Style: Foreign Export Stout
7. % ABV
Hop Variety: Bramling Cross, Perle
Malt Variety: Pale, Roasted Malts, Rye
Color: Very Dark Brown
Brewer’s Notes: “We smoke some malt with rosemary, and we add a few other eerie embellishments… We ferment with a mix of English and Belgian yeast strains.”
Brew Poem (from the brewers):
Dark beer: keeper of secrets.
Here lie truths that cannot be spoken, only tasted.
Winter: home of contemplation and repose.
The Forest: Where dwells Baba Yaga, who also guards wisdom.
Fire, treebark and smoke,
Yeast, Grass, Weeds, Water.
From these she conjures her secrets
And hides them in the heart of a dark beer for cold seasons.
Drink this, and contemplate, for Spring will soon be here.
Action overtakes thinking, and all life is motion and longing.
I love all things that Pretty Things does, and as such I love the Babayaga bottle. The weird graphic on the front of this is awesome. The colors evoke horror and beauty, the art-style is quirky and intriguing, and the Pretty Things symbol and font are awesome. I have no idea what a “sylvan stout” is but its random placement on the bottle is weird, as is the beer’s name. I kind of wish that the style and beer name were more prominently displayed, though I understand the sentiment in including them in the scene that the label depicts. Pretty Things also does a great job of hiding all of the random info/crap on the left hand side of the label, which is the second best thing to throwing it all on a second label, and I appreciate it. Their fonts are great, their colors are great, and this bottle is going on my shelf in my Pretty Things collection. It is a keeper for sure!
The beer pours a proper stout black with a medium sized roasted tan head on top that quickly fizzles into a tight scrim that causes very thin droopy lacing. The body is impenetrable to the eye, sitting entirely opaque in the glass, but seems clear of sediment and haze. On the nose, the beer smells terrifically bizarre for the style. The slight roasted coffee and dark chocolate are there, but they play second fiddle to the beer’s dark fruit, quad-like smells of plums and raisin, and even a slight kiss of spicy alcohol. The beer tastes just as terrific, with light dark fruit notes on the beginning and aftertaste, but a strong roasted coffee stout flavor coming through in the middle. The beer begins with slight sour plum and raisin before opening into creamy roasted coffee and light dark chocolate notes, while sweet raisin and slight alcohol linger behind the roast and again show themselves strongly in the lingering aftertaste alongside the roasted coffee. The beer feels medium to medium heavy on the mouth, with a drying feeling in the face and sticky dry crackling on the tongue. Overall this is a terrific export stout with a Belgian yeast flair. I love the quad-like characters in the beer as they add a nice unique twist. This beer is a must try for stout fans, and another success from Pretty Things, as well as a go-to stout for me.