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Review of Pretty Things Babayaga

24 Apr
Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Pretty Things Babayaga produced by the Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This will be my first time sampling anything from Pretty Things.  We have just recently started getting their stuff in my area and I picked up a few different bottles, but decided on trying this one first.

Let’s see what we can find out about this beer from the website, prettythingsbeertoday.com.

Babayaga, our autumn seasonal beer, appears each year just as the winds begin to blow a little stronger and the nights bring Winter’s first frost. The beer is a 7% export-strength woodland stout. We found this beer in a cauldron in a tiny wooden cabin perched on chicken legs in the woods near the Volga River. The old lady inside, an ancient witch/wise-woman/baby-eater called Baba Yaga, let us try some. We liked it so much, she said we could brew it for all of you here back home, as long as we named it after her. And so we did! How could we not have: she’d have eaten us if we didn’t!

It took us a while to figure out the secrets to Baba Yaga’s recipe, but we think we’ve got it: We smoke some malt with rosemary, and we add a few other eerie embellishments that she’s making us keep hush-hush. We ferment with a mix of English and Belgian yeast strains. This beer should taste like Eastern European folklore, like woodland, streams, cold dark nights and woodsmoke. Enjoy it!

Ok.  Sounds good.  Let’s try it.

The Babayaga comes in a 22 oz. bomber and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured a deep brown to black color with just a tiny hint of ruby around the bottom of the nonic glass.  A very lush, smooth, creamy, khaki colored head of good size adorned the top of the liquid.  The retention time was commendable and the lacing looked pretty darn nice.

The nose presented very nice bits of roasted malt.  Dark chocolate along with some cocoa and a suitable embrace of smoke.  Tones of ripe banana were in there as well.  It seemed very, very light on any sort of coffee aspect, but it did provide a light hint of creamy oatmeal.  Very similar to that Samuel Smiths Yorkshire Yeast.  Overall, a very, very nice bouquet.

The taste let the smoke and roasted malts come through a bit more.  The coffee seemed more abundant than it was in the aroma as well.  Very pleasing savors of chocolate covered bananas.  More of that creamy oatmeal created a very “round” and herbal flavor with just a smidgen of hop bitterness.  Very well balanced and even without becoming too obtrusive or confusing.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full bodied.  Super smooth, velvety, silky and slick.  It just glides back on the swallow.  It was quite dry with a proper amount of carbonation.  No warmth was felt from the alcohol, however an adequate amount of flavor was left behind after each drink.

I’ll tell ya.  We have a very solid beer right here.  I liked how the smoke never became the dominating factor, which, in turn, let the banana and chocolate come through while still retaining that roastiness.  Rather unique I thought.  This brew had a sturdy look, feel, aroma and taste.  The drinkability was superb too.  I found myself taking huge gulps without even knowing it.  It might not be the best Stout every produced, but it sure is worthy enough to be invited to the party.  I definitely think it’s worth a try if you can get it.  So, the next time you see the Pretty Things Babayage, pick up a bottle, give it a go and see what you think about it.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.  Don’t be afraid to comment if you have a suggestion or opinion.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Country: USA, Pretty Things

 

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