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Black Cat - Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

Not Rated.
Black CatBlack Cat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

200 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(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 flyingpig
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.

flyingpig, Oct 29, 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
Photo of ElGordo
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich deep black with a light creamy head. Aroma of roasted malt and sweet treacle. Licorice/anise flavor blends with the roasted malt, and a bit more sugary treacle. A bit thin, which actually doesn't make it more drinkable. Kind of odd mouthfeel, but it still has a very nice flavor and looks beautiful.

ElGordo, Nov 05, 2003
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.

JayQue, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of RedDiamond
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

RedDiamond, Nov 29, 2004
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 pin
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

pin, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

ygtbsm94, Jul 19, 2013
Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of OldTime
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

OldTime, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

biegaman, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of sneaks2210
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

sneaks2210, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of bzach
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

bzach, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

plumcrazyfx, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

KAF, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of ByTor2112
3.53/5  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.

ByTor2112, Aug 02, 2010
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.

doktorhops, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of gmfessen
3.53/5  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.

gmfessen, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Backer2004, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.55/5  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.

DogFood11, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of crossovert
3.58/5  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.

crossovert, Jan 18, 2011
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.

soju6, May 31, 2013
Photo of haz77
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

haz77, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of bark
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

bark, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

GCBrewingCo, Oct 25, 2003
Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
85 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.