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Black Cat - Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

Black CatBlack Cat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

195 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%

Brewed by:
Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  3.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002)
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 162 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of doktorhops


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Today's brew is Black Cat an English Dark Mild Ale, a quintessential English session ale. This is the first English one I've tried as the style is not commonly imported; it should be interesting to see if they can get a full bodied flavour from such a low ABV of 3.4%.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear deep ruby body with off-white lace. Looked similar to Guinness Extra Stout until the head died down.

S: Pretty rich aroma for a mid-strength: chocolate with a roast malt base and some nutty/earthy hop notes in the background. So it's a bit of a mix of Pale Ale and Stout aromas.

T: Surprising in the flavour profile with much bolder than expected notes; smoky malts, chicory, nutty/earthy hops and a slight bitter finish. It's a touch watery but it is only 3.4% ABV, quite possibly the lightest beer I've reviewed however it isn't light on flavour [actually that honour goes to Grand Ridge Almighty Light @ 2.7% ABV].

M: Mid to light bodied, watery as noted above, with flat(ish) carbonation.

D: For what you get this is a decent brew - almost a light beer with the flavour of a full strength, in fact I've had full strength beers that struggle to have as much going on as this does. Would be interesting to sample their full strength ales as I imagine they would pack a good punch. Overall however I am not a mid or light beer drinker (I enjoy being lightly intoxicated) so I won't be getting this again, but it was a nice glass of beer nonetheless.

Food match: Stew or Shepherds pie would pair well.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 08:33:16 | More by doktorhops
Photo of soju6


3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a thick tan head that fades to traces of lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and a bit nutty.

T: Taste of roasted malt and chocolate with a bit of nuts trown in. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

M: Medium body, smooth and creamy and a nice balance.

O: Enjoyable and flavorful beer for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 04:22:19 | More by soju6
Photo of falloutsnow


4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Bloomingdale, IL
Date: "BC L0279 13:46" on label
Glass: US pint glass

Moorhouse's Black Cat Ale is an excellent dark mild, with accents and nuances of roasted and caramelized malts in the all the right proportions. The drinker is treated to chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toasted nut flavors, alongside some more nuanced toasted bread and mulch/earth flavors. To add to the pleasure, the beer isn't designed to wipe the floor with your liver. Wish this was available in six-packs at an easy-to-afford price.

Pours a 0.5cm tall head of light brown foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, fairly well clustered, creating a fairly packed, though still fluffy-looking head. Retention is a bit above average at about one-and-a-half minutes, receding to a thin, lacy cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is good: thick, single strands cling to the sides of the glass and are renewed with each sip. The body is a very dark brown-amber color, with light bringing out garnet-orange hues. Carbonation is not visible from within or alongside the opaque body.

Aroma of roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee-with-cream edge, mild tobacco, and hints of vanilla. Could be a bit more pungent and benefit, perhaps this could be acquired with a bit more carbonation.

A very nicely balanced flavor portfolio, with characters of roasted malt, caramel, toasted nuts, and coffee-with-cream being most notable. Front of palate finds caramel malt sweetness tempered with moderate roasted malt/char, chocolate, and coffee-with-alot-of-cream-in-it flavors. Mid-palate is of moderate roasted malt/char, chocolate, caramel, toasted hazelnuts, and roasted coffee bean-like flavors. Back of palate notes mild roasted malt, chocolate, and caramel sweetness with a subtle mulch-like ("earthy") presence from the Fuggles. Aftertaste of modest roasted malt/char, chocolate, caramel, a bit of nuttiness, and lingering mild acridity from the malt and, perhaps, Fuggles hops.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with fairly low levels of carbonation. The result is a smooth, flowing mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to avoid being stagnant. Closes fairly dry, with small amounts of lingering stickiness on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 01:45:16 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of SmashPants


3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: cool big brown bottle, funky label with a cute black cat :)

Appearance: nice and dark with ruby tint, head stays well for a low ABV beer.

Aroma: appropriately mild aroma of roasted grains, vanilla, and molasses.

Taste: sweetish, bready malt flavour with hints of black malt bitterness and notes of chocolate. Far too mild.

Aftertaste: doesn't carry through very well either. Not a brilliant beer.

Mouth feel: moderate weight to the body, very low carbonation. Doesn't carry the flavour as there isn't much to start with.

Overall: a well put together beer, but far too mild in flavour for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 10:09:21 | More by SmashPants
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colour that borders on black and has a light, tan coloured head about half an inch tall that reduces to about half a centimetre tall after a couple of moments.

Caramel and some toffee on the nose along with some earthy hops and a touch of roasted malts. There is some chocolate and a light spice aroma that is quite well-balanced.

Roasted malt flavour to begin, along with some earthy hops and toffee. There is a bit of caramel from the nose as well as some chocolate and light, fruity flavours. This is all quite subdued and slightly sweet.

Very smooth and quite light with an as expected, quite mild feel to it. The palate is almost creamy and overall it is a pleasant one.

A low alcohol content but is quite flavourful and pretty well-balanced. There is a nice earthy base and a pleasant feel with some nice caramel and fruit flavours throughout.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 15:51:21 | More by flyingpig
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at The Diamond in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a clear very dark amber bordering on brown in color with some garnet red highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a thin sudsy white head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aroma of dark roasted malts with just a hint of chocolate and dark fruit.

T: Light to moderate amounts of dark roasted malts with notes of bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit. Very light amount of bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Easy to drink and very sessionable considering the lightness of body and low ABV. I enjoyed this one and would recommend it to others as a good example of the style. Good complexity/depth to the flavor and the smell.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 13:40:33 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of metter98

New York

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at The Diamond, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear very dark red in color and has some yeast particles visible floating near the bottom of the glass. It poured with delicate off-white lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and chocolate in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts along with hints of chocolate and dark fruits.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink given its light body and low alcohol content but is surprisingly very flavorful, just like other beers in the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 00:34:55 | More by metter98
Photo of OtherShoe2


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a cream colored bubbly head. No true lace.

Nice roasted malt with a cocoa note. Some nut aromas as well.

Smooth chocolate roasted malt with a nice nutty lingering aftertaste. Light bitterness intermingles with the lightly sweet brew. Wonderful flavors here.

Thinner than expected, but this makes this very drinkable. Good moderate carbonation keeps this from being too sharp because of the light body.

Overall, loved this. Will buy many bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 01:56:00 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy light tan head. Retention is a bit below average, but plenty of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Pleasantly roasty with minor notes of chocolate and caramel. Earthy overall with a slight mineral note. Super clean. I know it can be difficult to impress with a beer at this paltry an ABV, but this comes close. Very well put together.

3.5 T: The taste is good, but it's more of what you'd expect from a session beer. Moderate roastiness with light everything else. Touches of chocolate, caramel, and graininess. Lightly minerally and earthy overall. Low bitterness. Great balance.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Crisp, but not very creamy. Fine here.

4.0 D: Tasty, easy to drink beer. Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 01:55:42 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of ckollias


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black with a thick off-white head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Licorice, roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee aroma

T: Similar to the smell smooth chocolate and coffee dominate the flavor upfront followed by hints of licorice and roasted malts.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. Not much alcohol but very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 01:57:00 | More by ckollias
Photo of smakawhat


4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice tan and light head, some big soapy bubbles but also holds real well with a nice cap and retention. Body is a classic dark walnut brown to nearly black lots of red on the edges too, quite nice looking.

Great ripping chocolate malt, and milk chocolate sense. A little bit of fruit like berry perhaps too. Quite pleasant.

For a mild this is quite impressive. Extremely light bodied palate but filled with lots roasting finish. Charring malt and roasted black coffee. Mid palate fills with a fruity character getting some sort of raspberry on this, even a hint of tartness. Roast lingers dramatically in the finish, maybe even some rich bittering hop in here also, with an almost tinging carbonation on the tongue afterwards.

Overall quite impressed with this one and at such a low ABV I could just drink these all friggin day. Meow!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 01:04:23 | More by smakawhat
Photo of CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown/black colour with a small off white head and awesome lacing.

Smells malty and burnt, very dark.

Tastes oh-so-good. Everything I love about mild, easily drinkable and refreshing, yet dark and burnt.

Overall a very good beer, I could drink gallons of it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 19:50:42 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of CrazyP


4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown but clear. Pours thin, unlike some porters that resemble motor oil. Thin head that dissipates quickly.

S - Fruitiness, roast, coffee.

T - There's actually a lot going on here. Coffee flavors dominate followed by toffee and chocolate. Nice malt backbone with some fruity yeast esters. Very little bitterness, but the English hops are there.

M - Has a nice smooth mouthfeel that makes it extremely easy drinking. Low carbonation but not watery or thin.

O - My first introduction to the Mild style but this is an exceptional brew. I was worried about its age but it has done well in the time since it was brewed.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 01:51:01 | More by CrazyP
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal glass. Pours a dark red brown, one finger fine light tan head with moderate retention and tenuous lacing. Light, but inviting aroma of sweet and toastedmalt and chocolate. Flavor is toasted and burnt malt, light suggestions of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is mild, but satisfying. Light to moderate bodied. I was facing this ale with some trepidation because of the ABV, but I am quite pleased at the eveness and flavor combination of this ale. I'm really happy to have had the chance to try this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 06:23:10 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with auburn highlights, filling a pint glass under a creamy head that reaches half an inch before settling and leaving a coating of lace.

The aroma is rich with malted chocolate, tea and molasses. Some cookie dough presents with warmth.

The flavor profile is as expected from the nose with the addition fresh whole wheat bread. This one has light sweetness and only a touch of bitterness in a faint finish.

Full body, slightly chewy with lively carbonation.

Easy drinking, the full flavor warms well. With a low ABV, this is a classic afternoon session beer for a lazy day with friends or alone.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 21:12:49 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Brenden


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark ale for sure, just barely allowing some brown to sneak in at the edges in the light and showing a lovely deep red hue throughout in the light. As this beer recedes, a medium brown head about a finger tall drops a tattered but sturdy curtain of lacing in plenty.
The nose presents a malty presence, a bit more chocolate malts than caramel with a more bittersweet than sweet presence, though the lightly caramel sweetness isn't lacking.
Malts take the forefront as well in the flavor, and this beer really does have a sort of raw, bittersweet chocolate element as well as an earthiness that, combined with the malt characters, creates a sort of charcoal flavor that makes the base and isn't off-putting. A bit of a coffee note also comes out. There's just enough leafy hops bitterness to add a bit of an edge without distracting.
This is a lighter-bodied ale for sure, and this sort of beer would be great for someone who's into dark, malty beers but needs a break from big American palate destroyers. While not heavy, this beer maintains a gently crisp feel without losing a rolling creamy smoothness that goes all the way into the finish. I can imagine this being essentially what the brewer was going for.
This is a very nice beer. I can't believe it's the first of the style I've reviewed and one of the few I've tried, though it's not as widely an attempted style as many.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 05:13:18 | More by Brenden
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a British Pint Glass. Served at Cellar Temp.

At first glance black but which reveals an anemic, pale ruby when held to the light. 1 finger khaki head which doesn't last long but leaves some respectable lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel malt with just a whiff of Musty English Hops.

Mouthfeel: British Ale mouthfeel, nice.

Taste/ Notes: the upfront taste is pure roasted caramel with no Hops presence at all. Then this aftertaste creeps in which reminds me of potting soil or old coffee grounds. Now this may sound disgusting but actually it is beguiling to say the least. There is an old cottage in the forest about this that just tickles me. This is unlike any other beer that I have ever had. I hope to drink more of this bewitching brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 20:56:58 | More by fx20736
Photo of bluejacket74


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear (when held up to the light) dark brown/ruby red color with about a half inch light tan head that stays around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is charred/burnt malt, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also an earthy flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's thin but also a bit slick. Moderate carbonation. It's pretty easy to drink, I think it's a great choice for a session beer. I'd buy this again in the future. $3.99 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 23:02:50 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the beer on cask so was overjoyed to by chance find a stockist for the beer bottled.

Very much the definitive bottled mild.
Pouring a body of pure ebony with a slight off white creme caramel coloured head which was of good stock and lasted.

I used a conic glass and topped up from a second bottle, this created a most pleasant drinking experience.

The beer created a heady aroma of coffee and burnt sugar and the taste was rich with that full on charcoal taste of a good dark ale.

A very old fashioned sudsy texture that really took me back and made me smile coupled with a perfect peaty aftertaste.

Fulfilling the traditional historic role of a mild this was both thirst quenching, drinkable and low enough gravity to keep on supping without going wobbly.

My only detractor being the price, as mild is traditionally a cheaper option to bitter or stout and despite having quite a collection of beers currently this cost the most though this was mostly due to the outlet.

Highly recommended to lovers of mild,
others read up on the history and stylings of mild first before buying.

I am glad I bought a couple of extra bottles and the next time I have company for a session this will be a most promising starter ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 21:14:31 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle from New Beer. Sat in the fridge for an additional month. Poured into a rounded tumbler. I refrained from using a straw this time. I've become quite lazy this summer.

Color is sort of like ebony. Near black, with rich, reddish-orange veins. Lasting light sand-colored mushroom head that leaves grimy blotched lace that probably won't rinse off without some Palmolive.

Smells like chocolate wafers & wet potting soil. Subtly sweet & earthy.

Bitter sweet, slightly charred grain. Though only mildly bitter, there is a decent amount of acid upfront that drags along with it some underachieving bitter-green hops. It eventually makes way for a softly sweet wafery middle-end, though that itself, suddenly seems quite minerally. The end rides out on that mineral aspect, along with some char, & regurgitates a bit more acid before it's all done.

Alcohol isn't a factor, & I don't feel myself yearning for a shot of bourbon on the side. Carbonation is stronger then expected; small, prickly & sharp bubbles. Body is non-existent except for a dusty, almost chalky texture. Sort of like those over fortified fruit juices that don't quite run smooth.

Overall a decent beer, but not worth the import price($5) unless I could find it absolutely fresh. So my ignorant opinion is thus: It tastes like a diluted brown ale. /shrug

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:59:08 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of JayQue


3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer of this style. I was expecting a real thin, lightly flavored beer because of the low abv. I was pleasantly surprised. Pours a dark brown with lots of ruby highlights when held to a light. Big light tan head, nicely carbonated that faddes to a covering, then a ring at the top of the glass. Moderately sized rings of lacing.

Smell on the first pour was mild roasted malts, a second pour after the beer warmed up left less aroma.

Taste is pretty good. Roasted malts a little chocolate malts...the flavor is strong enough to get your attention and appreciation.

Moutfeel is light and nicely carbonated. I would not call it watery like the Anhauser Busch Stout they used to have at Busch Gardens.

Overall this is a solid session beer. At 3.4 percent, you could drink a good few of these with some good conversation and still enjoy each one. I would love to have this on cask or on tap.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 00:42:29 | More by JayQue
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque dark reddish brown with a 1 inch tan head that fades to an oily film. Small random spots of lace form here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark malt, slight chocolate, and some roasty notes. Taste is of roasted malt, cold coffee, and slight chocolate on the finish. There is a very slight bitterness on the palate after each sip that fades quickly. This beer has very light carbonation with a very watery mouthfeel. I am not too impressed with this aspect of the beer. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and the first of the style I have had. I am not sure if the mouthfeel is like this for other beers of the style but I am not too fond of the watery aspect.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 04:11:58 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of bum732


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Dry rich cocoa, dark chocolate, touch of vanilla.

L: Very dark brown, ruby highlights, off-white head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Light chocolate and roasty malt with a slightly charred component. Mild earthy bitterness followed by a very dry, slightly roasty component. Some toasty marris otter malt persists throughout.

M: Fairly thin mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Pretty solid, probably a million times better on cask. Great mild overall.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 02:22:39 | More by bum732
Photo of codsmith


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip

A: Deep black with a hint of red towards the top. Very thin white head head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: Heavy raisin & chocolate smell that is backed by a mild floral hop aroma coming off the top.

T: Very interesting and mix of chocolate malt and raisin flavors that have a roasted and bitter finish on the malt portion. There is a slight hop finish that comes through with a soft and grassy hop finish.

M: Surprisingly light bodied and carbonated well. I was hoping for a little more body to tie these flavors together.

O: It has a interesting aroma and taste, with a nice balance on the hops, but it seems a bit thin and could better if it had a thicker body.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 00:09:09 | More by codsmith
Photo of aasher


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a Coca-Cola brown in color with red highlights. Once fully poured it resembles a dark, dark brown on the verge of black with a one finger, frothy cream colored head. It smells of lightly roasted malts, light coffee with cream, and possibly even espresso. It kind of smells like a frapuccino and it tastes like an iced coffee. It is overly drinkable and is a great session beer, fit for a pub. It drinks light to medium in body, more reminiscent of an iced coffee, which is fine. The aftertaste does the light mouthfeel some justice. All in all this beer was pretty impressive. It's hard to find a quality session beer but this one seems to pull it off and even has good flavor. It's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 00:29:54 | More by aasher
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Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.