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

X Ale, 22nd February 1945X Ale, 22nd February 1945
91 Ratings
X Ale, 22nd February 1945X Ale, 22nd February 1945

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

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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of hagbergl
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of Satchboogie
2.75/5  rDev -23.8%

Photo of mschofield
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of AJD1201
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice medium orange with an off-white head that does not last. No true lace.

Nice grain and malt in the nose. Not much else, but what is there is nice.

I liked this. Malt forward, and very toasted bread and grain-first. Leads right into the bitterness. Malt is a touch lean, but does not disintegrate into something that should not be. Bitterness is not overbearing, but has a firm hand in all of the flavor profiles. Nice malt and bitter finish.

This beer feels thinner than it is. A little watered down , and somewhere between light and medium in body. Still works. Needs touch more carbonation, but still is fine.

I liked this. Nice malt notes and easy drinking body will make me want another bottle.

 706 characters

Photo of jhb138
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

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

Split a 22 oz bottle with a buddy poured into a duvel snifter

A: a slight amber ish toasty brown with a film of a white head and a little bit of tasting, almost looks like tea.

S: toasty grains, yeast a bit of earthyness.

T: nice dark bready taste with a bit of toast and yeast, and a touch of hops.

M: medium bodies with medium to high crisp carbonation, again a little dryin bitterness in the finish.

O: another brew that is very enjoyable and with the story and effort that went into this I loves the experience.... Thank you very much pretty things.

 559 characters

Photo of Dope
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A medium brown pour with some red in it. Large fluffy white head. Head retention is decent with nice speckles of lacing all over the glass.

S: Subtle smell. Grainy mostly with a bit of toast, caramel, and maybe even nuts? Like a really mild brown ale.

T: Very grainy overall. Some hints of toasted malt, nuts and caramel. Again, it's like the world's weakest brown ale.

M: Thin, but what do you expect? It's 2.8%

O: For the third time, it's similar to a watered down brown ale. Drinkable and honestly fairly tasty, just very mild as the name suggests.

 559 characters

Photo of jaasen64
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Bought to compare with the 1838.

A- Golden brownish, about a half finger of frothy head, hazy translucent. Similar characteristics as the 1838 however a darker brown color compared to the light yellowish of the 1838. Similar head, maybe slightly more carbonation.

S- Malts, barley, a little bit of chocolate, some light spices. Definitely much more malty and less hoppy then the 1838.

T- Malts, a little bit of barley, very light spices and chocolate flavor, a little bit bitter. More watered down then the 1838 version.

M- Fairly light bodied, smooth, easily drinkable/sessionable.

O- It was interesting to see how much this beer changed from the 1838 version to the 1945 version, definitely shows the times of change between the centuries. Both versions had similar appearance characteristics, however the 1945 version definitely had more of a malt backbone then a hop. The 1945 was a little bit less flavorful but much darker both in appearance and taste. I liked the 1838 one a little bit better, however the 1945 version wasn't bad. Definitely worth trying to compare the two.

 1,127 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours dark copper with an inch of bone head that settles to a solid skim coat for the duration. Rings of lacework as well.

Aromatics are a blend of husky, sweet malt, light roast, and a hint of caramel.

Light bodied with a thinnish mouthfeel. Crispish.

Grainy malt with an earthy, bitter bite leads off the palate. Shades of acridity, burnt toast, and dirty crackers follow through.

Finishes with roasted malt, bitter acridity, and burnt bread crusts.

Interesting beer. With the grainy nature I wonder if it is the second runnings of the 1838 version.

 571 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 jbertsch
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At 2.8% I'm not sure if I'm about to drink beer or malt juice. But I guess that's the point Pretty Thing is making with the difference between this and the 1838 version.

It pours a light fizzy head of about 1/2 a finger that fades pretty slowly at least, over a beer that's slightly hazy coppery cranberry reddish slightly orange tinge color. The head leaves a bit of lazing when it does disappear.

Nose is a bit light but more potent than I expected. Starting with some herbal earthy hops, a hedgerow style I believe but not strong, more like a mild. Then some malts, a light aromatic like malt with a hint of a more complex malt like rye but not quite rye, can't put my finger on it.

Taste is also mild, quite malty, bready tasting, it does taste like fresh bread dough. Then toasty malts, flaked malt flavors, a bit of a sweet sugary taste, not quite brown sugar but something like that. Malt husks give a bit of a grainy effect, with a juicy malt flavor. Then mild grassy hops, a light bitterness, with a slight herbal hop but not much. A slight crystal toasty malt comes through as well. The finish is dry, with a light but decent bitterness, a slight grassy hop lingering, and some light toasted malts finishing late, but fairly thin on the back end.

Mouth is lighter bodied but fits the beer well, decent carbonation.

Overall not bad, fairly light overall but that was the style at the time, and the flavor potential is pretty good for what they had to work with. No bad flavors either, but I'm sure this wouldn't last more than a couple months before getting bad tasting. I can't wait to compare this to the 1838 version.

 1,634 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 UncleJimbo
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

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X Ale, 22nd February 1945 from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 91 ratings
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