Pretty Things Babayaga

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, currently in MA
Woodland Stout
7.0% ABV

There was a cryptic message papered to the cap: Pour straight down the middle.  My straightforward interpretation of this resulted in a mountain of dense foam resembling the head of a root beer float. The beer itself was as dark as the mouth of a cave at dusk in winter.

The Pretty Things website has some suggestive hints about what is in this brew:

“We smoked some malt with rosemary, and added a few other embellishments. This beer is inspired by Eastern European folklore, by woodland, streams, cold dark nights and woodsmoke.”

Baba Yaga is a character from Slavic folklore who lives, at least in Pushkin’s account in Ruslan and Liudmila (1820), in a “cabin on chicken legs / without windows or doors” (Избушка там на курьих ножках/ Стоит без окон, без дверей). She is an unsavory character who kidnaps children in the woods.

The beer was fermented with English and Belgian yeast, though its dark character seemed to deaden any aromas that these yeast may have rendered more readily in other environments. The overriding feature is vanilla.  Just tons of vanilla.

There could have been real chicken legs, saffron, and rhubarb in here, but the vanilla crowds out the subtleties. Pretty Things has a good concept and excellent packaging, but this Woodland Stout– though true to style– is not as intriguing as I had hoped.


~ by Perry S. on February 23, 2010.

One Response to “Pretty Things Babayaga”

  1. Where do you find such things? Do they make a Жар-птица? Firebird ale would be a bright red ale brewed with apples and capsicum.

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