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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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 162 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WYVYRN527


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a slight red tinge. Head is cream colord and has good retention. Very nice lacing as well.

S: Not alot on the nose. Some roasty character with hints of chocolate, and coffee. Hops are slightly present in the backround.

T: Begins roasty with coffee, chocolate, and toast. Also has mild fruity notes as well. The finish is short, but drying with a lightly bitter hop character.

M: Light bodied, but you wouldn't think so given the beer's color.

D: Low alc, dark, and very flavorful, This is a beer I could drink for hours on end.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 05:23:21 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of 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 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.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 05:29:28 | More by nickfl
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 01:10:36 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Reidrover


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

NOt too sure about how this 500 ml bottle is going to go, it was sitting all alone and forlorn on a bright lit unrefridgerated shelf in Cost Plus World Market.
Well here goes.
Good looks, dark ,dark brown, lovelly full creammy tan head.
Ah great the aroma is OK..cocoa powder and figs,rum and raisin.
Ah nice taste too all of the above with a nice semi-=bitter finish.
Ok on the palate, thin finish to be expected from this style.
Drinkable Mild..oh I would love to taste this fresh at the source. If its this good after such treatment as I saw today it must be near a "5" beer fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 01:20:22 | More by Reidrover
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brown, fig color (according to the bottle, this color is known as "dark Ruby") with a small and bubbly tan head. The head doesnt really have any substance but shows the carbonation is there.

Aroma is slightly roasty and bready, with some caramel and earthy tones.

Really outstanding flavor. I am fairly new to the low abv beers but they are really growing on me: This beer may be the best yet. Some good fruity flavors with dark roasty notes and a touch of chocolate. A bit of brown sugar. Burnt toast.

Thin mouthfeel but not really watery. Its just right for the abv. I cant believe how good this beer is. At 3.4%abv, the drinkability is off the charts. With the solid and complex flavors, this is an awesome beer and one I can imagine is sessioned quite alot across the pond.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 19:10:49 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of stumac


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this brew pours up pitch black with a nice bubbly tan head. great lacing. the nose is faint chocolate malts, yeast, pretty dry. the taste is also dry, chocolate malts, low amount of hops, with a bitter finish. medium bodied, medium carbo. Very easy drinking. The ultimate session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 14:39:30 | More by stumac
Photo of prototypic


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 wheelinshirt


4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

german style shoulderless half liter bottle, purchased from Abe's in Bethlehem for $2.50 (50% off!) and poured into a dimple mug after allowing it to warm up from fridge temp.

Just as the label states, this one pours a nice ruby color with a modest, single finger sized off white head that sports moderate retention but no lacing.

Smell is faint, light chocolate notes from the dark malts, no noticeable hop or alcohol aromas (obviously). A bit weak, but understandably so.

Taste is also subtle makes itself known more effectively. Dry chocolate and a very slight fruitiness, from the ale yeast presumably.

Mouthfeel is light with low carbonation. Very appropriate.

Rating a beer like this is difficult. For me, this type of beer is much more out of my norm than most 'extreme' beers. It is a bit weak and watery, but that is exactly the point. It never feels watered down, just intentionally light, which is basically what a mild is. Very good and I would love to try some more english milds if it weren't for the price (this one was originally $5) and limited availabity stateside.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 15:57:33 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of tmoneyba


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with an average frothy off-white head that diminished slowly with fair lacing.

Good malty aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation.

Light bitter sweet flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderate duration.

Good drinkable beer and very good for style.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 17:16:17 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of Proteus93


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 PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Black, opaque, with just a hint of light coming through on the edges. Small, light brownish 1/8 - 1/4 inch head forms and dies quickly, though there is a persistent collar. Minimal lacing as well.

S - This is got an amazing smell to it. Big mix of both chocolate and vanilla along with pronounced buttery aroma. Roasted and smokey aromas make a solid appearance as well.

T - There's a mild sweetness early on, but this beer is suprisingly smokey. The majority of the taste tastes something like a fireplace (in a good way) with a big mineral/stone component, furthering the "fireplace" taste.

M - Soft carbonation, with a medium body that thins out during the sip to a nearly watery consistency.

D - As expected, this would be a great session beer. Very easy to drink with a mild flavor, even if the smokiness may be someone unapproachable. A memorable first experience with this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 04:44:25 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of Beerzebub


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a tulip shaped pint glass at 58 F/ 14 C.

Deep reddish dark brown color, big frothy beige head that diminishes fairly quickly, substantial lace.

Smells like dark bready malt, with some toffee and chocolate.

Tastes like clean good grain, with some roastiness. Dry. A touch of acidity. Nice clean expression of the malt. Quite enjoyable and refreshing.

Fine carbonation, soft smooth texture. Exceedingly drinkable and refreshing, I enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 07:31:21 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of brdc


4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Small capped bottle, poured into a pint. Thanks grandq for this one.

Dark, near black with some bright reddish hue, a fine and steady light tan carbonation.
Aroma of toasted malts, some cocoa. Nice but not powerful, as expected.
Little carbonation, smooth, very easy to drink and amazingly flavorful for the ABV. Toasted, sweetish malts, milky, chocolate notes, with a dry finish. A fantastic session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 01:38:02 | More by brdc
Photo of notafood


3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black to dark red from top to bottom in the pint glass. Buff colored 1 inch head that dissolved to a steady quarter inch of foam.

Smells like the horse feed at a farm I once lived on. Oats, molasses, malts. Very grainy. It even smells kind of dusty like a barn.
Rich chocolate and molasses. Excellent roasted malt flavor.

Very light and drinkable for a such a dark beer. Not much carbonation, very easy to drink.

Excellent session beer. Not very filling, easily quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 19:22:59 | More by notafood
Photo of BedetheVenerable


4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown bottle; a simple, very "British" label with a black cat slinking along.

Appearance: This beer pours a very deep brown, almost black color, with hints of ruby. It's capped by a nice (though fairly thin) dense, creamy, light-tan head, which soon recedes to a thin ring. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Mmmmm. Molasses, dark chocolate, and rich caramel notes. There's something in there reminiscent of old-fashioned chocolate-cream soda as well.

Taste: Rich, dark roastiness dominates the flavor profile. Dark roasted malt leads with a mild bitterness; in the background are bittersweet notes of chocolate soda, just the slightest hint of roasted coffee, a mild peat-like smokiness, and a little sharp minerality (maybe from the brewing water?) Hops are present, but minimal.

Mouthfeel: There's a decent malt presence, and fairly bold flavor, yet the mouthfeel is quite light leading to...

Drinkability: Immense drinkability. This is the perfect session beer for dark beer drinkers. It's light-bodied, full of flavor, and at a mere 3.4% alcohol, you could drink this all night long.

Conclusion: Bottom line: THE session beer for beer drinkers who prefer a dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 04:15:54 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of SickBrew


4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Biggs Beer Wine & Tobacco in Vancouver WA in a 500ml bottle. This brew, what I would call the English version of a Schwarzbier. It pours a dark mahogany to almost black with a small tanish head. Aroma is pleasant with roasted malts, some campfire smoke a bit of caramel and even some raisin like fruitiness. Flavor is complex, just like the aroma but it has that signature black beer taste with the roasty, malty, smokey thing going on - me likes. Mouthfeel is medium to light with fair carbonation. For anyone who hasn't tried the black beer style yet give this one a try! You will like it.


Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 21:32:56 | More by SickBrew
Photo of vancurly


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

Dark ruby they say ? More like a dark chocolate with orange edges. Head pours an uneven, lunar landscape of beiges & tans. Interesting start.

Aromas of black olive, chocolate, open wood fire & char.

Roasted barley, burnt hints, fairly light in flavour all up. Dry body, low bitterness.

Quite innocuous really. A good beer to accompany a char-grilled steak.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 02:02:56 | More by vancurly
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Big thanks to my boy Sid for hooking me up with this one!

Pours a slightly opaque dark reddish brown, quite dark for being such low ABV, medium sized tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, some big bubbles float around, few lace spots. Smell is oats, grainy, some bread, light chocolate roast, caramel, quite nice aroma, touch of fruitiness, but dominated by the grains. Taste is neat, caramel, bread, chocolate, light bit of licorice, oats, some raisiny fruit, very nice dry finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very tasty and drinkable. Thanks Sid!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 04:05:12 | More by Viggo
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 23:07:38 | More by wl0307
Photo of albern


3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 19:16:45 | More by albern
Photo of Herrbrokt


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pint bottle no fresh by date??

pours deep brown black. Light brown head bubbles away after a minute.

smells of a musky burnt sweets in a very good way.

taste of molasses right off then in comes a smokey musk mildly dried out at the end mixing both flavors with a nice earthy feel. wow. I'm kinda excited. a little flat . no big bangs or anything. but I'm not sure it's needed with this beer. big fan.

Nice and smooth texture not carbonated not real sticky just relaxed.

very mellow beer. turned me on. it's like the younger brother of some beers that beat my tastebuds silly. mild but no lack of flavor

would drink again happily

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 01:10:21 | More by Herrbrokt
Photo of Bitterbill


4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this in a trade with getkrunkhoe. Thanks Carlos!

This pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a very small head of foam that leaves the scene almost immediately. Just a ring around.. the glass left but it does have a little lacing.

The smell is pretty darned nice! I get some dark chocolate, some fruit, some caramel, and some roasted malt.

The taste is very nice as well! Good dark chocolate with some caramel brings a sort of ying yang with the sweetness/bitterness and there's some good dark fruity flavours with a touch of plum and some toffee. The more I sip, the more I notice the chocolate and that's making this son of a gun very tasty and very drinkable. Hell, 3.4%abv....I could drink quite a few of these, for sure.

It's light bodied but not as light as I thought it would be. Carbonation is close to medium, and it finishes on a slightly sweetish note.

This is my first real Mild Ale and I tell you what. I am now a fan! Great style and I envy the peeps in the UK for having a lot of them to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 23:05:36 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2008 01:15:24 | More by mikesgroove
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 00:01:53 | More by Halcyondays
Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
86 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.