Our Finest Regards | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

203 Reviews
Our Finest RegardsOur Finest Regards

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by jamie2dope on 12-03-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 555
Photo of smakawhat
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A nice ruby grapefruit red body, chestnut brown coming out of the glass. Opaque and super creamy half tan finger head which settles to a good thick even collar. Nice looking barleywine.

Wonderful bouquet on this nose. Turbinado and molasses like sugars, slight nut and hints of milk chocolate. Some crisp husky senses match strangely and buttery smelling toffee and butterscotch. Real nice.

Juicy palate with a large chocolate milky finish. Sense of interesting grapefruit hop action, and tight carbonation. Great mix of malt chocolate sweetness and juicy grapefruit. Lots of treacle sensing syrup with the butterscotch action hinted on the nose much more toned down. Good silky coating in the palate if a tad sparkling sensing carbonation.

Overall a real solid and impressive barleywine. Great barleywine find indeed!

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Photo of b2bomber
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Okay, unorthodox review here, so hang on with this one.

It was a cold day, the sun goes down early up hear in MA. I had a couple of packets of mulling spices from Whole Foods. So I had this wacky idea. Poured the beer into a 2qt pot. Added about 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar and two mulling spice bags. Brought up to heat (below boiling, probably around 150-160. Hold temp for about 10 mins. Remove spice bags.

Taste was great! Sweat and and malty. Maybe too much spice, probably should have used just on mulling pack. Overall a great experience though. Will try again later in the season!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, no date on it so I have no idea what vintage this is. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch light tan head. The head sticks around a little while, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like dark fruit, caramel, apples, dark bread and some booze. It tastes like caramel, toffee, dark bread, dark fruit, wood, and some brandy. It's a nice, sweet malty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and has moderate carbonation. I like this brew a lot, but then I've liked everything I've tried from Pretty Things so far. $10.99 a bottle.

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Photo of hopley
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oooh Wow! A barn burner at 13.5% ABV! Really nice! Tasty, sweet, syrupy, alcoholy, nice to look at, nice to think about - just don't drink it quickly! Despite my high impression of this beer, for me it is a one-time only beer given its high ABV. Nonetheless, I will gladly taste it again at the brewery, or at a fest. Thank you to Dann and the Pretty Things team!

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Photo of stakem
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber of the winter '10/11 release into a snifter. The brew appears a hazed light brown to mahogany with lighter yellow around the edges and ruby through the body when held to the light. A creamy yellowish stained finger rests atop and slowly fades leaving a web of lace sticking.

The aroma is quite candy-like and sweet smelling like belgian candy sugar. A bit of accenting fruity alcohol aspect is also present with a faint citrus to herbal hop element. As it warms up, there is a very soft stale grain aspect that mingles with hints of cardboard-like oxidation.

The flavor is sweet like belgian candy sugar coupled with a strong solvent alcohol kick. The residual grain flavor is a bit dusty or stale tasting bringing out flavors of oxidation and herbal hops. Trying to dig deeper in character just reveals more booze.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is sticky sweet and very boozy. For a fairly big brew, it is sadly lacking in complexity and still very alcohol forward for being cellared for 2+ years. I would probably avoid purchasing this again.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Nov 2011

A: poured into an oversized wine glass to a deep brown with a small tan head that is slow to build and quick to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass. not a lot of lacing but what can you expect from a 13.5% beer?
S: smells of caramel, toffee, sweet dark fruits and a bit of alcohol
T: tastes of caramel, figs, plums, dark fruits, brown sugar and a slight vinous character. swallow brings alcohol, more dark fruits and a slightly toasty malt flavor
M: full bodied with soft carbonation that flirts with being slightly prickly with a slightly drying finish
O: definitely a beer meant for sharing and this one lets the malts do all the talking. not even a whisper of hop bitterness. very smooth and well rounded and for being 13.5% the alcohol is hidden surprisingly well

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Nov 2011

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color capped by a rocky, three-fingered head; nice retention that leaves some strands and dots of lacing behind

Smell: Caramelized peanuts, plums, Oloroso Sherry and earthy, English hops

Taste: Burnt brown sugar, plums and caramelized peanuts, up front, with a developing cherry, fig and English hop character, in the middle; tobacco and Oloroso Sherry elements bring up the rear, with earthy hops lingering in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: I like to put a little age on my barleywines, so cellaring this one for 1 1/2 years certainly softened the rough edges and allowed the complexity to develop; another fine beer from the Paquettes

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Photo of mtnasty116
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first real foray into barley wines. Absolutely delicious. Pretty little things nailed it. My pour was dark and fluid. When I drank it i had the warm sensation of wine in my chest but had the taste of a delicious brew. I'm just going to say get this one while you can.

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Photo of Gatch
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No discernable bottle date but there's some print on the bottom of the bottle. Doesn't look like it relates to when it was bottled or when to consume by. Regardless, I picked this up when it was newly released near the end of 2012.

A: Beautiful, clear, deep ruby red with a very light brown, thick head. No lace and little head retention. Give it a good swirl and the head builds into a nice thick, bubbly foam. Big legs!

S: Very unique. Aromas of roasted and smoked malt, wood, earth, metal, and some dark, sugary fruits. Only a faint presence of booze.

T: Heavily roasted and slightly smoked malt. Delicate sweetness with hints of wood, char, and smoke. No noticeable booze but the flavor from it complements the heavy malt profile and the thick, smooth body.

M: Extremely smooth and sweet. Goes down very easily for the style and ABV. Nicely carbonated. The body is fantastic. Thick, almost viscous, and actually feels like it slides down your throat after filling your mouth with sweet, sugary liquid.

O: Seriously sweet, enjoyable EBW. The malt profile balances some of the sweetness. As usual for PT, this beer has its own unique twists that keep it from being just any 'ole EBW.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Pours a deep auburn/crimson with nice clarity and minimal head. The smell has waves of raisin, caramel, maple, and some mild hop character. The taste is malt forward with a nice caramel sweetness and a great balance. Robust favors with touches of dark fruit, toffee, honey, and just the right amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation. Overall, this is a well crafted barleywine ith delicate flavored that work quite well.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Nov. 2011. Pours out a deep ruby red with a nice, half inch head. Mild lace is left behind.

Booze and caramel dominate the nose. A touch of citrus near the finish. Hot!

Less booze is noticed in the taste. Caramel, citrus, earth and plum are most noticeable. Thick and warm going down.

Pretty decent English Barleywine. Probably won't grab another, but was very worth trying.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer to put me to sleep, and it’s about time – this big barleywine has been sitting in my fridge for months. Cheers, and goodnight.

A: Gorgeous magenta body, shining with ruby light as I hold it up to my desk lamp. The head is a thick, creamy inch of beige that adorns the top of the body as pillars of bubbles rise around the glass’s circumference, supporting it quite some time. Thin, intermittent strings of lacing.

S: Smells like an English pub. Darkly sweet, toffee-heavy malt aromas outstretch a plum, date, and candi sugar character, with a healthy dose of bubblegum in the foreground. Flint and kiln-fired grain come up, as well, but there’s not a single hop note to be found.

T: The flavors of dark fruit flare as each drink moves over the palate, conjuring a taste consisting mainly of date, but with candied apricot, bubblegum, and black licorice notes right there at the front. Surprisingly sweet, but in a Jagermeister kind of way; it’s so dark and refined you hardly realize how sweet your drink really is. There’s also a lot more bitters when compared to the nose, but in a spicy taste of cinnamon and pine needles; strange hoppiness for a strange brew. The aftertaste is sweet and boozy like brandy, but blanketed by a medicinal, sticky dryness. Reminds me of cough drops.

M: For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this much sticky thickness as I took my first sip; needless to say, it knocked me back. It’s like cake icing: frothy, but thick enough to know you’re ingesting a ton of sugar. Only very slightly warm on the way down.

O: This is a beer that has a lot of character; trouble is, my tastes don’t agree with any of that character. This tastes more like medicine than beer to me – making it a struggle to get through a glass – and that’s certainly not something I treasure. Overall, its complexities were not lost on me, though I still couldn’t enjoy it; if you really enjoy barleywines (or licorice), this may be right up your alley.

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Photo of ppohio
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from November 2011 that I found in the cellar.

A: Deep amber, head dissipates after a moment or two leaving a bit of lacing on the surface. Really quite like the way this beer looks.

S: Toffee, caramel, burnt sugar, and a very distinct brighter fruit note, like canned fruit, or Cape Cod salt water taffy (appropriate for this New England beer)

T: There is a definite minerality here and a copper/metallic element that comes into play. It's sweet with less bitterness than I expected, alcohol is there of course as well as the caramel/toffee flavors. Flavor is a little one-note here, but that could definitely be from the aging. If this is actually 13.5 % as it is listed here then the alcohol is very well-hidden. I would guess this is closer to 10% or 11% ABV

M: The alcohol comes into play on the swallow, great warming sensation and perfect for winter. Fairly low on the carbonation, decent mouthfeel but a little syrupy.

O: I liked this beer and I need to have one fresh for comparison of course. Will definitely pick up another bottle next time I'm back East, a great beer for the winter. The nose is an absolute winner, this is a beer I could sit around smelling all day.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a wispy cap of foam. The aroma bounds with sweet sugar. The palate brings a combination of sweet malt, dark fruit, and even hints of chocolate. It hits the right tones as it move across the palate and signs off without much bitterness, as a good Barleywine should. The alcohol definitely makes it presence known, but not in a way that is objectionable. Good stuff.

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Photo of RichD
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on this bottle, but I think this was bottled in late 2012/early 2013 poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brownish red color. Initially about a finger or 2 of head. Considerable lacing on the glass as I drink this. Exactly the color I look for in my barleywines.

S: This smells awesome! Caramel malts were what I immediately caught. Some dark fruits such as raisins and plums are caught as well. When I first poured this I didn't want to drink this, but rather smell this.

T: This is a crazy complex brew. I taste the caramel malts, raisins and plums. I catch a hint of alcohol as well, not in the taste but more in the warmth. There is also a really sweet toffee taste which adds another element here. I feel like this has been barrel aged because of the depth of the flavors, but it has not. That's when you know it's a good brew.

M: A fairly medium to thick mouthfeel. This brew is incredibly chewy, which is definitely not a bad thing when you think about what goes into a barleywine. The carbonation is on the low side and as I said in the taste portion, the alcohol only comes through with the warmth and not the taste.

Overall: I really like this beer. It brings a lot to the table. A nice complex, non barrel aged, barleywine. This drinks quite well despite being bottled in the last few months. I'd like to get my hands on an older bottle as it would probably be incredible. Nonetheless, this is a great brew and I will most likely be buying this at least twice a year. Lastly, this is my first brew by Pretty Things and I am extremely satisfied. Awesome job!

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Photo of Rifugium
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Served properly into a PT OFR stem glass, a deep garnet brown color, not quite opaque, very effervescent, and topped with a small, creamy tan head that stayed small, but retained forever and left streaks of lacing on the glass. The nose was malty, nutty, caramel, and slightly woody. Taste was similar, bready, nutty, toasted grains, caramel malts, hints of old raisins, brown sugar, herbal hops, and a stiff, woody finish. Booze was felt, but pretty well-hidden, taste-wise. Body was medium, smooth mouthfeel, even if slightly higher in carbonation that I'd have expected. Careful pouring: it's very yeasty towards the bottom, and I could swear the yeast was actually still active. Nice beer overall.

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Photo of JD4Cali
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my first beer review (yay, right?)
My friend brought over a bunch of beers in big bottles and insisted that I had to like at least one or he'd be heartbroken. So, I loved this label! So cute! And so I had to try it.
It was lovely, poured lovely, smelled lovely and tasted lovely. Like the best toffee custard and toasted biscotti in a bottle and it was so very smooth.
Loved it! More Pretty Things please!
Best thing? My friend smiled and I think he's planning on bringing me more beer.

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Photo of Rutager
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

November 2011 bottle, thanks mrbubbler!

Appearance. Pours a rich and hazy rusty-brown with almost two fingers of thick off-white head that leaves some thick lacing.

Smell. Loads of dark fruits; plums, raisins, and dark cherries with some caramel, sherry, and just a bit of orange citrus.

Taste. Lots of dark fruits again and a little sherry, nearly-burnt caramel and brown sugar, booze (maybe rum?), some bitter earthy and floral hops, and a little smokey wood.

Mouthfeel. Full body and a bit warming, smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. A complex barleywine with lots of fruit flavours that I personally didn't dig in a big way. Pretty boozy still too. Maybe not bad, just not my thing.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, no date, but purchased recently.

appears a clear dark copper color, with brown highlights. thin tan head. smell is mostly sweet malty flavor, with a bit of alcohol and raisin. earthy. taste is a little boozy too. brown sugar, rum, tobacco, estery yeast. thicker body. medium carbonation, could actually be less to fit the style.

overall- although it's another nice beer from Pretty Things, I'd like to have another bottle to see how it might improve from cellaring for a year or two.

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Photo of OldPenguinHunter
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split this with a buddy, been holding this beer in my vino-temp since I got it last year.

A. A nice caramel brown, toffee. light carbonation, very little head.
S. Toffee, apples, a little booze, figs and dates, preserved savory fruit.
T. Carmel, a bit of salt, booze, stewed fruits, apples.
M. Viscous, smooth. Very nice mouthfeel. This sort of reminds me when Mikkeller was bottling their Big/Worse in corked bottles and was actually barrel-aged. I would like to see this in a few years.
O. Another great beer from Pretty Things! I will look for a few more bottles to store and enjoy over the next few years!

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Photo of AndrewLightning
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Big fan of Pretty Things... and I really like barleywine style ales... however this particular selection is just too uniform to deliver any unique flavors. It pairs well with butter crackers and brie, as it should, and delivers quite the blow in terms of ABV. Malts, and possibly cherry and cocoa, feel as though they struggle. It's too earthy and drinks like a brandy. Perhaps this one should be saved for 2014 so the alcohol can mellow and allow for the hops and oak to mature. I'll be keeping a few bottles in my basement for then.

With that said: this is a well crafted and delicate offering of higher ABV as expected and a compact palate that excites and delivers.

Don't pass it up and let it breathe for 20mins (I did not and sadly it cost an excellent review)

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 2011 22oz. Bottle

Notes from 01/11/13 – Sierra Nevada balloon glass

A: Pours a dark auburn brown body with a dense looking core that lightens out to more of a chestnut edge. Rather bubbly with a thin and quick receding khaki tan head. Some light dots and twiggy stick down the glass as the drink progresses.

S: Smells of sweet caramel and dark toffee malts with a firm booziness overall. There is a soft milk chocolate note under there with a bit of plum and vinous aromas. I get some earthiness to the beer and light pines as well. Fairly nice and on par with the style. I can smell the chew.

T: Taste brings a sweet toffee likeness with a deep caramel chew and layers of secondary flavors. Earthy minerals and a bit of orange zest compliment ripe dark fruits, raisins, cocoa, and Grape-Nuts cereal. There is almost a hint of smokiness in the finish with a light metallic tinge and some sherry-like oxidation noted. The beer has a fairly even moderate bitterness and the alcohol is kept surprisingly in check throughout the drink. Overall this is very smooth and the balance in flavors are quite nice.

M: Full-bodied and a bit sluggish with some warming alcohol. A rather creamy feel with carbonation on the lower end leaves the beer a bit wet with some weight to it.

D: This one is drinking rather nicely with a little over a year on it. The booze is quite tame and some of the vinous Sherry-like notes are starting to emerge. Really great malty flavors, smooth balance, rich and complex.

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Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber bought at Stein's, New Orleans. Poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A: Rich mahogany. Thin head that retains exceptionally well throughout.

S: Dark fruits, woody earthiness... vanilla? Banana? Very unique.

T: Like the smell, very unique-tasting beer. Initially robustly sweet and plumlike, with legitimate quad characteristics. Then earthy, assertive English-hop bitterness comes on strong, and it finishes oaky.

M: Big, but not cloying. Booze is hidden well.

O: Our Finest Regards comes off a little like Hair of the Dog's beers, and both breweries are interested in historical styles. It's a really unique, buzzworthy beer and ideal for winter. I braved the whole bomber... but it took three hours.

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Photo of beerforbears
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank goodness that 'Our Finest Regards' exists to sate my craving for winter beers that are fit for New England's annual delve into daylessness. Here's what I like about this beer:

Appearance: enough caramel color breaking through to contrast the darker tones. This beer is beautiful to look at.

Smell: again, caramel, sugars, a nutty darkness in there as well. When I drink this beer, the urge to hibernate strikes at the first whiff.

Taste: For me, this beer has a complex and somewhat elusive flavor profile. I don't get whammed over the head with a few dominating flavors. If I wanted to drink it and ponder its subtleties, I would find ample food for thought. However, if I wanted to just drink it and enjoy an accessible and delicious beer, I could do that as well.

Maybe I'm superimposing, but I think this beer genuinely succeeds at capturing a time of year and a feeling. When it hits the shelves, my caveman self prepares to trundle into the winter lair, pop open a bottle with some caveman friends, and hunker down. And I don't mean to suggest that this beer has neanderthal qualities - it's very refined. But it does tap into the part of my lizard brain than wants delicious boozy drinks, shared with good friends on chilly nights.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours ruby hued brown with a small off-white head leaving a small ring on the edge.

Aroma features caramel, cinnamon and a lot of raisin/fig/plum character. Smells boozy.

Very interesting flavor profile. All of the aroma comes through and also a very distinct nuttiness. Almost like a cross between and English bw and a quad or something similar. Very fruity with some spice and a big brown sugar backbone. Alcohol warms the palate the whole way through.

Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Alcohol is present throughout, but doesn't detract from the flavors.

Well I can't say this one isn't complex. I'm not sure I've ever really had a beer quite like this one before which is something I can't say often. I'm not entirely sure I love the entire flavor profile, but the overall was more enjoyable than the sum of its parts. Had a few too much Belgian character for my taste buds, but glad I got to try it nonetheless.

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Our Finest Regards from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
4.04 out of 5 based on 555 ratings.
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