RATINGS: 185   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 405   ABV: 13.5%
Poem from the back label…

It’s cold out there, but it’s warm in here:
The pretty things are full of cheer.
A year has gone, but there’s another to come,
It’s kept for us, and it’s foolish & fun.

So tuck yourself up, and hang on tight,
There’s a warm dark hold to sleep in tonight,
And way at the bottom are grain, hops & yeast,
Kept safe in this bottle from late summer’s feast.

From Pretty Things to you this winter season: "Our Finest Regards". Two years into our project and we’re grateful and amazed that so many people love and support great beer these days. The fact that we’re still here is a credit to you all.

But for the question of primary importance: What is the beer? Well, it’s our Pretty Things barleywine. Inspired by malted barley, a tribute to the barleycorn. Yes, it’s simple, but that’s what barleywines are all about. Ever since brewing in England, Dann has dreamed of making a barley-focused beer using the malts of Yorkshire (and never hesitates to plug his favorite: Thomas Fawcett & Sons).

Give barley a chance and this mysterious little grain can do grand things!

To get the density of sugars needed for this sort of beer, we employed "double mashing". The brewhouse that we work on can only get to maybe 18 plato for a single running of wort: but we wanted 27 plato! So we combined two brews by running wort into the kettle and then using it to mash in the second batch. We don’t take credit for this idea. We’re certain it has been done many, many times before. But it wasn’t until Will Meyers (the great Cantabridgian Cervecero) brought this method to our attention that we realized we could brew a barleywine of proper gravity... (he never told us that he hadn’t actually performed this sort of brewing before!). Anyway, it works!!

We fermented with a blend of English and Belgian yeast strains that seemed to work quite well together fermenting down to 4 plato in short order (that’s 13.5% abv if you’re counting). Expect an aroma of juicy sultanas, malted milk balls, and alcohol deliciousness. It’s got a medium body and is a little more spritsy than we’re sure the Brits would like. Serve over 50 degrees fahrenheit in a stemmed glass.

Very suitable to drink this year or next, or even the winter after that!

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ineedbeer (2154) - Oakland, California, USA - JUN 12, 2013
Bottled Nov. 2011 Aroma is fairly fruity and sweet with a medium low sherry character. Fruit is dominated by raisin with some prune, plums and a hint of banana chips. Light toasted bread note and medium low caramel aroma. Light toffee is also present but this beer is not very malt forward. Pours a somewhat murky brown with a good amount of amber and ruby highlights. Very faint, light tan head that quickly recedes to the edges. No lacing and medium low legs. Flavor is a bit more malt forward than the aroma. Some moderate toasted bread notes, faint roast, light chocolate, moderate caramel and toffee. There is a medium high bitterness that is fairly harsh and medium low alcohol spice to the finish. The fruit notes are medium low and are raisin and prune mostly. Finish is prune, chocolate and alcohol spice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Medium astringency and moderate alcohol warmth. Overall not a great barleywine even with the age. The fruit does not meld well with the bitterness and astringency and leaves a really bad finish. The malt is not assertive enough to balance everything else going on in this beer.

JorisPPattyn (10002) - Ursel, BELGIUM - MAY 25, 2013
Small yellow-beige head, not very persistent, over clear red-chestnut coloured beer. Rich cake nose with milk chocolate, bit of dried fruit; chocolate-covered fruit (prunes?). Bitter-hoppy, with a syrupy, cakey background. Hints at liqueur, and grapes or plums on spirit. Further hints at citruspeel, vinous character; Warming up, starts to acquire Belgian pralines properties, chocolatey, raisins. Feels a lot more carbonated than it looks. Viscous, well-bodied. Long bitter/ish aftertaste. Vinous BW. Nice!

Koelschtrinker (20399) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - MAY 22, 2013
Stark malziger Antrunk. Süß röstig, wenig alkoholisch. Intensiv, etwas Mohn, weich, dennoch sehr aromatisch. Noch etwas würziger werdend, süß malzig röstiges Finish. 11/12/11/12/12/12

Ernesto987 (6050) - Arizona, USA - MAY 17, 2013
Rich and caramelly, toffee notes, thick body, it’s good. Thanks pretty things

FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - MAY 14, 2013
A vigorous pour into my New Belgium tulip produces a two finger thick, pale amber tinged, tan colored head; this leave some nice, light lacing as I work my way through this beer. The beer is a rich, concentrated, not quite burnt, amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby stained, bright amber color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of concentrated, caramelized, nutty, sweet malt. Concentrated fruit aromatics (raisins, some prune notes, perhaps some date character, and a bright currant aroma), touches of roasted malt, cherry soaked, brown sugar encrusted cake, as well as a brandy like fruit character; interestingly enough, this last does not smell like alcohol very much, this beer actually manages to hide the 13+% ABV quite well in the nose.

Fairly sweet, dense, with a lingering toasted, nutty, roasted malt character to it in the finish. The roast character does a good job of cleaning the sweet, concentrated malt from the palate in between sips. The alcohol adds a bit of a solvent like note to the flavor in the finish, though it is not always noticeable. Fruit flavors of cherry up front are followed by rum soaked raisin notes, touches of fig / prune, and some roasted date flavors. The roast character here was a bit surprising, it doesn’t put it anywhere in to the range of being a Stout, or even a Porter, but it definitely contributes quite a bit to the flavor here. As the beer warms up it gets a bit sweeter, but the complexity of the nut notes become a bit more characterful; hazelnut, perhaps a touch of roasted almond, and almost a buttery, toasted nut character are each present as the beer warms up.

A little stronger than I prefer in a beer, it hides it pretty well, and some substantial age should mellow this out considerably; at this strength, this beer will age for quite some time. Having said that, this beer is quite tasty now; I am really digging the malt focus here, the hops are almost imperceptible, only enough to add a hint of herbal and bitter edge to keep the malt from becoming overwhelming. With the alcohol at times noticeable in the flavor, the beer goes between being sublimely malty, and a bit to solvent like depending on the vagaries of each sip; actually best in small sips, as this helps to temper the alcohol a bit.

UncleJ (17) - - MAY 7, 2013
From a brewery where almost everything is excellent this rendition of an American barley wine is the one weak spot in the lineup. Cloyingly sweet, uncomfortable and unbalanced alcohol heat, hops bitterness that lacks any flavor other than an astringent bitterness. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Benzai (15608) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - APR 29, 2013
Bottle thanks to Joes @ QDT 13. Deep bordeaux red color, small to medium sized beige head. Smell malts, lightly alcohol, some sweetness and lightly dried fruits. Taste malts, some sweetness, warming alcohol, dried fruits. Rich taste, full body, medium carbonation.

DutchDrebus (6002) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - APR 29, 2013
Bottle @ #Bexit tasting thx to joes. Copper colour with a small off white head. Smells sweet, malty, some hops. Tastes hoppy, sweet, quite heavy but nice. Great taste. Full body, soft carbo.

anders37 (26641) - Malmö, SWEDEN - APR 18, 2013
Bottle. Pours a dark amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty spicy caramel aroma. Fruity malty caramel flavor with weak hoppy hints. Has a sweetish malty spicy caramel finish.

Jndubbs (120) - Austin, Iowa, USA - APR 13, 2013
Really bright amber color. Smooth floral flavor with a biting aftertaste. Grew on me. Ended up being pretty good

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