My frequent readers have probably noticed that most of my beer reviews follow a similar format, the second part has tasting notes and a score while the first is more varied, with information about the beer, the brewery, the style, a personal story, or any other information that I find interesting or relevant. When I am shopping for beers to review I am usually thinking of stories that fit with the beers I am buying, or look for beers that fit the stories I wanted to tell. When I grabbed a bottle of Pretty Things Babayaga a couple weeks ago I was all set to write about the fact that they didn’t brew the beer last year and talk about the potential strategy of rotating seasonals to help drive demand and have more variety. I really wish I was still writing all about that in this paragraph. In case you missed it, Pretty Things announced last week that they are shutting down operations, they are selling the beers they have already brewed and when they’re gone, they’re gone. I wrote about it last week, you can find my initial thoughts HERE. I am going to grab a bunch of Pretty Things beers and squeeze in as many articles as I can while the beers are still on the shelf. Babayaga is a Pretty Things classic, a robust stout brewed with oats, rye and a portion of smoked barley intended to give the impression of wood smoke. It is available in 22 oz. bottles as long as they last (PS, if you see any in the Boston area please let me know).
Pretty Things Babayaga pours a deep brown with a solid tan head. The scent is mostly roasted barley with just a hint of smoke. The beer features the rich malt flavors that Pretty Things has always been so good at extracting from their grain bill, milk chocolate, caramel, coffee, toasted bread. The smoked malt is subtle, it adds complexity without overwhelming the other malt flavors. There are just enough earthy and floral hops to keep the beer malt forward but not cloying. The beer is full bodied but goes down smooth, at 7% it isn’t a light beer but it also isn’t one of the double-digit ABV stouts that seem to dominate the market. The finish is clean with a little lingering roasted flavor. Babayaga is an awesome beer and will be missed, I am going to start a beer cellar just to keep some of this and other Pretty Things beers around for the next couple years. If I owned one of the local breweries that specialized in hop-bomb beers I would consider licensing this beer for delicious diversity. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Pretty Things Reviews:
BREWERY OVERVIEW, Pretty Things Jack D’Or, Pretty Things Lovely Saint Winefride, Pretty Things Bocky Bier, Pretty Things/Naparbier There’s No Place Like There, Pretty Things Grampus, Pretty Things Barbapapa, Pretty Things Meadowlark, Pretty Things/Yeastie Boys Our Turn, Your Turn.