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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
86
very good

196 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 29
Gots: 3 | 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)
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 01:57:45 | More by prototypic
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 03:16:16 | More by Gmann
Photo of marcobrau
marcobrau

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2006 22:30:21 | More by marcobrau
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 22:12:49 | More by jwc215
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

12-02-2010 19:08:29 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.63/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 03:12:11 | More by TLove
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 08:07:16 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Realale
Realale

Missouri

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a big mild fan (its probably my second favorite style), and was excited to try this beer that won Champion Beer of Britain at the 2001 GBBF. Very nice almost black color - just a hint of brownnish-red when held up to the light. The head dissipated quickly to a thin cap of foam. The nose is all about licorice, with some hint of malt. On the palate, the licorice was there, as was a bit of length due to a muted hop note, but there was not enough malt to make me think "mild" and not enough complexity for me to think "great mild." While it was definitely high enough on the drinkablility scale to be a session beer, it was unable to pull off that key trick of a great mild - tons of flavor in a low alcohol beer. I'd love to give this one a shot from cask though!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2002 07:37:07 | More by Realale
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 01:32:52 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 00:31:04 | More by drabmuh
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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...

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 02:51:34 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby-tinged brown with an off-white quickly fading head. Nose shows lots of caramel and light roasted malt, quite sweet. Some hints of coffee in there to. Really nice despite not being overly bold Flavours are more roasty but still light and mild. Sot much caramel, but still a little bit of sweet malt towards the finish. Great moderate carbonation and light-ish body.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 23:35:04 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, dark brown... almost unusually so. The head is almost a stark white (more of a slight offwhite, really, but still)... it seems shocking in contrast. Interesting. Very bubbly.

S: Sweet malts, raisins are quite strong, Bready, with some interesting yeast notes.

T + M: Quite a light flavour... almost watery, both in flavour and feel. Some dark fruit hints are there, with a little touch of soft powdery chocolate.

D: Nice and easy to drink. It's in quite a good drink, though a little light for my personal palate, perhaps. Worth checking out, if nothing else.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 02:46:50 | More by Proteus93
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, best by April 2010, into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Shared at a tasting. Thanks go out to my buddy Jim for picking up this style tick for me in London, and to Michelle for shuttling it across the pond. You guys are awesome!

A: Clear, tawny brown body with a thin, fleeting coating of tan bubbles. A swirl reactivates the head, but only ever in a coarse, soapy display of ephemerality. Lovely clarity, disappointing carbonation.

S: Clean, light chocolate malt with an understated, balancing touch of earthy hops. Straightforward and pleasant.

T: Fairly sharp, actually, with rather thin, acrid maltiness up front, turning into a dry chalkiness on the tail end. I guess it's got a good amount of flavor for such a low ABV, and it's extremely clean and dry, but it just isn't all that pleasant.

M: Thin, watery, and lightly carbonated. Easy to drink.

O: Whenever I make it to England, I think I'll be steering clear of Dark Milds - give me the punch of a good ESB any day over this rather insipid (albeit clean, balanced, and easy-drinking) concoction. Black Cat seems to be a pretty decent example, but even with 6 people at the tasting we didn't manage to kill the whole bottle. Hate me all you want for not appreciating "subtlety" and "complexity," but this beer was long on boring and light on tastiness.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 00:01:00 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for awhile now. Bottle poured into a mug. Pours a dark ruddy brown with some ruby highlights on the edges. A small tan head caps it off. Disappears to just a ring around the edge. Little lace sticks. Scents of molasses, licorice, plums, and some faint cocoa powder.

The body is decent. Crisp carbonation, moderate depth. Flavors of mild bittering hops, lots of bittersweet malts, a light sour note in the middle, and a faint chocolate finish. This is my first of the style, but I think I like it. Very simple, but full of flavor and character. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 05:09:36 | More by Onenote81
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looked like a good brew for Halloween season. The body is extremely dark, almost black. It pours to a thick, tan head with good retention. Leaves plenty of thick rings clinging to the glass. Sweet roasted malt smell, with hints of chocolate and a bit of smoke. Flavor is mild, with the sweet taste of malt dominating. Has a lightly smoky taste, but is very subdued. Hints of chocolate present. Slight taste of hops comes through in the finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Easy drinking brew, low abv helps make it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2002 15:40:51 | More by Viking
Photo of jettjon
jettjon

Florida

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500ml bottle with no date in evidence, into a classic English stout glass. Dark brown, virtually opaque color capped with one finger of brown-tan foam. Slow fade down to a scattered cap and ring along with bits of clingy lacing along the side. Pretty good looking so far. Nose of toasted barley with some sweet malt peeking through. Taste has a surprisingly strong, yet pleasant smokey character yielding to toasted barley. Hints of sweet malt, finally finishing on clean, ever-so-slight bitter note. Mouth is middle-viscous leaning toward thin, with good mild carbonation, and overall smooth, thirst-quenching character. Drinkability is quite good, aided by a low 3.4% ABV. This, my friends, is a “session” ale.

Overall: A great “sessionable” dark ale, in the traditional sense of the word. I can imagine drinking pint after pint of this stuff along with fish and chips in a dark English tavern somewhere.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 23:35:01 | More by jettjon
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is considered a mile ale because they are not heavy with the hops, which is fine. Very dark, low carbonation, good taste but slighly thin.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 17:35:37 | More by jdhilt
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a new pint bottle purchased from by my new local BevMo and sampled in one of my big Imperial pint tulip glasses.

Beer pours a deep dark black to the initial observation in the pint with virtually no head. Dark rubies twinkle out of the late night velvet of the glass and a clarity is discernable amongst that inkiness.

Aroma is both roasty and surprisingly smokey with just a touch of caramel sweetness first discernable. At first blush if I didn't know better, I'd swear someone had blended a bit of rauchbier into my mug.

Flavor is nutty with a deep brown malt flavor on the fore palate. As the beer moves back in the palate a roasty toasted note grows cleaning the palate of the nutty sweet caramel flavors in the fore. As the beer leaves, a smoky tone grows largers and larger as the roast dries the palate out and gears you up for the next immediate sip.

A vague sweetness is left behind on the lips as the tongue aches for more moisture.

Who went and put this smoke in my Black Cat? I definately preferred it when it was first brought in and was less roasted and more caramel. But still as one of the few commerical examples of true mild that we see here in the states, I'm a big fan. (It was better on cask back in England, but hey.. nothing's perfect)

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 08:07:38 | More by drewbage
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

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 marc77
marc77

California

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

Brilliantly clear deep crimson hue. Frothy head recedes into a spotty, loosely bubbled layer. Mild dark chocolate and caramel malt along with stately prune like fruitiness comprise the aroma. Subtle burnt black patent undertone. Chocolate malt becomes sweeter and milky as the beer breathes. Snap of sharp, lightly tart, metallic tinged black malt bitterness upfront in flavor yields to understated notes of chocolate, dark caramel and burnt raisny fruitiness. The mild hop bitterness appropriately offsets the minimal residual and caramel malt derived sweetness. Faint earthy hop flavor melds well with the roasted malt profile. Lightly bodied and crisp, yet smooth, and not thin in mouthfeel. Finishes with a well attenuated dryness lending a fading powered bittersweet cocoa aftertaste. Although Black Cat initially seems like a watered down porter in flavor profile, it becomes progressively more complex down the glass, yet retains a constant lightness and quaffability. A nearly ideal session brew. Similar, but slightly inferior to Young's Dirty Dick.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2003 18:17:32 | More by marc77
Photo of PBRstreetgang
PBRstreetgang

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, but clear shade of mahogany, showing ruby highlights. The tan, one and a half finger head is somewhat dense, but lacking in retention and lacing. Rich, chocolate/roasted malt nose, with a sherrylike aroma. The flavor is of roasted barley and coffee, sweet, but not residual. Almost a total absence of bitterness, just a faint fuggle hop flavor to offset the sweetness. The mouthfeel is flat and thin, with a clean aftertaste and high drinkability. Good choice if you're seeking an english session ale with a mild malt background.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2006 06:28:03 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of codsmith
codsmith

Illinois

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 cliff1066
cliff1066

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-09-2012 20:08:47 | More by cliff1066
Photo of BigJim5021
BigJim5021

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

05-26-2013 05:33:13 | More by BigJim5021
Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.