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Black Cat - Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

Not Rated.
Black CatBlack Cat

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BA SCORE
86
very good

163 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 163
Hads: 206
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 33
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 163 | Hads: 206
Photo of chogm54
3.39/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Black, pours a thin offwhite head. Smell of roasted malt and dark choc. The taste is similar, with a real dry finish (like cooking chocolate). Low carbonation, feels very watery. Ok if you are after a mid strength dark ale. (227 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.41/5  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. (899 characters)

Photo of albern
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is extremely light, although its appearance and aroma is a bit deceiving. There just isn't much "there" in this beer. It pours a dark ruby almost inky black color with a nice creamy dark head, some retention, some lacing. The aroma is quite pungent. I'm getting some strong roasted nuts, some chocolate and coffee aromas, dark caramel hints. This also has some hints of very old fashion candy, such as Mary Jane, with lots of caramelized molasses. The aroma is really nice.

The taste of this beer is just too darn light bodied, and not enough flavorfulness. The palate is as watery as a big body of water, and it comes no where near to its promise in the nose. There are some watery toasted nut flavors, coffee, chocolate, molasses, sweetish malts, and maybe a bit of hop presence in the finish. This is a bit of a disappointment, but with a 3.4% ABV, I guess this is what you get. The beer is moderately carbonated and the mouthfeel is very light. (959 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Cat was once judged Supreme Champion at the Great British Beer Festival – a momentous achievement, especially for a mild ale. I’m sure the half-liter bottle I drank had lost a bit of character after crossing both an ocean and a continent, but the essence of Black Cat did come through with a faintly dry-stout flavor and an intriguing complexity suggesting both peat and molasses. The aftertaste has a welcome tendency to linger with notes of coffee and cola nut, and a slight touch of smoke.

My Black Cat delivered fair head and lace. I found the body a bit thin, but that may be expected for this most un-American of styles – a mild ale. A beer this dependant upon subtlety and nuance is not likely to travel well. But Black Cat did tend to grow on me and I’d love to try this at the source in jolly old England. (829 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. bottle. Very dark brown in color, almost opaque. Moderate, tan colored head. Aroma was molasses and port. Taste was radically different than aroma. Burnt toast/coffee flavor, good but mild hops, very clean and crisp. A bit of sweetness came through towards the end, moreso as the beer warmed. It was light in body, with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. A light beer with dark flavor. (399 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed for Halloween time, 2005. Picked up in Dearborn, MI.
A very pleasent (and somewhat alternative) offering. This was a favourable blend of a rich,dark, roasted brew within a mild context. Not an easy flavour profile to pull off, but this beer has great composure. Not lean in the least, especially considering its alcohol percentage. Be festive, it's a great treat for when the days start to get shorter. (412 characters)

Photo of ByTor2112
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, slightly opaque with some ruby shaded hues coming through with the light. A smaller, foamy tan head forms. Good soapy lacing is left behind after one sip.
Aroma: Nothing really dominating or up front on the nose. A little nutty with avery faint cocoa powder aroma. A deep inhale right on the top of the brew gets some coffee notes.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation delivers a very mild, plain ale. Some sweeter malty flavors tease the palate, briefly. A vigorous froth releases some hop bitterness. This dark ale with a lower ABV is not bringing anything spectacular. BUT... this ale does taste good and would be very sessionable. Would also be thirst quenching. Possibly fresh on tap or cask in England would have a little more oomph. Solid, average and drinkable. (782 characters)

Photo of gmfessen
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep amber-brown that almost looks black. Smell is heavily of toasted malts, also a hint of chocolate. The taste is not overly impressive, but it also doesn't disappoint. The taste is very well balanced, with a malty foreground and a smooth finish. The mouthfeel is light bodied with not too much carbonation, goes down easy. Overall, I would have to say this beer is very drinkable, although I paid almost $4 for a 16 oz bottle... so I think money would be the limiting reagent in this case. (544 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (1,532 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown around the edges and black at the core. Loose tan head has a short life but leaves ring lace. Carbonation clings to the side of the glass.

Malt is the theme here. Mostly a dry chalky chocolate base, like bakers chocolate with suggestions of dark fruit way underneath. Soft yeastey backside gives it some nice depth. Roasted coffee makes an appearance as it warmed a bit. Some burnt grain is faint. Showing the beginning signs of oxidation. Finishes quite crisp and cleans up ok.

Notes: A bit chalky in the mouthfeel and its no gem to look at but where the rubber hits the road this excells. A low ABV beer with depth and character? almost unheard of, at least in my neck of the woods, this has both. (717 characters)

Photo of haz77
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Body is a very dark brown with almost no light showing through. A hard pour yields an inch of frothy tan head which falls to a thin, foamy island and ring. If there's carbonation, I can't see it.

S - Big hit of molasses up front, dark chocolate and dried fig pushing through in the background. Difficult to pull out anything else past the molasses.

T - Nothing appears for the first second in the mouth, then molasses and chocolate come though. These both fade in the middle and a light hay note appears. Liquorice appears at the end, but it isn't very prominent.

M - Light mouthfeel and soft, cleansing carbonation.

D - Very easy drinker, although I could see myself getting bored of it quite quickly. (712 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm . . . I can't really compare it to other milds, since I'm unsure if I've ever had the style before. Served a bit on the warm side, no real hoppiness, a bit of a fruit smell. Sweet with no carbonation or head. Smooth mouthfeel and rather easy to finish off. May try this gain but if I see this one out at a restaurant, then I figure the selection will be too good to just go for this one. (393 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

It pours a deep balckish brown with a light tan head this is creamy and dissipates with some nice lacing.

It smells a bit weak, and almost like a non-alcoholic beer. It has a very caramally smelling, almost table sugary malt scent with some cocoa powder. There is a hint of roastiness.

It tastes a lot like the label proclaims "A rich, dry chocolate malt taste". It reminds me of chocolate pudding. There is also some peaty flavor and a touch of earthy hops. There is a mineral water character as well, but it is welcome.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth, you rarely have this thick of a mouthfeel with such a low abv. It is easy to drink, but it isn't something I would session, it becomes a chore on the back end.

It is a decent beer, only the second of this style that I have had as it is extremely rare. (825 characters)

Photo of bark
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The colour is very deep brown-red; the liquid is clear. The finger thick head is pale brown; it sinks slowly into a lid. Some lacing.

The smell is malty and a bit sour with some roasted notes and lots of dough, brewer’s yeast, baker’s yeast, gravy, meat and small beer. It is a little too “unfermented”…

The taste is at first quite bitter. But those notes are complemented by some mild yeasty lightly roasted flavours. I found notes of yeast, and some fresh flowery bitterness. The body is (as it should be) low. The aftertaste is fresh and lightly bitter with some hints of roasted malt.

The carbonation is medium strong, but the small bubbles fade quickly. The liquid is mid-watery.

This is a beer that is quite simple in taste, but at the same time, well balanced and highly drinkable. (799 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on cask at the Priory Arms, Oct. 2004.

This beer poured a dark, almost opaque black with red around the edges. The foam was light brown and sudsy and settled after lingering a while. The smell was malty with a bit of caramel and a hint of sourness. The taste was sweetish and malty with some tanginess and a touch of licorice. The hoppiness was modest. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and low carbonation. The aftertaste was malty and slightly bitter. This was an OK Mild Ale. (497 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.59/5  rDev -6%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Cat is dark mahogany brown and far from black. Plenty of light gets through giving it nice burgundy highlights. This cat's topped with a light tan head that's lucky to reach a finger deep. It ran away quickly and left trace amounts of spotty lace behind.

While the nose isn't strong by any means, it accomplishes a decent amount with what's there. Roasted and chocolate malts are the primary components. It features a light, sweet chocolate aroma. There's an overall earthy character to it and it features a very light hop aroma toward the end. Perhaps a slight yeasty, biscuity aroma, as well. Pretty good for being as light as it is.

The flavor profile continues the trend of floating above average. It has a definite malty base, but it doesn't quite taste like it smells. Toasted malts are the primary feature with very light chocolate malts following. The chocolate flavor is faint, cocoa-ish, and not very sweet. It's more grainy than I expected and definitely has an earthy character. Hops are light, but noted. They add bit of a buzz and seem to make it very dry. It's not exactly loaded with flavor, but for what it is, it's pretty good.

The body is light, but working toward medium. It has nice carbonation with very light bubbles. It's not smooth by any means, but it's not bad. Drinkability is good. Given the 3.4% abv and semi-light body, it goes down way too easy. Personally, I'd like a little more flavor, but it still does a nice job here.

Black Cat is a very drinkable beer that's consistently above average all around. For the style, I'm not sure it can be done much better than this. It's intended to be a light, session beer and it's exactly that. If you're looking for something with a deep range of flavors, move along. That's not here. I'm guessing most BAs pick this up simply to try the style. I know I did. It's not something I'd seek out frequently, but I've enjoyed it for what it is. (1,922 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a smallish soapy tan head that settled into a light ring. The aroma is sweet with toffee and a coffee candy. Almost smells like kaluha. The taste is of coffee with mineral water added to water it down. The coffee flavor is nice but light. There is some grain flavors, with toffee sweetness. Pretty good flavors for a low abv brew. The feel is very light and water with fizzy carbonation, almost seems like I am drinking carbonated water with coffee flavoring. Drinks very easy as there is not much body to this brew. I can see why these are session brews. (585 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Belfast Beer Festival.

Pours ruby black with no head - a gravity pour, so not its fault. Coffee and seaweed on the nose. Earth, red currant, espresso and smoke in the malts, with orange tea hops. Clean, drying finish. Light to medium, some stick, crisp.

Not up to the standards of Batemans DM, but good, lighter mild.

Surprised to see so many reviews and so many high - this tells me the best of English Milds still aren't getting to the US. (460 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is the best thing about the bottle I sampled. It has a chocolate/winey aroma. The flavor is chocolate/treacle and the finish is dry and bitter. The body is fairly thin, probably due to the low alcohol content. I expected more flavor in the beer. (255 characters)

Photo of TLove
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kind of nice. Not really remarkable in any particular way, just a smooth-drinking, very enjoyable and easy English brown. I prefer something with a heavier body to match the beautiful color, but this is both thin and flavorful.

Lacey foam that pours a dark brown, ruby reddish body. Very light carbonation. Smells of raisin, smoked paprika, and caramel.

Sweet, soft, and a touch dry. Very thin in body, but remarkably creamy nevertheless. Has an excellent texture in the mouth that holds all of the roasted flavors, molasses, hops, and earthiness that exudes from this brew. Interesting malt structure. Almost sheetlike on the roof of one's mouth, the roasted caramel and sugary malts that tastes kind of like a smoked Schwartzbier. (734 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown mild with a hint of ruby. Pours with plenty of carbonation and sustaining off-white head of foam that leaves a little lace on the side of the glass. The aroma is wonderful mix of toffee, chocolate and molasses. The mouthfeel is decent, could be a little softer. This ale starts out a bit fruity with the taste of plums and maybe even figs, until some of the roasted/chocolate malts start expressing themselves. The harsh bite of the carbonation accentuates the bitter finish. A fine mild, but I'd much prefer to have this one off a cask -- too fizzy. (568 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

17oz bottle picked up at the Coop today for $3.50.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1.5" light tan head dies back leaving pretty nice lacing ... brew is damn near black .... but shows crystal clear dark ruby highlites when held to a bare bulb.

Aroma is fruity with caramel and lite chocolate notes .. and an odd background aroma of "jerky".

Dark malt flavors dominate with lite chocolate and caramel .. not as sweet as I would expect... I think I am mistaking the "roastiness" for a "smokiness". Has a pronounced smoky characteristic .. No real hops to speak of .. light body and carbonation... sorta nutty as it warms. Very drinkable, but not for me and I will not dock it for that .. just simply not something that I would ever really want.. the roasty flavor overpowers the other flavors in my mind. (809 characters)

Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.