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Black Cat - Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

Not Rated.
Black CatBlack Cat

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

200 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 30
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

t0rin0, Nov 22, 2012
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

zestar, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of metter98
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.

metter98, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tobacco leaf brown suffused with red, topped by a creamy, pitting head the color of the inside of a malted milk ball. Sufficient blown fiberglass-like lace stubbornly sticks to the opposite side of the glass. The nose is gently dark malty with more than a hint of cocoa and less than a hint of English hops.

Black Cat is pretty flavorful stuff given the shockingly low ABV. The malted milk ball comparison works for the flavor as well, but there's very little sweetness. The lightly roasted malt base is reminiscent of unsweetened chocolate shavings and contains echoes of fruity hops.

The mild ale designation is certainly appropriate. Although there's a lot of it, the taste is mild, as is the exceedingly light body, and they go together like hand in glove. The beer fairly evaporates in the mouth and is as drinkable as oxygen is breathable.

This beer screams 'session'. It's flavorful enough to remain interesting throughout multiple pints, but innocuous enough that flavor fatigue or palate fatigue will never be a problem. Far from feeling unlucky, I feel fortunate that this Black Cat crossed my path today.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many believe that session beers are the new wave of craft brewing. If so, it'll be because of the surprisingly complex flavors and high drinkability that's found in this beer.

This moderate brown beer shows highlights of copper and tan with a medium creamy head that forms on the beer then fades to an smatering of pockets of lace before holding firm. Low carobonation promises an understated creaminess and weight. Off white ivory foam seals the deal on this classy looking Engish Ale

Maltiness in the name of the game here. Light toast, nuts, plumb, prune, and chocolates round out the dark malts without going all coffee or cocoa on me. Above that, the dark caramel (nearly toffee) taste comes to play. Kinda sweet up front but dries out with a Schwarzbier-like powdery cleanliness. Herbal and earthy hops are hardly noticible from the nose but give the beer balance and complexity from the taste stand point.

This is a little beer with big flavor. Beers with this much complexity generally carry much more body and alcoholic power. It's good to know that great beers can be had without risk of serious inhebriation.

BEERchitect, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up as I had never actually tried the style and this was the only one that I could find in a local store, so there you go. A little bit much at over $4.00 but never mined that. I served this one right out of the fridge and poured it into a 20oz pint glass.

Appearance - The pour was rather nice with a deep, dark brown, but you were easily able to see through it. Lots of reddish tints around the sides and the back of it, producing more of a chestnut brown look. Minimal head and lacing, but still able to see some carbonation coming through.

Smell - The aroma was sweet, with a healthy dose of molasses and caramel in the front of it. Nice roasted malt notes and almost a bit of a smoked presence in the profile toward the end. Lots of grass and other types of earthy tones and a touch of dark fruit.

Taste - The flavor followed suit quite well. I have to admit it was a little thin to me, but that is the style. Nice notes of leather and molasses, caramel and a touch of fig. Lots of roasted malts and light cocoa notes. Really quite complex for a brew this light. Finish had a touch of bitter, just enough to dry it out and left that long lasting burnt flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - A touch thin here I have to be honest. It just did not have that pop it needed to really stand out. Slightly watery as well, but still fairly good.

Drinkability - An easily session able ale. The flavors were very rich for it being this low in ABV, I was really quite nicely surprised by this. Really an awesome beer to sit down in just plows right through.

Overall this was pretty darn good I have to say. Not my favorite thing in the world, but I could see how others would love to get a hold of this. Its an interesting style that is loaded with complexities that just make it really wonderful. I would love to try this on cask, probably would cut down on the thinness.

mikesgroove, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

ygtbsm94, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a black body with faint red edges with a light brown head.

Smell: Appropriately mild aroma of roasted grains, vanilla, and molasses. Also, a touch of smokiness is present.

Taste: Sweetish, bready malt flavor with hints of black malt bitterness and faint notes of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation. Somewhat watery.

Drinkability: A befitting mild ale, though I do wonder how much better (if at all) this would be when sampled in Jolly Olde England.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color but with some ruby highlights shining thru in a few places with a nice creamy off white head,some caramel and brown sugar in the aromas with a lighter earthy not becoming more prevelant as it warms.There is some complexity to this ale some earthy notes up front with some fruit and caramel melding nicely in the finish.A very nice soft well rounded mild here one of the better I have had to date,I think this is the way all milds should be.

oberon, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best enjoyed at just below cellar temperature, this brilliant dark ale pours a clear, deep mahogany with ruby-crimson highlights beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. The retention is fair, and it receeds to a decent collar and thin surface covering while still leaving specks and spots of lace throughout most of the glass. An initial whiff of roastiness fades to reveal bittersweet chocolate and a touch of creamy caramel alongside dark dried fruits (prunes, raisins) in the nose. The body is medium-light and it's gently crisp on the tongue with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that softens as it warms. The flavor delivers everything that the nose promises; and although it's fairly basic, it's also quite charming. There's a delicate touch of leafy/earthy hops that becomes apparent, and the way that the chocolate, caramel, and subtle roasty flavors come and go as the beer warms is interesting. It's exceptionally well-balanced by a sublime bitterness that never really reveals itself, even in the short and dry finish. Quaffable! An excellent session ale that offers a great amount of flavor with some variety and complexity to it, but only 3.4% alcohol! Brilliant!

NeroFiddled, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 ml brown bottle, no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown with very deep ruby hues, a bubbly lace stands firm all the way down.

Smell: Fruity with hints of chocolate and a touch of malt and caramel also.

Taste: Crisp with semi sharp chocolate grainy flavour in the front, quite malty ... some sweetness, a little fruity, more light chocolate, caramel and roasted flavours in the middle. Then comes a bit of mild prickly hop bitterness and a weak burnt flavour that lingers a bit with some fading dry roasted malt and grain.

Notes: Very flavourful and somewhat complex for an ale with a lighter body, an inviting dark brew ... a pleasure to drink. One of the only mild ales imported into the US.

Jason, Apr 01, 2002
Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A vigorous pour yields one finger of light tan head that settles quickly and leaves a nice coating of lace on the glass. The body is and opaque, dark brown with bright, ruby highlights.

S - Fruity yeast notes of red apple and plum with bready malt. Some toffee and spicy hops as well.

T - Sweet, toffee malt up front with plum yeast flavor. Some light roasted malt flavor appears in the finish with mild, spicy hops. Finishes with caramel and milk chocolate malt with light hop character balancing.

M - Medium-light body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - A nice, dark and fruity English ale. A good dose of roasted malt makes this beer seem a little heavier than its 3.4% avb, but it is still appropriately light and drinkable. This is a great session beer with a surprisingly nice brown ale flavor.

nickfl, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown that is clear with a creme head. Nose is decent. Malty and slight earthy tones. Flavor has some nice roasted aspects to it. Interesting almost chocolate edges come into the mix as an after-taste. That kicks it up a bit for me. Caramel tones are very noticeable. Feel is decent. Overall this is an interesting drinker. The qualities of it need to be really searched out as it isn't going to shove it in your face. I would be interested to try this on cask.

RblWthACoz, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Slatetank, May 24, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color's a sturdy brown, though flooded from behind with crimson shades, and enhanced by a big, bubbling, creamy-tan head, leaving lace behind.
Aroma, smooth, creamy, some nutty notes, glimmer of cocoa, hints of butter and spice, mostly malty.
Taste: tidy bitter hop notes flank the palate at first, then disappear altogether, and all is mellow, silky smooth. Medium-bodied, at best, with a short, nutty finish. Tasty, though, and quite a quaffer.
Easily encompasses the best aspects of the "mild ale" style, a better sort of brown. But not the kind of thing I'd normally reach for, nonetheless...

feloniousmonk, May 17, 2004
Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There needs to be more English Dark Mild Ales in bottles that are distributed to my area. Its a pretty hard style to review.

Beer is brown and clear with a thick off white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate.

Light in body and really roasty. OK, this is really really thin. Its like cold coffee. Not my bag but I guess its OK.

drabmuh, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and creamy malt scent that is sweet and smelling of burnt toffee. The taste is decent. It has a smooth black and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. It's light and easy drinking, but lacking a rich malt presence. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent beer, but nothing special. It has pretty good flavor, but lacking in body.

WesWes, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark ruby/garnet with a thin tan head that leaves dotted lacing.

The smell is of chocolate/cocoa with a touch of roast/smoke and an earthy/fruity undertone. Has the classic Maris Otter and Fuggles aromatics.

The taste is roasty/smoky with Maris Otter maltiness. There's an earthy/woody with slight anise undertone. Malt not as chocolatey as the nose led me to believe it would be. It has a bitterish finish.

Towards thin, though grows as progresses (never reaching more than medium-bodied at most, even after slow sipping)... Mild-to-medium carbonation. A dry, roasted aftertaste lingers.

jwc215, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of smcolw
2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Quickly dying head, some lace; a color just on the pale side of a dry stout.

Very mild smell. Nearly no hop, some darker malt aromas. For me, I smell mostly the refridgerator.

Tastes like a very thin stout. Very thin body for the color and smell. High carbonation. The initial sip has hints of chocolate, the swallow has a sprig of hops. Rather bland aftertaste, although I detect some coffee flavors.

This is a step up from Michelob Dark, but shares many of the characteristics. If this is a Mild, it is very dark and still fairly thin. If this is anything else, it falls short of expectations.

smcolw, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of Halcyondays
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very dark red, it could be mistaken for a pint of stout or porter it's so dark. Long lasting white head, light lacing.

S: It smells like blackstrap molasses, if you like the smell of that like I do, you'll like the smell of this beer, maybe a bit of prune juice in there as well.

T: Very malty and sugary sweet. Heavy molasses and dark bread carry the beer and dominate the flavour. Hop bitterness is hard to find, but being a mild I expect it.

M: Light-bodied, light carbonation makes it very easy to drink, for this style very well done.

D: This is a fantastic beer. At 3.4% and packed full of flavour what more could you ask for in session beer. I wish more American breweries would take a stab at this style. Bottle was finished in about 5-10 minutes. Only downside is the $4+ pricetag.

Halcyondays, May 19, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tall, brown 500ml bottle, best before the end of Feb 2011, drank and reviewed 25th Jan 2011. Poured into a UK pint sleeve.

Good, really dark brown body, teak wood red when held to a bright light. On top a well formed light brown head, which gave some heavy lacing.

Semi-sweet dark chocolate smells, toasted/roasted malts too.

The taste is typical dark mild malty, without anything being too rich or overpowering. Very little if any hop presence detectable. It does get a bit bitter towards the end of the mouthfeel, otherwise the beer is mid-dry, leaning towards semi-sweet in flavour.

Slightly over carbonated for me, others may find it 'lively'.

Not a great beer, but a long way from being a bad one.

BlackHaddock, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
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.

dbrauneis, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of wl0307
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB Aug. 08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a deeply dark brown colour with faint reddish hues when seen against light; the khaki foamy head comes thick, retreating gradually into a light blanket.
S: a tad dusty due to the fluffy head, backed by a light whiff of black dates, Chinese red bean paste, black sugar, chocolates, and a light-bodied pale maltiness at the back. Pretty pleasant.
T: upfront are salty-sweet malts and sugary dates, underlined by a deeper, mildly-roasted flavour of black malts with a faint touch of chocolate, fast towards a lightly dry palate attributable to the hops. Mildly earthy and chewy-gristy in the finish.
M&D: slightly effervescent upfront, but softening fast on the palate before turning slightly thin in the end. On the balance, this is a feather-light-bodied Dark Mild with a very mild malt profile. Not bad, but certainly not doing justice to the original, cask-conditioned version as far as my previous encounter is concerned.

wl0307, Aug 11, 2008
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Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.