¡Magnifico! | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Do you ask, “Who is a ¡Magnifico!”? IT IS A PITY TO ASK SUCH A QUESTION! Dear friends Magnifico is one of our most favorite seasonal offerings -our friendliest beer ever. In 2011 we slip him into our line-up without fuss, all by ourselves on a private world-party tour of a small part of Boston. We swear nobody comes, but no admonishments!

This year, he says hello again my friends and this time he’s in bottle too. We love him because he’s only 3.4% alcohol by volume and perfectly full of lovely Citra, Horizon, Simcoe and Bravo hops. He also likes barley (because you must in order to make beer). He has Munich Malt, Crystal Malt and Maris Otter from Inglaterra.

Look at the label of ¡Magnifico!! It’s also magnifico! He’s just a little chico – malinki hop with a moustache gigante! He has big heart for such small creature. It’s the spirit of beer my friends and friendship and happiness. And loveliness. My friends, we hope you enjoy ¡Magnifico!(!) in the same spirit.

Oh, we nearly forget… if you drink ¡Magnifico!(!) in a bistro or cantina make sure you ask for proper glass! Jambo!

40 IBU

Added by OldIronLungs on 08-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 152
Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glossing over the label reveals a beer at very modest alcohol levels. The mind interprets it as low in taste and body, but only one of those things are true. Certainly its light texture offers supreme drinkability, but the level of flavors that are packed into the bottle are nothing short of "Magnifico!"

The summer of low gravitiy marches on with this light golden-copper colored ale. Its bright clarity proudly celebrates the effervescent streams of carbonation that rise from beneath. Those tiny bubbles quickly build a fluffy and arid head of stark-white foam in a light and loosely knit structure.

Spice and earth rise to greet the nose with a crisp and dry grain and crust-type of maltiness. Rounded by straw, fresh-cut grass, oranges, grapefruit, apples and pears, its obvious that the hops and esters are hard at work in here. A final tinge of peppercorn closes out the aromatic profile heading into taste.

To taste, all those things are present but with a virtual absence of sweetness. With all the bread and grain sweetness dissolved, the dry cracker-like taste is timid but gives a lift of brightness to the fruity apple, orange and pear flavor. The balance from pepper and hops comes easy as the ale has really no sugar to interfere. The flavors seem to float above the tongue to arrive at finish in stealth-like mode. Finishing with spicy, grassy bitterness and a crisp iron-like taste- the ale refreshes the palate with ease.

That absence of sweetness gives the beer a snappy, quick and mineral-lined texture from start to finish. Its exuberant carbonation provides a seltzer water effect to draw the ale from the tongue and offer a light prickle while at it. Unfortunately, its light "naked" character leaves the grain astringency and hop bite exposed to be felt in palate sensations.

Magnifico! does pack a lot of flavor in light body Belgian-esque form, but still- there's little to celebrate the beer beyond its light body, high effervescence, and modest taste. Yet it begs for light culinary fare such as sushi and summer salads

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey, despite being the evil presence in a great Asimov book, Magnifico is now a beer.

Served in a big mug, pours a huge overflowing creamy 2 finger head that fades at a med pace, crystal clear pale orange color.

Nose light toasty straw malts, fruit almost lager like fruit, light rustic saison farmhouse aroma, some light citrus almost spicy hops.

Taste comes with light crisp malts, light straw and toasty pale malts, some light grassy and fruity hops and bit of citrus, some lager fruits, gets fairly bitter, juicy, starts to get astringent on the finish, cracked straw rustic malt finish, lingering hops and bitterness, bit creamy even, but dry and slightly sticky.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nice malt flavors, decent hops until it gets astringent, drinkable. a nice hit from Pretty Things but not right on target as there is barely any Belgian kick to this except the hints of rustic farmhouse malts, but not much of the yeast flavors, and the hops get too bitter and astringent for it's own good, the American hops add a different kick to it as well.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/5/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, a good amount of hops, light caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty but not too heavy malt character and Belgian yeast. Then some mild but complementary sweetness follows from flavors of citrus and caramel. The hops presence is good for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to tenderbranson69 for sharing this with me -enjoyed chilled in a double-walled tumbler.

The color is deep golden with light amber hues, clarity is mildly hazed, the head is white and falls to about 1 finger in width. The smell is very fragrant with hops the aroma is slight grass which gives a pleasant herbal and pine tinge with light pear and orange blossom from the yeast. The feel is thin, dry, bitter and slightly creamy with yeast and toasted malt with semi-high carbonation and light astringency in the finish.

The flavor has tangy apricot elements with subtle hint of grassy and herbal hops with a light pine tinge and slight malt essence but very gentle with light pepper and hint of cracker-like flavor of dry grain with mild citrus rind as it finished with mostly dry herbal taste. Overall a solid brew in every way, a great session worthy beer which I could enjoy anytime and the price is reasonable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thin bar-poured head. Settles to minute rim bubbles leaves some streaky lace. The cloudy broth is dirty gold in color.

Pleasant flowery hop with a black pepper kick. Light crystal in the background.

This a strongly bitter (said black pepper!) beer. The swallow and aftertaste is like sucking a hop pellet. It's hard to detect the malt base--mostly pale. The body is neutral; the carbonation elevated. Definitely a hop head beer.


June 9, 2013 -- Bottle version

Key difference comes from the head, which is very impressive. Lumpy while settling. Lots of chunky lace on the glass. I would also consider the body to be on the thin side with the carbonation still elevated.

I did not change the scores to reflect this.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have grown tired of looking at the massive bottle backlog here at Chez Woody and I have decided t do something about it! Namely, it's total and utter eradication. For me, the toughest part is/are the bombers, since while I could easily drink one by myself, I really do not want to. I am routinely opening the porch to visitors to enlist their aid in this endeavor and last night, Mike, a high school classmate sto pped by to help me put a dent in things. A little background on this one - it was a closeout at The Friendly Greek's Bottle Shop during a recent brewery tasting that they hosted and a fellow beerhead told me that it was aged and beyond its prime, but at the price point, it was a steal. I decided to take the chance and also to help out The Greek, who has always been very, very good to me.

From the label: "Bottled in: June 2012 Thank you for drinking our beers"; "Forget everything you know about low gravity beers! Okay, remember some of it, but check this out: it's a fun, HOPPY, fun, happy homage to the greatness of beer without all the 'I love you man' at the end ... AND it's Magnifico!"; "Pour with gusto down the center of a big glass, pausing to allow head to settle, then continue. Be patient for best enjoyment!"

I had it chilling on its side in the cooler, but when I pulled it out and held it upright, i noticed a LOT of floaties, so we quickfat put it into The Beerfirgerator for a period of time to allow for settling and flocculation. It worked! The initial pour was VERY gentle, though. This resulted in a simple skim of bone-white head. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow (SRM = 4 - 5). Nose had both an old newspaper mustiness and a lemon zestiness. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was bitter, almost astringent, much akin to what I had experienced in a Calypso single-hop beer. Finish was really dry, but the astringency was a bit much, even for me. Oh well, I got my money's worth and then some, so it all worked out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pretty Things Magnifico

Appears cloudy golden apricot, white head fine lacing. Aroma earthy citrus with some English yeast notes, nice pungency. Flavors abrasive hop action with wormwood yeast open fermentation like nuances dirty earthiness weighs down the palate. Mouthfeel again a bit harsh especially for such a low alcohol beer. Overall I will try it again this sample is extremely fresh just some flavors not meshing very well.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a hazy light to medium golden amber with a fine half finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of light biscuit malt and citrus. Flavor follows with light biscuit malt, citrus and grassy hops with light grapefruit rind. Finishes with very light biscuit malt and lingering grassy hops. Light bodied with active carbonation. A light ale, resembling an American pale ale more than a Belgian pale, but remarkably flavored for 3.4%. Quite an achievement for the ABV. A very nice lunch beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, grains, some sweetness. Taste is surprisingly hoppy, some malts, grains, very easy drinking. The fruitiness usually found in Belgian ales seems to be missing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a refreshing and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

¡Magnifico! is a homological name, it expresses a property which it itself possesses. ¡Magnifico! looks exactly that: magnificent. Its golden complexion shimmers and, as most sediment stays caked to the bottom of the bottle, maintains a clean, more or less clear complexion. Its head is like something from a lotion commercial; there's as much froth on the top of the beer as there is on the sides of the glass.

Pine-like tree resins and great, budding leafiness give this aroma the (literal) air of a Northwest forest. Add to it faint grapefruit and herbal spice and you've got yourself a more than noticeable hoppiness, albeit one that doesn't boast hops as ends in and of themselves. There is plenty of biscuity, bready maltiness to temper things (and even a little bit of yeast, too). Things are shaping up nicely...

Note that ¡Magnifico! has exclamation marks at *both* ends of its name. The first, I assume, relates to the honeyed, bready malts that initiate the flavour, and the second the earthy, vinous hoppiness that concludes it. In this flavour, sweet and bitter shake hands like two world leaders. This beer witnesses a wonderfully harmonious, Kumbaya moment between the two seemingly opposed features.

A highly hopped, low alcohol beer may appear a new style but it’s actually not that novel an idea. So-called "session" or "table" beers are historically common in nations like Belgium and England. The idea is something flavourful that can be casually (perhaps copiously) quaffable. ¡Magnifico! is exactly that: it has as much barley as grandma's heartiest soup and hops so crisp you could cut your teeth on them.

¡Magnifico! provides exactly what a low-gravity session beer should: carefree enjoyment and flavour that is both plentiful and balanced. The people at Pretty Things know what they're doing. It's a brewery that if you ask anyone from New England about it, and they've tried their beers, they'll say: "They're great! I love their beers!". And if they haven't, you'll probably say to them: "They're great! You'll love their beers!"

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Photo of rudzud
4.26/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Armsby Abbey's 3 year anniversary event on 8/24.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a clear yellow straw colour with a two finger head that left heavy, heavy side lacing.

S - Rather light on the nose with super soft herbal and grassy hop notes. Even lighter grain notes too.

T - Really tasty here. Some really nice hoppy/floral notes that are quire smooth. Earthy grains and good citrus notes.

M - Very good mouthfeel here. Nice carbonation. Good and crisp.

O - Of course, this is super sessionable. Just because its low in ABV doesnt mean its low in flavor. Definately packs a hop whallop.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Magnifico pours a brilliant glowing orange color. Head is frothy and gigantic and it lasts forever. Light lacing. The bubbles rise in strict columns. Looks awesome.

S-Lemon and lime zest. Sweet muffin malt. Candied citrus hops and floral hops. Light grains and buttery biscuits. More intense than you'd expect from a 3.4%er.

T-Lemon and lime zest again. Grassy and flowery hops along with light citrus. Sweet bready malts and lightly spicy grains. Taste is fuller than most American Pale Ales I come across. Really tasty.

M-No skimping here. Body is (in the context of a low ABV beer) surprisingly full. Also has plenty of bitterness and lingering dryness. Sessionable for days.

O/D- A beer under 3.5% ABV with this much flavor is impressive. It also doesn't hurt that the beer just plain taste great. Kudos.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a CCB pub glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the clear golden brew. Head lasts well, with spotty average lacing. Aroma is lightly of citrus and sweet pale.

Taste starts with a peek of sweet, then dominated by citrus hoppiness through the middle, and closes moderately bitter. Lot of flavor for 3.4%. Mouthfeel is soft with a touch of prickliness, and drinkability is excellent. Would revisit, again and again.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden beer with a fizzy, of-white cap of foam. Fragrant hop aroma, fruity with a bit of restrained citrus, mild herbal and spicy notes, some sweet malt too. Solid bitterness with low sweetness, lots of hops crammed in here (spicy, herbal, fruity) with a bit of malt at the end. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly coarse. Pretty good and quite refreshing.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz.bottle served in my DT tulip. Pours a lovely straw-gold with a bubbly, half inch, bright white head and just the slightest haze to the clarity. Head eventually settles into a consistent skim with a bullseye dollop. Some small spots of lacing present during the session. Nose is very subdued, but expresses some medicinal phenol, citrus and a grassy character. Taste is very much subdued, but bright with a mild, albeit distinct earthy hoppiness. There's also a slightly skunky/yeasty quality - not bad, but definitely prominent. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a crisp carbonation that leaves a residual tingle on the tongue. Overall, this is perhaps one of the best low abv beers I've tried to date. I continue to be impressed by the variety and quality the Pretty Things puts out.

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Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly cloudy very pale orange. Huge fluffy white head. Fades slowly, leaving substantial lacing behind.

S: Nice citrus and grassy notes. Bready malt backs it up. A little bit of belgian yeast.

T: Grassy throughout with a hint of citrus (mainly lemon). Yeasty, grainy bread. A little bit toasty.

M: Pretty light but impressive for 3.4% ABV. I've had thinner beers that were 50% stronger than this.

O: A light and refreshing brew for summer. Super low ABV but surprisingly full flavor, mouthfeel and aroma. Still, it's an obviously simple beer. Very sessionable as you would expect.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Lightly hazed light orange color. One and a half fingers of pillowy white head. Retention is about average and just a wisp or two of lacing are left.

3.25 S: Dank hoppiness which is allowed to shine due to the lack of tons of malt. Floral, herbal, and earthy. Just a hint of spicy yeastiness. Not a lot going on, but it works.

3.5 T: Taste is like the nose, but better. Floral, herbal, earthy hops. Mild bitterness. Touch of spice. It's just a sessionable way to drink hops.

3.5 M: Lighter body. Maybe a hint too much carbonation, but good enough. Not really creamy, but smooth.

3.25 D: It's decent for what it is, though I definitely prefer more flavorful brews.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in: JUN 2013

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a thin cap

S: Some nice fruity notes comes through first, along with a light Belgian yeast note. Some pine comes through as well

T: Starts off with a bit of yeastiness and fruity notes and goes into a bitter piney note that doesn't mesh that well with the fruity notes. Finishes with more of the piney bitterness

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Some nice flavors for a 3.4% brew, but they don't mesh all that well. The fruitiness really clashes with the piney hop notes and kind of throws things off. Nice for a session ale, but kind of an odd brew overall

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Photo of Oakenator
4.67/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is golden amber with some haziness visible in the glass. The head pours nicely at first but has larger carbonation bubbles than most other beers. Solid lacing. Classic ale smell with a bit of hopiness on top of it. The taste is phenomal for a beer this low strength - how they crammed this much flavor into a beer this mild is a feat. Solid hops and malt flavoring - from front to back - not leaning in any particular direction but still a very nice clean flavor. The taste even lingers for a bit. Well done, and definitely sessionable (many sessions).

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Photo of ehammond1
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brooklynbrews!

A slightly hazed darker apricot or peach skin in color. Very persistent, whipped-cream style, near-white head. Lots of sticky lacing left all the way down the glass. A gorgeous beer, no matter how you slice it. Truly something special to admire in the glass.

Not a very expressive aroma, even after a little bit of warming. Some toast and mild biscuit, with just a touch of a fruity hop character I would call apricot.

Surprising bitterness leads the way, along with mild straw, and a little bit of lingering apricot hop character finish. Cracker and pale malts throughout. Very drinkable. A bit of an earth or dirt character as well. Nice, but nothing standout about it.

Medium bodied with near-high carbonation.

A tasty little low ABV number, but unexciting almost across the board.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bright gold with a very large, very Belgian thick, fluffy head. Looks magnifico indeed.

Strong aroma of course grain and swampy hops. A little buttery. Tastes like it smells: course grain and a boat load of swampy ass hops. Very sharp and dry mouthfeel.

Dry, swampy and nasty. A love it or hate it beer I guess. I'm party to the latter.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a copper/golden color with a slight haze. Fast-moving streams of carbonation rush to support a very cratered yet creamy looking bone-white head. Retention is good, and a thin blanket of lacing coats the glass.

S: Oily and floral hops with a subtle leafy backing. Yeast scents are slightly chalky and lightly spicy with a ghost-like hint of clove. Malt is light but multi-dimensional. Bready with that lightly fruity aspect- definite Munich. There's also a cookie-like expression and just a touch of sweetness. The nose is good. Light but playful.

T: Yeast character at the outset with a brief wash of chalk and vague spice. Hop oils follow that up with floral and spicy/leafy tastes. Grass too. Bitterness is very tame. After a touch of initial sweetness, the malt base goes dry with tastes of cracker, sugar-free cookies, and dry biscuit. The finish is bone dry and abrupt, leaving only fleeting thin, grainy cracker tastes and slight oily hop bitterness.

M: Light in body, but full in the mouth with a semi-firm malt texture that creates the illusion of some weight. Ample prickling carbonation. Some astringency and enamel-scraping.

O: The playful complexity on the nose didn't really translate to the taste. It's just too dry and astringent for me. The chalky yeast tastes were a bit out of place too. I feel very indifferent about it, and really, what's the point of a session ale if it doesn't leave you wanting another?

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours thick, almost milky pale yellow with a white foamy head that does not last.

Grain husk and dusty yeast in the nose. Dry harsh aromas.

Bitter, harsh, watered-down flavors. Grain husk, earthy yeast, some spice. The malt needs some level of sugar, and there is none. Long and bitter in the end.

Lighter bodied, carbonated, a little watery.

Not something I'd wan t again. An experiment gone wrong. Nothing you want to session or even share. Not wholly undrinkable, and the structure is appropriate, so I cannot give them strikes for it. But I did not enjoy this. A rare miscue by this brewery.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.28/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Salty Pig. Served in a pint glass.

A- Appears a slightly orange golden color with about a finger of white foamy head with good retention. About average to slightly above average carbonation. Leaves some lacing.

S- Grainy, floral notes, some lemon zest, hops, a little grassy.

T- Grainy, some lemon zest, light spices, hay, light hops, some floral characteristics, finishes very bitter.

M- Light, bitterness + carbonation adds a little bit of a tingly feeling to the feel, slightly above average carbonation.

O- I wasn't a huge fan of this beer. It was definitely a little bit overly bitter for me. For 3.4% abv it didn't have a ton of flavor, and the flavor present I didn't really care for. It was just too bitter and grainy and tasted more like a farmhouse. I probably wouldn't session this beer, but it might just be my preferences. There are plenty other BPAs I prefer. For now I'm going to stick with some of Pretty Things' other beers- I like a lot of their stuff.

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Photo of bum732
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S: Bitter, perfume-like hops, light grapefruit peel

L: Cloudy golden yellow, creamy white head dissipates. Decent lacing.

T: Bitter, dry maltiness up front. Medium high herbal/citrusy bitterness with some herbal hop flavor. Light malt character with a dry, slightly chalky finish.

M: Medium light bodied, medium carbonation.

Kind of an older bottle (June 2012). So maybe unfair to judge, but not a huge fan of this beer. Very bitter and dry.

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¡Magnifico! from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.76 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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