Our Finest Regards | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

555 Ratings
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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Ratings: 555 |  Reviews: 203
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.

 1,249 characters

Photo of Auror
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

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.

 925 characters

Photo of let8it8grow
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of ScottO
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Screper
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't let the label fool you- this is not a kind beer. It is not a pretty beer. This is not the kind of beer that displays any finesse whatsoever! This is an aggressively charged, rugged, and powerful ale with impeccable balance and acute craftsmanship.

The barleywine opens with a viscous pour of creamy froth and malty visual weight. Deep garnet in color, its red and brown highlights emit through a semi-dense haze. Its thick blanket of eggshell white foam mimics whipped cream and laces with broken rings and spotted foam as the beer fades.

A quick swirl of the snifter reveals deep aromatics of lightly burnt toffee, maple, vanilla, earthy peat, and citrus hops. Its intense scent is powerfully alcoholic, yet seductively sweet. It invites the taste with little regret.

Strong sweetness greets the tongue with dense caramel, toffee, sorghum, maple, and brown sugar maltiness. Both hearty and sweetly satisfying, the nutty sweetness reminds the taste buds of "Cracker Jacks" candies and peanut brittle. Then come a middle palate of hoppy goodness in forms of pine resins, grapefruit, orange zest, and freshly cut grass. Its smooth bitterness balances the malts and gives a plateau of complexity that delivers new and exciting impressions of taste with each sip. The mild smokiness of peat, damp sod, roasted pecans, oak and toast are just a few varieties of taste that waft the after palate and keep the complexity coming.

Unquestionably full bodied, a swirl of the beer in the mouth delivers a fully engulfed texture, seeming of marshmallow cream. But as soon as the sweet creaminess rises, it begins a slow but consistent decline to a malty-dry closure with tannin-like spice, assertive alcohol warmth, and a long linger of malt textures and hoppy resinous dryness.

"Our Finest Regards" does all that American barleywines are asked to do. Its enormous taste is balanced, complex, and robust. It does all this without a hint of roughness, bite, or harsh textures. Even though the label portrays a kind beer built for drinking; remember- this is a sipper for sure!

 2,073 characters

Photo of jglowe77
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of shigg85
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Daniellobo
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Schmuckles
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of cvm4
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours pretty brown with a ruby tinge. One finger light tan head.

S - Brown sugar & caramel with dark fruit notes.

T - Sweet, bready malts, candied sugar, slightly burnt toffee & light brown sugar. Overall on the sweeter side & stays there.

M - Full bodied, not syrupy and good amount of carbonation.

O - A bit sweet but not over done, smooth & powerful but well hidden alcohol.

 389 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Goldfishman
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of valdieu2
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Horbar
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to erichxedge for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, brown sugar, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a fruity finish and an alcohol kick on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong.

 501 characters

Photo of jwat
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ferrettman687
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of CalebHiliadis
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of jondeelee
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Our Finest Regards opens to a rich, warm, malty aroma, full of milk chocolate, creamed coffee, coffee grounds, and an excellent set of fruit esters (fig, date, plum, prune), with molasses, brown sugar, vanilla bean, caramel, and touches of tobacco and ash adding further earthiness and smoke. Hops add a rim of pine resin and very light grapefruit rind. A thick layer of rich brown bread, toast crust, and biscuit brings more complexity. As a whole, the nose is excellent, and even more so because it smells far more like a good porter or stout than a Barleywine. There are obviously a lot of sugars in here, but they tend toward the darker fruits and molasses-type sugars, and it’s fairly easy to compare the aromas here to a cup of rich, creamy gourmet hot chocolate, into which a hint of espresso and a dash of Bailey’s, or perhaps bourbon has been stirred.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a sweet, smoky, ashy, and incredibly complex flavor. Tobacco, milk chocolate, creamed coffee, and ash mix with dates, plums, figs, and prunes, the sweetness bolstered by brown sugar, caramel, vanilla bean, and light molasses. The balance between sweet chocolate and tobacco ash is excellent, the notes presenting fabulous interplay and complexity. In subsequent sips some of this complexity is lost, but a good bit does remain, joined by a larger sense of hops, which bring pine resin and grapefruit rind. Rich brown breads, toast crust, and biscuit underlie everything. The aftertaste is a continuation of the sweet chocolate and tobacco ash notes, lingering on the tongue for a good while. The alcohol is most noticeable here in the aftertaste, as alcoholic vapors creep up the nose. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is one of the finest Barleywines I’ve had the pleasure to try, and a welcome break from many of its peers, which come across as overly sweet and alcoholic. Here, the sweetness is tempered wonderfully by bitterness and ash, and the high 13.5% ABV goes largely unnoticed in taste, making itself known mainly in the aftertaste, as well as in a continuous burning on the tongue and soft palate. Fantastic brew; would drink this regularly.

 2,203 characters

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