1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,116 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,116
Reviews: 589
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.77%
Wants: 24
Gots: 67 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: stcules on 05-24-2002)
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,116 | Reviews: 589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aquatonex
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monty Python beer? I wasn't expecting much but I figured I HAD to try it since they burned some witches.

Pours medium rusty amber color, looks rather old to start. Very large bubbles in the head, a couple of fingers at least. Aromas include some bitter fruits, hops, and alcohol. Taste follows with some bitter fruitiness, moderate hoppiness, and a little weak in foundation. All in all, it's drinkable, probably a decent session beer. Nothing special.

Photo of cracgor
4.45/5  rDev +34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color. White creamy head. Head sticks readily to the glass and has great retention. Not a lot of visible carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Bitter/hop smell as well as the nutty butter aroma of an english pale ale. Smell is strong as I don't have to hold my nose near the glass to smell this beer.

Taste: very fruity and a strong nutty/butter flavor. Tastes like I expect an English Pale Ale to taste. Hop bitterness is an opening flavor, very sweet hops. I also detect some acetylaldehyde and alcohol flavors as it develops across my mouth. This beer is complex with many flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Drinkability: This is the style of beer I find myself drinking most often these days. It is a favorite style of mine. This beer in particular is easy to drink and interesting to the palate. This beer is more than a curiosity for those only interested in the label or those that would pass it up like a cartoon beer.

Photo of mgdeth
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Nice pale amber color, good head with okay rention. Some lace.

Smell - There is not a hack of lot of smell to speak of at first. A grainy, malty aroma creeps up as the beer warms.

Taste - I would describe the flavor as "earthy." It has a somewhat tangy aftertaste that follows an earthy hop twang. I detect some strange flavors that I cannot really describe - maybe acetone, or something like like that (but they are very subtle). Not good, but not nasty. At least it has a strong dose of flavor.

Mouthfeel - Body is good. Medium low carbonation.

Drinkability - Not really that smooth, but all right for a pale ale. The flavor does not help.

Comments - Looks good, feels good, everything else is pretty suspect. I'm concerned that it might not be very fresh. Sadly, this beer makes me think "gimmick." The beer has some good qualities, but ultimately does not cut it.

Photo of brentk56
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice clear light amber body with a fluffy head that lasts quite some time and leaves a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass

Smell: A fair amount going on - primarily grassy and herbacious with an undertone of caramel malt and a hint of diacetyl

Taste: This ale packs a fairly aggressive assault on the taste buds - starts out fairly bland, but that is followed quickly by a bitter hoppy punch that tastes of sour apples; dries out into the finish and is slightly phenolic but there is a touch of sweetness on the tip of the tongue that joins the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a bit slick and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Perhaps it is the "burning witches" but this one just doesn't come together well for me; the flavors are schizophrenic and while I prefer an ale that is full of flavor, I just can't see returning to this one anytime soon

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
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 Chadbrew
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

OK... I had to try it based on the fact that it was tempered over burning witches and I love burning witches.
Nice two fingers of fluffy white head in the glass on top of a darker honey colored beer - very clear. Nice lace follows the beer all the way to the bottom of the glass.
Smells very sweet and malty.
Tastes surprisingly bitter compared to the aroma, the sweetness is definitely there though.
Mouthfeel is medium, maybe leaning towards the thinner side.
Overall drinkability was very good I think. I thought it was pretty smooth and the bitter-sweet aftertaste kept me reaching for the pint glass.

Photo of KoG
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice deep yellow color with a hint of orange adorned with a frothy white head and good lacing.

Smell is fruity and a bit musty. Sweet malt comes through a bit. Grape aroma finishes... huh?

Taste is fruity and a bit sour. There's that grape again, a bit like champagne but very tasty indeed and goes down smooth.

It is drinkable, but the sour flavor got to me by the end of the bottle.

Photo of StevenZubler
3.75/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The movie was excellent. Left this in the freezer too long and it got slushy, messed up the pour. Looks good it’s dark orange with a good head. Weak smell, tastes good, malt and hop flavors are evident, some more complex flavors are tangible. I like 500ml bottles. I recommend this brew for those who enjoy both English Ales and Monty Python movies.

Photo of brewQ
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The hefty 1/2 liter bottle with the Gimmicky label is neat.

The substantial whipped head was apparent when the bottle was opened and a wave of foam gushed out. In the glass, the light bronze brew was clean and unclouded. Left an intermittent trail of lace.

Aroma was underwhelming- just a hint of hops.
Taste was lightly metallic to earthy.
Honestly, beyond the package, this is a dressed up Bass Ale.
Just alright.

Photo of Reidrover
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok ,ok broke down and bought this at a local store.
The beer is a hazy,hazelnut brown in colour, with a largish tight ,bubbly head, leaves good lace down the glass.
Very typical English pale ale aroma, the malts in particular are strong in the nose,clean.
Taste is of long lasting toffee flavour malts and some bitterness with a short bitter aftertaste.
A fairly thin mouthfeel.
This was ok, but really not something i would look forward to tasting again.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Silly Grail & foot signature Monty Python label.

Appears murky orange amber hazy cloudy like brewed tea under a beige white sudsy sticky head that dissapates to a coating. Latticed lace left.

Aromas of "elderberries" wild berries & sweet white wine sugary notes.

First swigs: "Bitter" lemon & tea twinge. A bit bland. Mild cherry and red grape. Caramel malt presence. Dry ephemeral aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is tight light carbonation almost flat. Becomes tacky.

Big 1 pt 0.9 fl oz is a bit much yet the point is made.

Last swigs: Not familiar with Black Sheep, but a bit too bitter for my tastes. Ale? Hmmm...

Photo of Tballz420
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a bottle with several concepts from the movie. On the pour, this brew is a clear, darker-golden color, with lots of steadily rising little bubbles. Big frothy cream head, leaves good amounts of lace. Lightly malty with bitter hops on the nose. There is some degree of malt, which is dominated by a blast of bitter hops. Thin mouth. My first batch of homebrew was somewhat similar to this, good hop levels, much too weak on the malt. Sure the english style shouldnt be overbearing, but this isnt mixed well enough to give a nice score.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.33/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, I admit I tried this the first time because of the Monty Python name on the label. But I am glad to see the beer is as good as the program/movies are funny. This was the 3rd time I've had this beer and was surprised to find I hadn't reveiwed it yet. I must have been overcome by grief over the loss of my parrot (a Norwegian Blue). Pours an absolutely gorgeous orange/amber color with a huge wheat-like head. Big, fluffy, off-white head. (HUGE tracts of head - sorry). Very good retention and great lacing from rim to bottom. Smell is like few other pale ales I've ever had. In fact, my mouth started watering the instant I smelled it, the anticipation was so great. Malt, enough fruit to make a shrubber's heart happy (citrus, apple, grape), spice, oak and vanilla and a nice sweetness over it all.Taste is malt, hops, oak and vanilla. Fruit and spice are present as well but less pronounced than in the nose. Personally, I blame the Knights Who Say "Ni" for that. Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied with just the right amount of hop bittering. Could be a bit smoother but quite enjoyable. A fairly dry finish with a pleasant hop/malt aftertaste. Don't let the Black Knight stop you from trying this brew. Good flavor and balance make this a good beer anytime.

Photo of acrawf6
4.13/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great label. reason why i bought it. But at 4.99 for 16.9 oz???Pours out a nice golden yellow. Smelled a little floral, but nothing stuck out. taste was hoppy and bitter, but by no means that bitter... very drinkable if you're looking for multiple pints. Oh, and the head was foamy white that stuck on the glass like there's no tomorrow. Very smooth beer, mouthfeel was smooth and not overbearing, just a good average mouthfeel. I would say this beer is a good ale overall and very enjoyable, but for the price i paid, just a novelty purchase... great bottle.

Photo of Vancer
2.68/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Whoa, started off good, nice clear amber / orange with a 1” Tan head. Could smell the citrus / orange hops, really ready for a quaff. And the first 3 or 4 drinks were pretty good, left a dry, hoppy, and slightly earthy taste. But as the pint progressed the flavors really diminished and by the end the flavors were plain and worn out - kinda like old hoppy tea. Disappointed in this ale, it’s not bad but I won’t go out of my way for another. Seems to be a novelty type ale.

Photo of kosmoraios
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a foggy amber color into my Duvel tulip glass with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Smells: sourdough bread, grapes, bananna, with a hint of phenolic esters. No hops noticable at all. Taste is much of the same with more complexity appearing as the ale warms. An overtone of white grapes and green apple. A bit of an oily, buttery aftertaste. Mouthfeel is decently peppery, with a bit of oily smoothness. It is quite drinkable, especially as a session ale.

Photo of BDTyre
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite as good as their standard ale, but very enjoyable none-the-less. Dark amber colour with a foamy ever-so-slight off white head that settles reasonably quickly but clings considerably. Smell is dominated by a grassiness with a very vauge hint of skunk reminiscent of a lager.

Taste is similar, but with a good amount of malts. A typical English ale; very enjoyable. Carbonation is good. A nice refreshing ale.

Photo of Beersignal
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew which was "tempered over burning witches" shows all the signs of being a great session ale.

Poured crystal clear amber with caramel highlights underneath an abundant and creamy white cap of foam that clung properly and stayed well enough.

A solid balance of malt and hops up front are followed by notes of steeping grain and caramel in the middle. Dryish and alkaline noble hops in the finish round out a typically english ale aroma profile.

The flavours are right in line with the aromas. Malty and hoppy with a firm mouthfeel up front. Notes of caramel and dyacetyl manifest themselves in the middle and eventually make way for a rather long and drying bitter hop presence.

Nicely done session ale with nearly flawless balance that leans slightly on the bitter side.

Photo of JLShepard
2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: A faintly sweet smelling beer, with an underlying spicy character. Easily overwhelmed by surrounding aromas.

Appearance: A translucent golden tan beer, poured with almost no head, yields a fine looking beer.

Taste: A clean malt start that smoothly transitions to a hoppy middle and finish that lingers in the back of the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth, with a hint of crispness around the edge.

Overall, a good beer, though I liked it more for the Monty Python aspect. The bottle and label added some additional character that made the drinking experience more pleasant.

Photo of Hunter
3.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gave it a bit of time to warm from the fridge before opening.

Pours out a frothy white head with a little bit of a cascading effect. Long lasting. Some lacing. Head sits atop a light coppery ale with moderate carbonation.

Aroma is one of hops and smoky malt. Not entirely unlike a Fuller's ESB.

Flavor is very clean and honest. Just your basic English ale with no bells and whistles. Thin mouthfeel and a sharp clean finish that leaves just a hint of malt on the tongue.

This would be a fine staple beer for any larder.

- Roger the Shrubber

Photo of foXXtail
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being a devout sayer of Ni!, how could I turn down a Monty Python beer? I couldn’t. Brewed for the 30th anniversary of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this beer claims to be “Tempered over burning witches” and supported some artwork from the original Gilliam poster for the movie.

That gimmick aside, the beer is quite drinkable. Nothing exciting, but certainly worth buying a bottle to keep on your shelf if you're a fan.

The beer itself is a pleasant orange amber hue with a thin lacey head. There is a very slight cloudiness here. The aroma is delicate: very sweet and malty with a slight orange smell.

The taste has a strong hoppy front expected of the style, but certainly nothing that will knock your socks off. The mid taste is malty sweet with plenty of plum fruit tones. A heavy hop brings up the rear. The phases are very distinct, and each hits you completely separately.

Photo of MarcGetty
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a huge fan of ales (IPA or otherwise) but Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale was definitely smooth and drinkable.

Nothing bad about it, Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale was a non-bitter ale that is definitely worth a try.

Good head, a non-strong ale smell to it, and not very bitter.

Even if you don't like ales, this is worth trying.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.38/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label is awesome, Monty Python artwook is the best and it semms to go so well with the beer inside.

This Pale Ale pours an appealing orangey hue with a big chunky head and tonnes of glass covering lace. Aromatic bready malts and lots of floral and spicey hops make up the nose.

The taste is everything a good English ale should be; rich and full flavored, very well balanced, with a good English yeast taste. The firm bready malts are acuntuated by a subtle toastiness. This beer is hoppier than I expected, with richer hop character than the Black Sheep Ale. The hops are cedary and spicey and mix well with some great fruity esters. The mouthfeel is testured and creamy. It would be better if it was bottle conditioned.

Overall this ale was excellent. I was quite surprised.

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 BuckeyeNation
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dusty orange-gold with an abundance of fine, suspended bits. The pastel orange tinted, cream colored head is sticky enough to lay down a better than average amount of lace in chunky, concentric rings. A good look.

The nose, unfortunately, isn't so good. It smells like lightly musty grain with a subtle whiff of English hops. I'm not sure that I want it to be more aromatic because what's appreciated isn't all that wonderful.

Things start out promisingly enough on the palate with a fruity, spicy hoppiness. Because of undermalting, the flavor deteriorates quickly to become harsh and mineral-like with a ragged, unsupported bitterness. The beer doesn't feel flat in terms of carbonation, but flat in terms of flavor. There's an echo of reasonable hop flavor on the finish, but it's too little, too late.

While not exactly a joke beer without any redeeming qualities, Black Sheep Brewery could have made a better effort to put quality inside this classically (for fans) named and labeled bottle. The other Black Sheep offerings that I've had have been solid, but Holy Grail Ale is anything but. Buy it for the bottle, not the beer.

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.