Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale - Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Not Rated.
Monty Python's Holy Grail AleMonty Python's Holy Grail Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,159 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,159
Reviews: 599
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 30
Gots: 102 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stcules on 05-24-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,159 | Reviews: 599
Reviews by jayrod20:
Photo of jayrod20
2.8/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beautiful amber-copper color, clean. No evident carbonation. One inch of a beautiful and compact beige head, sticky.
The smell is quite light. Light malt, and very light caramel, maybe sugar. English style.
The taste is light too, very drinkable, with a good bitterness, decent hop. Maybe even bitter orange.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking an English ale on inpedendance day how ironic,anways pours a golden color with a little orange tint with a pretty nice frothy head that settles pretty well into a soapy-like consistancy.Aroma is a little herbal with some toffee notes,taste is pretty mild and restrained but good with some light brown sugar and mint intertwining nicely.A respectable ale very easy to drink and pretty good even in the heat,I passed this beer up alot thinking it was just a gimmick but I actually liked it.

Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a clear orange in color with some very light brownish tints around the edges. The big, fluffy head looked like a thick cloud and showed good retention.

Smell – The big, deep grain comes out nicely. The hops are very bitter and strong, kind of like an Earl Gray tea or something. The distinctive notes play well together.

Taste – The toasty, biscuity malts are terrific. They mate very well with the English-style bittering hops. The sweetness is very laid back and hardly noticeable. I can pick up something that tastes like unsweetened orange juice.

Mouthfeel – This one is a solid medium-bodied with some big bitterness that ramps up at the finish.

Drinkability – The label is kind of cheesy, but it’s what’s inside that counts. This is a terrific session ale.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a mug at a local pizza joint, this beer was a golden color with a small white head. Both the aroma and taste were subtle, to say the least. Very faint caramel, sweet fruit, biscuit. Nothing really stood out. Still, it was easy to drink, and one could probably down a few of these in a sitting.

Photo of Todd
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1pt 9fl oz custom brown bottle. Yellow label with some Monty Python graphics. "Tempered over burning witches" says the label.

Appearance: Hazy medium amber with a massive, thick, white, rocky, sticky foam head. Nice head retention on this one.

Smell: Slightly apple-like in the nose. Fruity, floral hop character with faint notes of citrus rind, background must and strong herbal characters.

Taste: Sharp bite on the palate, with raw apple-like flavours -- more like a Granny Smith apple, complete with apple skin, apple must and slight sour/tart character. Medium-bodied, with just enough smoothness. Herbal flavours quell, then mix in with a very light sugary sweetness and flavours of flowers. The faintest touch of diacetyl is present. Oily hop residue is left on the palate, along with a leafy hop feel that blends in with the apple skin. Tannins and more apple skin flavours and feel on the palate follow and fade gently into the dry finish.

Notes: An interesting ale, however, remove the "Monty Python" branding and you're left with simply a typical ale from the UK. Apple flavours and tannins might be a bit too much for some.

Regardless, a nice little treat from our beer brothers in the UK, and well worth seeking out for at least one try -- especially if you are a fan of traditional UK ales and/or Monty Python.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer in a Cleveland hotel bar, it was this first time I had ever seen it on draft, so I decided to get it. The beer is as one would expect, golden in color with a head that easily dissipates. The smell is all malt with no hint of hops. The first sip is sweet with slight carbonation that never dominates. Overall this beer is average, for malt lovers theirs plenty of malt but nothing for the hop lover in me. This is a traditional English pale good but not great

Photo of psycherex
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured into a glass it is a golden amber with a foamy head.
S-Fruity citrus smell with a slight hoppy scent
T-Smooth but not fruity and no bite in the after taste.
M-Light almost airy. Smooth and tastey.
D-Drinks well, not heavy. Could drink several at one sitting.

Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz brown bottle with some humor on the label. No freshness date. Awesome head, looks like the top of a meringue pie and sticks all over the place. Mildly hazed pale copper colour.

Grassy herbal hop aroma with some malt sweetness in the back that is breadier than anything else. Faint diacetyl and fruitiness in the nose also.

Impeccably smooth with a slick and flowing mouth feel. Big tea-like hop character is herbal and lemony with a ghost like tobacco flavour. Bitterness is modest but stern. Touch of musty diacetyl and some vague fruitiness also. Grain with a bread crust like flavour, malt sweetness provides a good base yet is seldom seen. Finishes slightly with lingering aleish flavours.

Ohh yeah, this is a beauty. I love English ales like this, pack with flavour and complexities yet very quaffable at the same time. This was worth every penny of the $3.50 I spent.

Photo of merlin48
3.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber orange body with an attractive, twofinger, ivory head. Considerable lace effect, as sheets fade into patches down the glass.

Aroma fails to impress. Herbal and floral hops are up front, but end up a bit astringent.

Mouthfeel is dry, light bodied, and has a mild white pepper bite.

Herbal hops lead the flavor profile. What seems to be a vague, pale malt note is underwhelming. At room temperature, the taste is somewhat redeemed by the appearance of a McIntosh apple note. This ale is crisp and refreshing, for all its faults. The finish is clean, with a dry, apple cider aftertaste.

Nice drinkability if it weren't so expensive. I can't help but enjoy an English ale that evokes the Monty Python Show theme song running through my brain.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ouncer, without freshness dating. Pours typical darkish honey amber, off white head, and moderate lacing. Minor nose of some fruity hops and malt. This is a middle of the road Brit ale, decent balance, malt/hops, nothing special IMHO, but still a pleasant, drinkable sessioner. Worth a try.

Photo of Weizenmensch
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not quite the Holy Grail of Ales, but fun and very Yorkshire, by gum.

App: Bottle looks great, ale is nice and bronze with a playful, fluffy cappuccino head. Constant effervescence but small bubbles mean more flavour in your nostrils but less fizziness. A typical bottle-conditioned English Bitter, perhaps, but not your fruity, sweet, delicious Landlordesque Pale Ale.

Smell: Tea, whisky, pineapple, coffee, and maybe a touch of lizard. Robust, bitter and well-rounded.

Taste: Well, it's got a few things in common with a Scotch Ale - I'm not too fond of the style, but I'm a big fan of this brewery. Did you know this ale is a blend of Black Sheep Ale and Yorkshire Square Ale, a darker ale of theirs? So they've gone cheapo to make this concoction, but it's still not too bad. You can kind of tell that it's a blend though, because of the mishmash of flavours. Anyway, this is a solid, drinkable ale, which smells good, like it's made with all sorts of things beer is not supposed to be made with (like tea) and it's more than the bland crap you usually get in a smoky Yorkshire pub (think John Smith, Bass). Taste is OK but not as good as Black Sheep Ale. Awesome brewery though, and a great story behind it. Definitely worth visiting the brewery!

Mouthfeel: Bit rough and watery. Not this style's strong point.

Drinkability: What's that proverb about some coloured sky at night, shepherd's delight? Well you and all other drinkers of this beer can talk about such things as the weather, your flock of sheep, the young ladies in the village and the details of the local cattle market, over a pint of this fine local ale in your smoky pub. Enjoy your pipe and overgrown sideburns/chops. Remember, this is a LOCAL ale for LOCAL people, there's nothing for you here!

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: orange-brown in color, minimal head, moderate carbonation, clear

Smell: toasted malt and grass

Taste: toasted malt, tea, honey, and biscuit

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, light bodied

Drinkability: Good for the style but not great overall. This has a very smooth and nice biscuit taste. I could have two max.

Photo of Mora2000
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange with a small white head. The aroma is very malty with some earthy hops. The flavor is traditional English malt and hops, with some fruitiness. Thin-medium carbonation and a thinner mouthfeel.

I had tried this beer once before and not liked it, but I found it pretty good the second time. Certainly not a great beer, but not a bad beer either.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from a six pack bought in Buffalo. My wife and I first started dating after she asked me over to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so there was no way I wasn't buying this - gimmick or not!

Poured into a nonic (it's only a model...) Light amber, clear, a decent-sized head that recedes into a fine white ring.

The nose isn't fresh coconut carried in by an African swallow, nor is it freshly bashed dirt from a repressed peasant, but rather that of your standard, textbook English pale ale: malty, a bit of fruit, English hops, a bit of funk.

This brew is less like King Arthur and more like "Brave" Sir Robin - rather than being bold, impetuous and a little insane, this brew is clearly a bit too scared to accomplish much. Perhaps this is a bit unfair. Yes, scratch that: this beer is more like Arthur's servant Patsy: trustworthy, inoffensive, but wholly unremarkable. In fact, I'm sure after a few day's I'll probably forget what this beer tastes like, so it's certainly best if I write it down now: It tastes like a malty sweet pale ale with a touch of hops to the finish and a slight metallic twang - no more, no less.

Look, the beer has Monty Python on the front, so you know you're going to buy it. It says it's "tempered over burning witches", so you know you're going to buy it. But when Monty Python burst on to the British comedy scene in the 1960s, they were viewed as zany, wacky and a little insane, but certainly memorable. And there's nothing zany, wacky, insane or memorable about this brew; clearly, it was designed to appeal to the greatest number of people who will buy it precisely because it has Monty Python on the label.

Like me.

Eh, to hell with it, just drink it and enjoy it. It's not bad.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I burst my pimples at you and call your door-opening request a silly thing.

And now for something completely different...

I was in the library perusing a Hugh Wallpole novel when I became a bit peckish for some fermented grain. Dispensing with any pleasantries whatsoever,and curtailing my Hugh Wallpole-ing activities, my good friend (Mr. A.E. Gumby) and I made haste to the nearest purveyor of said grain to try some Monty Python's Holy Ail.

Presentation: 1pt 9fl oz amber bottle with elderberries (of which your father smelt) cast in the glass bottle itself. Printed on the bottle itself are the letters: "BBE Apr 03". Purchased strictly on the fact that this beer has "Monty Python" on it.

Appearance: Looking somewhat a 1969 Coc Du Rod Lever (which itself boasts a fine bouqet of Aborigenese armpit), this quaffable entity poured a smashing copper color with a huge (despite a non-aggressive pour) frothy head that laced the glass quite nicely.

Aroma: Clearly lacking any aroma of burned witches (over which this beer was supposedly tempered), I nonetheless could perceive an "earthy" hoppy aroma (albeit mixed with a whiff of fruit bat).

Taste: Not a bad beer, but one that I wouldn't purchase again. Flavor was definitely "earthy" and also had a rather metallic aftertaste to it, combined with the hoppy flavor. I should think that this beer would go well with some Japanese sage darby or Norweiegan beaver cheese (though one would be advised not to try these cheeses with a dog turd and tonic).

Mouthfeel: Better than average. Not as good as rat tart or spam, spam, spam, spam, eggs, bacon, sausage, and spam (bloody Vikings) or even a raw, unboned jugfish.

Drinkability: The earthy flavor and metallic aftertaste really rubbed me the wrong way. This was a one-time purchase.

All Monty Python references aside, not much to this beer other than the label.

Photo of bsp77
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Light clear copper with nice initial head, but quickly subsided to a very thin layer.

Smell: Bready malts and strong fruitiness.

Taste: Bready malts, some tea-like character and very light bitterness.

Feel: Despite the flat look, it seems overly fizzy. Also, a little thin.

Drinkability: Easy to drink EPA, but nothing out of the ordinary. Would love to have this at a pub in England, instead of bottled at home.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2013. Purchased some time back from a supermarket. Tempered over burning witches! Who doesn't love Monty Python?

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A bright orange-amber hue with faint haze and good carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Nice lacing. It looks great! Aroma of fruity ale yeast, mild caramel malt, grass/hay, stewed hops, a whiff of solvent and faint cardboard. Not much going on.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of fruity ale yeast, caramel, grass/hay, stewed hops and harsh cardboard. Well-attenuated, followed by a restrained, leafy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed leaves, acrid cardboard and fruity yeast esters.

OK though not mind-boggling. It looks lovely, but this is its best aspect. The aroma and flavour are balanced but rather dull; stewed hops and ale yeast notes abound. Body is alright. Not a bad brew but nothing special - its fame begins and ends with Monty Python. Goes down easily enough but no need to seek it out.

Photo of Thrasher
4.3/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the late '70s, Python member Terry Jones funded a brewery to make its own porter, in an attempt to re-launch a very important style which, at that point, had completely disappeared from the UK. It didn't catch on, but was a truly admirable effort and perhaps gives indication of Monty Python's sentiments toward beer, despite their irreverence towards everything else. Indeed, this is no novelty swill, but a serious and valid brew. Hazy orange-gold with superb head, tempting aroma. Wonderful malt base with grassy, herbal hops, very little bitterness, with the unusual yeast providing a surprising amount of complexity. Perfect for washing down any meal, especially minstrels, mothers, members of the British Navy, spam, and of course ram's bladder cup. A solid pale ale, as good as any other British offering, save perhaps a freshly squeezed Mallard Fizz. Those who cannot see past the label are missing out on a quality brew that Mr Creosote would be happy to drink by the crateful. Just watch out for the wafer thin mint.

(Yes I'm a dork)

Photo of niknar
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation of this beer is worth mentioning, as it is bottled and named after the classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The bottle alone is worth the purchase of this beer if you are a fan!

Pours out a nice copper-orange with a hazy body and a smallish but high quality off-white head. Head settles slowly over the next several minutes to a thin collar. Leaves some average lacing on the sides of the glass. Smell has some distinct notes of banana as well as yeast. Taste is malty but with a high degree of hop bitterness providing balance. The flavors seem to layer, with the hops taking the forefront and the maltiness coming in underneath and slightly understated. The flavor is further complicated by carbonation that makes a bold statement of its presence. However, the carbonation is not such that it takes hold of the beer and makes it seem thin and fizzy. Very nice. The mouthfeel is just a hair thinner than I would have prefered due to the carbonation, but not to the point that I would call it truly overcarbonated. I think it helps create a balance that makes this a unique offering. Overall, a fairly drinkable beer. Not something that is going to become a staple of my refridgerator, but a solid offering that is true to the style, but unique and different all at the same time. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of TKEbeerman
2.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a golden honey yellow with a rather unimpressive head that subsided almost immediately.

The best part about this beer is it's aroma. As soon as I cracked it open, the fresh, sweet smell of malt and hops hit my nose.

The taste is certainly not impressive at all. It really taste like it's one step above a Macro. Not much stands out, IE the hops are weak and the malt is very plain.

Overall, the mouth feel is smooth and lightly carbonated, but because this brew leaves no challenge for the pallet at all, and stirs no excitement for me to buy it again, I had to give it a 2.5 for drinkability.

Photo of Dudeletter
4.27/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was about with friends the other night, having a good meal with them at the local British pub, when I came across perhaps the only thing more fundamentally British than a pub: a Monty Python beer. Let me share something with you my dear readers: When it comes to Monty Python, I’m a bit of a fanatic. I can quote all of the movies by heart, own the TV series box-set, seen the musical, and have scared away more than one prospective girlfriend upon their discovery of my ownership of a replica of the Holy Hand-grenade of Antioch. So when I saw that the restaurant offered Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale as they called it, I could not order a bottle fast enough.

As you can tell, the bottle itself is clearly marketed to Monty Python fanboys such as myself. Boasting of being tempered over burning witches is all fine and good, but finer still was the beer itself. The beer boasts a rich amber color and a fruity, yet bready smell. Meanwhile, the taste, much like the smell, slightly fruity, you can definitely taste the malt, and has a superb aftertaste to boot. As a whole, it seems being roasted over burning witches does wonders, because Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale is a very solid English Pale Ale, and a rather tasty one at that

Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale is brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, a British brewery located in North Yorkshire, and luckily for all of you eager to try it, yet not so eager to go out of your way to find a bottle of it, they sell it here on their website. At least in my opinion, it’s worth a try not just for the fan appeal, as it holds its own as a good brew, so if it sounds like something you’d want to try, I recommend it. You may smell of elderberries afterwards though.

Photo of ADR
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy light amber color, pours with a big head -- well over an inch but easily controllable in the glass. Laces are intricate at the top, thin down below. Pretty hoppy aroma for a UK entry, prickly, slightly orangish with burnt rind tones. Hops assert well in the taste as well, though there is plenty of rolling toffee maltiness, some cashew nutiness, enhanced by an easy going smooth mouthfeel. But you remain aware of a counteracting bitterness early and its turned up by the time the aftertaste rolls around. By no means a hop grenade like many North American Pale Ales, just a touch more than I expected. Easy-going and easy-to-drink beer with a little more bite.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber hue nice sized cream colored head leaves nicely spread fine formed lacing. Aroma: Sweet grains with a touch of fruity malt characteristics some hop nose is also present painfully English balance going on. Taste: Rolling malt sweetness with a weird twang of tartness seems a bit off almost acidic there's a nutty edge here as well not too uniform flavor finishes with a blunt bittereness. Mouthfeel: Thin bodied watery texture light carbonation. Drinkability: Next time I will pass on this novelty beer, it was a decent English ale but somewhat mediocre for me I was hoping for something great from an ale based off of one of my favorite movies.

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe it was just me, but it had a funky sweet herbal taste, besides this it was quite nice, malty body, soggy hops and Ok bitterness, medium bodied and different, quite a cool name, but a bit gimicky and tacky.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a clear golden amber color with a strong carbonation and a thick rocky off-white head.

S-The aroma is a faint light toasted malt and a hint of green floral hops, but it is very clean overall

T- This beer has a nice faint toasted malt taste mixed with some fruitiness and a hint of burnt grains blending with the gentle hops bitterness. There is a slight earthiness to the finish.

M- Medium body with some fizz in the mouthfeel

D- For the alcohol content I don't really notice that much complexity of malt and hop flavors. The toasted malt is not a true flavor in this beer and it should come out a bit more. Interesting to try but I'm afraid it’s more of a gimmick.

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,159 ratings.