X Ale, 22nd February 1945 | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

BA SCORE
82
good
91 Ratings
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X Ale, 22nd February 1945X Ale, 22nd February 1945
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 2.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
So, these are our new historical beer releases: two beers from the same brewery, brewed under the same brand name, 107 years apart. X Ale, 22nd November 1838, and X Ale, 22nd February 1945. These beers were from Barclay Perkins brewery in London (now long closed). They were brewed & sold as the same beer over these 107 years, but the recipe and process changed dramatically. The beer changed from a golden, 7.4%, extremely hopped ale in 1838 into a 2.8% dark grainy beer in 1945. Probably a lot of factors came into play: wars, hop shortages, grain pricing, rationing, taxation, patriotism, the motorcar, the industrial revolution… I’m guessing these all played a role in the weakening and darkening of this beer. Interestingly, since 1945, Mild ale in Britain hasn’t changed so much: it’s still dark, and one of the weakest beers produced.

Added by UncleJimbo on 03-17-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
91
Reviews:
42
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
13.3%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of GrindFatherBob
5/5  rDev +38.5%

Photo of mschofield
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of JavierGC
4.71/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Marrón con una soberbia espuma con buena retención y que deja encaje en el vaso. Aroma a frutos secos y algo de caramelo. Cuerpo medio y buena carbonatación. Maltosa y acaramelada, con bastante sabor para el poco alcohol que tiene.

 234 characters

Photo of palma
4.58/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark pale body. Small off-white head. Very good surface lace thoughout the session.

Nose: Swiss Miss hot cocoa, nutty, dark fruits, caramel, molassas, warm bread.

Taste: Rye bread, unsweetened chocolate, cream, almonds, a bit of fruity ester. Semi-dry to dry. Very lightly hopped but just enough to give a slight bitterness in the aftertaste only.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and light bodied. Dark but still refreshing and very drinkable. I could drink this all day.

Wow. Pretty Things hit this style perfectly. Props to the brewer for taking a chance and making a style of beer that is often overlooked or even dismissed, rather than trying to appease the many beer geeks out there that favor high abv/high octane beers these days. Probably the best dark mild I have ever had.

 788 characters

Photo of marchnlv
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of let8it8grow
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of Oakenator
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of jhb138
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of ferrettman687
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of DGSchmitt
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of jbertsch
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of AJD1201
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost clear copper-orange with a finger of frothy off-white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of some toasted caramel malts, some nuttiness, dark brewing sugars, a bit of bread, and a light fruitiness.

T - Starts off with a mix of some sweet caramelized malts, dark brewing sugar, and a touch of nuttiness. Through the middle, a touch of pine and reiny hop comes through with a touch of light fruity yeast esters. The finish is a mix of sweet bready malts with some brown sugar and a bit of yeast esters.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and estery finish.

D - Very drinkable. Very smooth and sessionable, but there is still a good amount of balanced flavors. Nice malt character.

 807 characters

Photo of calmstock
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of JoeMans
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of rudzud
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Shared with veotho.

A - Poured into a Chimay tulip a crystal clear hazel hue with a creamy one finger head that fades to leave a thick, creamy, frothy head. This is only 2.8%?? Quite impressive.

S - Aromas of rich roasty toasty malts and grains. Slight metallic finish.

T - Like drinking a bowl of cereal...really. I mean that. Strong sweet malts and roasted grain. Toasted grain and nuts. Very different.

M - Mouthfeel is thin and watery, which I suppose is to be expected for such a low ABV. Still though this is easy drinkin.

O - Overall I felt this was very good and unique. I would have thought this would be the 1800's style based off the ABV but I guess people made the most they could during the grain shortage due to the War. Glad to have tried this.

 803 characters

Photo of axeman9182
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, thanks to jaasen64 for the hookup. It was poured into my Dogfish Head signature glass.

Pretty Things OUAT X Ale, February 22, 1945 pours an opaque amber, with some reddish highlights around the edges of the glass. Just under two fingers of off-white foam crown the beer, displaying a little bit of head retention and some solid lacing. The nose has some biscuit and nutty aromas, along with a touch of earthy hop character. The maltiness of the beer is a little more intense in the flavor profile. Along with the nutty and biscuit flavors, there's a slight coffee-like roasty edge to the proceedings. Bitterness is very restrained, and the earthy hops meld in well with the malt profile in the finish. The body, while still light, is surprisingly sturdy for a <3% beer, and is aided by a somewhat restrained carbonation. I really enjoyed this Once Upon A Time beer, proof that a good, flavorful beer can be brewed at such a low ABV.

 950 characters

Photo of popery
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a rosy shade somewhere between mahogany and amber. It's fairly cloudy, though that could be my fault from the pour or just not letting the beer settle for long enough (I cracked the bottle within hours of liberating it from my local beer shop). Small, sudsy head, off-white. Just a bit of lacing.

The aroma is stronger than you might expect from a <3% abv beer. It's full of biscuity malt with a dash of mineral, herbaceous hops and a hint of smoke. There's a light medicinal note, some caramel and fresh bread. A healthy amount of layered malt sweetness is apparent. It's surprisingly complex, and the varied malt bill comes through very nicely. This is a beer that could hold its own with stronger brews.

The taste starts with some light, bready sweetness with a touch of herbal hops. The hop presence builds to a pleasant balance, as the malt picks up darker tones of caramel and light roast. There's a mild acidity. It's almost tangy with citrus and wisps of smokes.

The beer has relatively low carbonation. There's nothing really wrong with that, but the beer would be better out of a cask. Otherwise, it has a nice round mouthfeel, even as it manages to sit rather lightly on the palate. The beer is very easy to drink.

To be honest, I was very excited to see these beers get distributed to my area. I had read about them on Shut Up About Barclay Perkins and am a longtime fan of Ron Pattinson. Plus, any beer backed up by proper historiography with lovely primary sources and such is going to make me a bit weak in the knees. Tacking on a recent read of Amber, Gold & Black and a love of good English-style ales, it would be fair to say that I'm somewhat primed for this review. Happily, I don't think you'll need that perspective to enjoy this beer, as it's a tasty treat for anyone with an appreciation with low abv beers with an English profile. I fervently wish that more American brewers would take on authentic British recipes, particularly the lower abv stuff that is simply missing from the American beer world, outside of the occasional brewpub or limited keg release.

 2,107 characters

Photo of jneiswender
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a dark ruby color and a nice off white head that is thick.

Smells yeast and toasty. Light earth hop smell.

Taste is yeasty and some warm toast. Chalky. Earthy clay like hop flavor. Light medicinal.

Low carbonation and kind of dry.

Great representation of the style. Tastes like a cask conditioned beer. Very nice.

 401 characters

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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
3.61 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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