Lovely Saint Winefride (Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project)

Style: Euro Dark Lager/ Brown Lager

7.0% ABV

Malt: German Pils, Vienna, Carafa

Hops: Hersbrucker

Mash Type: Decoction

From: Cambridge, MA

Brewer’s Note: “Lovely Saint Winefride is a “brown” lager, created by Dann using a complicated and extremely-rare decoction mash. You’re correct, “Brown Lager” isn’t actually a style, but we wanted to make the most deliciously malty lager imaginable. At the same time we wanted this to taste like a lager you’d actually find in Germany, bursting with authentic character and suitable for the most discerning old-timer.”

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This beer label, like all of Pretty Things’ labels, is wonderful.  I love the cartooning style of Pretty Things labels as it doesn’t make human faces look too goofy and out of place.  The headless dame (Winefride) is nicely placed on the left side of the label, while the head is not quite centered.  Quirky askew placement like that makes the label even more appealing to the eye than it already was.  On top of that, the fonts are all superb and mesh nicely together, and there is really no clutter, and the ugly text is kept to one side of the glass.  As always, the Pretty Things label is amazingly awesome looking, and finishes off the label beautifully.  This label is worthy of the shelf for sure, or for the scrapbook if you are running out of shelf space.

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The beer pours a dark brown, and sits in the glass as almost black with a deep maroon tint to it and a rocky finger width sandy head made of medium sized bubbles that smooth out on top to create a creamy texture.  The body is lager clean and full of racing bubbles that refill the head.  The beer’s lacing is dry and sticky on the sides of the glass, leaving thick sheet on the glass.  On the nose, the beer smells warmly roasty with hints of coffee, bakers chocolate, and nice nutty scents.  Theirs a slight metallic tinge to the smell, presumably coming from the lager yeast.  It is a pleasing yet clean smell.  On the tongue, the beer tastes roasted sweet and bitter with a faint hint of an acidic tingle.  The balance between hoppy bitter and a roasted bitter seems to be well played out in this beer.  The flavor begins with roasted nut flavors and a touch of char.  The finish is oddly dampered and mellow compared to the rest of the taste, bringing light sweet bread flavors to mind with a hint of raisin and date dark fruit flavors.  The aftertaste returns to the roast of the malts, which touch slightly charred flavors.  As the beer warms, the dark fruit flavors rise in the mouth and linger in the aftertaste.  On the mouth, the beer feels clean and crisp on the mouth.  It feels on the high end of light in body, and leaves the mouth with a nice light dry roast in the mouth.  Overall, this is a lovely dark lager with some really nice roasty malt qualities.  I think its timing in release is perfect, as Pretty Things releases it just as winter begins to loosen its grip on the land.  The beer is light and drinkable, but with some lovely dark beer roast flavors and nuances.  The touch of dark fruit on the finish adds a lovely layer of complexity to this beer, and reminds me slightly of Triple Bag by Long Trail, on lighter.  This beer is delicious and quite drinkable.  Try it.

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