays. Pours a clear toffee brown with quickly faded head. Smell is sweet, filled with brown sugar, sweet malt, toffee, molasses, chocolate, boozy barley and candy orange zest. Tasty is eclectic in that it is too refined to become a heavy barleywine, but still packs plenty of flavor: all from the smell and add big malts, flower, nuts, and caramel. Body is spot on and very smooth. A fitting finale!
Jan 26, 2019
Rated: 4 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Jan 21, 2019
Photo of illpass78
Reviewed by illpass78 from Maine

3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Split a bomber with some buds in summer ‘16.

Appearance: Honestly I don’t remember. It was a while ago.

Aroma: This smelled like paint thinner and booze.

Taste: Harsh and boozy.

Mouthfeel: Also harsh and boozy.

Overall: I just don’t get this style. Glad I’m able to review it finally. RIP this brewery.
Jan 01, 2019
Rated: 3.9 by cduffy201 from New York

Jan 23, 2016
Photo of Ohiovania
Reviewed by Ohiovania from Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Aged 1 year. One of the best English barleywine since ever had. Rich dark sweet breads and amazing sweet ripe stone fruits. Mouthfeel is perfect for style. Just amazing.
Jan 16, 2016
Photo of scotorum
Reviewed by scotorum from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Nov. 2015. Could let this age, but never had it before. This may be the only bottle I can ever get since the brewers are leaving the business.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams English nonick

a: Translucent copper/ruby with a two inch thick tan head which receded slowly to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Caramel malt and dark ripe fruit

t: Follows the nose but with the emphasis more on the ripe dark fruit and a moderate attention-getting bitterness which does not linger long on the sweet finish. later the malt becomes more prominent.

m: Full, great body and good carbonation tingle.

o: An exceptional winter warmer. Finest regards received. Amazingly easy drinking for such a full-bodied high ABV brew. A shame this couple has decided to move on to other enterprises.
Jan 11, 2016
Photo of JAck199
Reviewed by JAck199 from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pleasant nose. Hint os sweetness as you would expect in a Barley wine beer. The beer has a hint of sweetness, run, malt and is a pleasant finish. No harshness just nice drinking beer. Just wish I could get more. Produced 11/2015.
Jan 09, 2016
Rated: 4.41 by moodnoodle from Pennsylvania

Dec 31, 2015
Rated: 4.09 by Masters from Massachusetts

Dec 26, 2015
Rated: 4.15 by smithj4 from New York

Dec 21, 2015
Rated: 4.14 by I3eer from Massachusetts

Dec 18, 2015
Rated: 3.74 by vfgccp from New York

Dec 16, 2015
Rated: 4.06 by crow from Illinois

Dec 11, 2015
Rated by JOSHRINARD from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Thank you Pretty Things
Dec 06, 2015
Rated: 4.13 by dataylor21 from Kentucky

Nov 30, 2015
Rated: 3.95 by AlexFields from Tennessee

Nov 24, 2015
Rated: 4 by nathanmiller from New York

Nov 14, 2015
Rated: 4 by Jas45678 from Michigan

Nov 08, 2015
Rated: 3.68 by Acubflem from Illinois

Oct 23, 2015
Photo of chefbigjon
Reviewed by chefbigjon from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Very tasty brew, I think a little more like an imperial porter or tastes like a blend of different dark beers. Love the carbonation and mouthfeel. Tons of roast chocolate and dark fruits. Pretty quad like as well.
Oct 14, 2015
Rated: 2.55 by rderedin from Maine

Oct 10, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by shirtless_mike from Indiana

Oct 09, 2015
Photo of Budinetz
Reviewed by Budinetz from Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a chalice. Bottled in October 2014 (one year cellared).

Pours a deep ruby color with a white foamy head that dissipates moderately.

Smells of rich caramel, sweet malt, aged figs, dried cranberry.

Tastes of rich malt, dates, rich caramel, toasted raisins.

Mouthfeel is slick on the tongue with a rich body and a slight prickle from the carbonation.

Overall an awesome barley wine. Definitely one to get your hands on!

Oct 04, 2015
Rated: 4 by mkhartnett from Minnesota

Aug 18, 2015
Rated: 4 by Mattymystique from Massachusetts

Jul 23, 2015
Rated: 4.3 by aubzachsyd from Iowa

Jul 21, 2015
Rated: 4 by 2GOOFY from California

Jul 11, 2015
Rated: 4.34 by Nordbier from Georgia

Jul 09, 2015
Rated: 4.7 by Hopstout from Minnesota

Jul 03, 2015
Rated: 4.56 by Domvan from Texas

Jun 24, 2015
Our Finest Regards from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 567 ratings