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

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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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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of GuidedByBill
2.25/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of hagbergl
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Davepoolesque
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of bigred89
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Lawnboy33
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Satchboogie
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of laituegonflable
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep red colour, streaming cascade of bubbles up the body. Head is cream-coloured, fairly dense with sticky lace. Looks good.

Smells massively sweet. Slight toasty edge with toffee, creme anglaise and buttermilk the main components; nicely but not wholly tempered by a light roasted bitterness which gives a slight boiled-sweet aroma. Some coconut and marshmallow. A bit sweet, but very nice.

Taste is very disappointingly sparse. Weakly sweet, with a hole in the middle of the palate. Sweet on the assault, then quickly watery with light pearl barley and some rice pudding notes. Slight vanilla on the finish and maybe a touch of toastiness, but it's a weird and disappointing palate, bereft of flavour and almost entirely bereft of complexity.

Quite thin, but a bit of texture to it. Gets watery again by the end. Pretty meh.

Held such promise until I tasted it. I'm really baffled as to where the charming aroma character went. Just a big gaping maw where a nice tasty beer might have been.

 1,005 characters

Photo of jondeelee
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22nd February 1945 opens with an aroma that seems somewhat out of place, given the beer’s 2.8% ABV, which would seem to speak of fewer ingredients and therefore fewer aromas. But here the nose is ripe with bready, yeasty, malty notes, the brew smelling of wheat fields after rain, wheat toast crust, floury baguette, and hay. Small touches of apple and berry wave languidly in the background, along with a smidgen of brown sugar. But by and large the aromas are grain-based, reminding me instantly of small beers made from second runnings. As a whole the nose is certainly interesting, and while light, seems like something that would go well with a hot summer day.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a good amount of wheat toast crust and floury baguette, as well as the flavor of a fresh-plucked wheat stalk. Some touches of burnt toast add depth, and apple-berry, as well as brown sugar notes adding a bit of complexity. But these flavors are all relatively light and weak, except for a bitterness which lingers throughout the mouthful and comes to almost exclusively dominate the aftertaste, presenting itself almost like the astringency that comes with grapefruit rind, but without the flavor. So light are the flavors, in fact, that in subsequent mouthfuls many of them are lost, and the beer more resembles carbonated water strained through a colander of wheat stalks and hay. Mouthfeel is a watery light to medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a difficult beer to rate, for while it is certainly interesting for its historicity, there’s not a great deal of flavor in here. In fact, were this served to me at a bar without any explanation of its origins or makings, I would have assumed that the bartender had accidentally gotten a large quantity of water into the glass before pouring the beer. As such, while I do suggest that this be tried, for it is interesting, I add the caveat that the consumer shouldn’t expect to have his or her palate expanded significantly.

 2,004 characters

Photo of Scottgeo
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer as a companion to the 1838 recipe version. In comparison, there is no comparison! The 1838 recipe is so much bigger. Even considering this one on its own merits, I didn't find much exciting about this mild. I didn't get the creaminess I expected. It seemed a bit granular. Interesting experiment though.

 322 characters

Photo of Kmlund
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of anewlanguage
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of HarmonMW
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of mattafett
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of CADMixes
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Thomas_Picton
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of KSather
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of LehighAce06
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of s1ckboy
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of clearlydiluted
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into duvel tulip glass

a - dark amber bordering on a tan brown. head pours a off white tan head.

s - toasty bread, suggests roastiness, and brief flashes of caramel

t - an appearance by some toffee caramel flavor, the beer is mostly bitter with dry herbal notes. some toasty/roasty notes (amber or brown malt?). lingering bitterness.

m - thin, dried out tannic.

o - oh yes, a beer only a war could make taste good. great effort nevertheless, but it never had a chance against a world war.

 515 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a brown in color with light brown highlights and a thin bubbly head but did leave a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: there was some mild roastiness, slight caramel sweetness, a bit of graininess and plenty of malty character.

T: the tase actually had some bitter hoppy flavor alongside caramel, hints of toffee, grainy notes, and sweet malty accents.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet malty, slight roasty, grainy, and mild bitter hoppy finish.

O: haven't really had a whole lot of beers of this style but was pretty good and had an interesting combination of flavors going on.

 660 characters

Photo of Puttenham
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with no cloudiness.

Settles down to a steady half inch head that lasts to the finish.

The aroma is of a subtle bready maltiness. Very subtle.

I kept this one in the cellar (no refridgeration here, no Sir!) so that the experience would be as close to a true English session ale as possible.

The taste is bready, just like the aroma, and very understated. In a good way.

Carbonation is present. Check.

2.8% alcohol. The least alcoholic beer I've ever had. So this is a session ale! This ale could be drunk for hours on end! Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

No bottle conditioning.

This ale would go well with a meal or over a long...er...session.

I like. The only other version of an English Mild I've had is Magic Hat's "+-" so I have little idea how to compare this ale with it's brethren.

This Mild is meant to be drunk alongside the 1838 version (see my review on that one). It's amazing how the same brewery can make the same named ale but how the actual product can change so much over time. That's what Dann Paquette and Ron Pattinson are trying to demonstrate and they succeed with flying colors.

I've been a fan on Pretty Thing's "Once Upon A Time" series since it's inception. The X-Ale 1838 vs. 1945 project is a great idea and the best yet in the series.

Dann and Ron, if you're reading this please see what you can do about reviving the "lost" German bier styles I keep on reading about: Broyhan, Mumme, Koyt & etc.

 1,448 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours darker than the 1838 (a cloudy amber/brown) with a huge off-white head that laces more in chunks while it recedes in average time.

much, much maltier in the aroma. toasted crackers, a bit nutty, a touch buttery and caramelly.

nutty, caramelly, toasted nuts, brown sugar, no hop presence.

much lighter, and with a watery finish when compared to the 1838.

Some nice flavors, but much more one-dimensional than the 1838.

Overall take on the series: LOVE it. love the historical learning experience this provided. While I'd much rather drink today's more refined, complex, and tastier beers, this experience of comparison between historical timeframes was worth the price alone.

 688 characters

Photo of rinhaak
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I should start by saying that this is a well made beer. Pretty Things did a great job researching this old recipe, and it is always an interesting experience to travel back in time and experience the drinks from earlier eras. Bravo to the project!

That said, while I appreciate the low ABV, this beer offers little beyond a history lesson and a nice lunchtime beer. It pours fairly red with a mild head that fades quickly (though it does leave behind a nice lace). The smell isn't strong, but there is a definite aroma of a fruity jam on toast.

The taste is mild, though pleasant. Lots of toasted malt flavors, a dark – almost rye – flavor, and an ever so faint hint of smoke. There is also a slight rustiness about it that reminds one of a red ale. The mouthfeel, probably due to the low ABV, is a tad watery.

Overall, this is a good lunchtime beer, though honestly not among my favorite low ABV milds (a style I tend to enjoy). And though I'm glad I had it, I don't know that the bottle is worth the price. If you're curious to try a sip of 1945-era beer, give it a shot. Otherwise, reach for something else.

 1,117 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle,

A: Pours lighter than I expected. Deep cooper with a firm white head, leaving some nice lace.

S: Bready malt, toast, surprisingly fragrant.

T: Toast, some light caramel flavours. Hop character is noticable especially in the finish. Bit of seltzer water as well.

M: Light-bodied, but not really thin. Rather long aftertaste. Creamy. Carbonation is too high for the style, it shows why milds really need to be on cask to shine.

O: A pleasant mild, I like the experiment, just wish it wasn't so pricey.

 519 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Thanks for sharing, Ben! The color is dark copper/brown. There is a light colored fluffy one inch head that has lots of lacing.

The malt aroma on this is pretty enticing. There are some chocolatey notes to go with the full bready malt.

The taste is light, with mild maltiness leading to a bitter finish. This might seem a bit watery to most people (of course).

The body is light, with a crisp carbonation.

This is a nice brew to try. Too bad I can't get it on tap regularly.

 504 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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