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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.

1,074 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 586
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 17.12%
Wants: 21
Gots: 60 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 586 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Let's se. the G and R are crossed off on the label to suggest that this is Monty Python's Holy Ail...well, that's not promising, is it? Let's drink away, anyway...
Clear, amber color, decent thick froth atop.

Aroma: nothin'...a light fruity, citrusy-ness, but so mild, that it's really nothing...didn't I say that?

Taste: ever-so lame...sorry, nothing to recommend here...in fact, it feels like a joke. Not much of an ale, certainly not the type that the knights of the round table would make a fuss over...the citric/sour qualities take over, and it's not a pleasant drink at all....if they make the effort to ink a deal with the Python boys, why not brew something worth drinking? this, however, is not,... worth one try, and then, regrets away, we move on...

feloniousmonk, Jul 19, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +12%
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.

oberon, Jul 04, 2004
Photo of usualpulp
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange color with a really nice thick creamy head.

The biggest smells apparent are malt, and a fruity floral like smell.

The taste of this beer is good, very balanced, smooth yet bitter, but not overly hoppy like many american pales are. Rich fruit and malt flavors are whats most noticable. Could have been just a tad hoppier to balance some of the sweetness in my opinion.

Overall a very smooth easy to drink beer, that isnt high in alcohol so it would make a nice beer to have a few of on a summer day.

usualpulp, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As I find "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" to be the funniest movie of all time, at least IMHO, I had to get this one. And it was pretty good.

It was a nice amber beer, without much head. Maybe I poured it too slowly. The aroma was of bitter, slightly fruity hops. Very nice.

The taste was of strong bittering hops, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It was a good balance. I am not sure if I truly qualify as a "hophead", but I do like my beers to have a bitter twang to them, and this one sure did.

I would have it again, without any problems. Good for sitting around and eating nachos.

connecticutpoet, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half a liter bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy medium copper color with two fingers of head. There is a bit of lacing left on the sides of the glass. The smell is fairly malty and sweet, but has some hops present. The taste also has that sweet malt flavor mixed with some hops, but it leaves something to be desired. Just a little bland and just plain average. The mouthfeel is fairly light and watery as well. The drinkability is pretty good, cause of the low alcohol content. Just your average pale ale.

SheepNutz, May 31, 2004
Photo of Guinness4me
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Since I bought this for the dry humor of the label (Tempered Over Burning Witches) I enjoyed it's dry mouthfeel and non-offensive taste.

The smell was tart and slightly spicy. The taste, too, was tart and simple. The mouthfeel hit all my taste buds and had a pleasant aftertaste.

I could definately drink more even thought the most spectacular part of this beer is the Monty Python tie-in. I'll drink again.

Guinness4me, May 30, 2004
Photo of Ilacquin
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange with a thick foamy head on top, head was of a rather thin consistency which reminded me a bit of soap suds. Aroma was mostly of malt, slightly sweet with just a hint of hops.

Taste was dominated by hops, herbal and slightly citrusy. I could not detect any further character beyond the hops, not a very well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel was rather thin, with a slight lingering aftertaste.

Not bad overall, but far from outstanding.

Ilacquin, May 11, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.33/5  rDev 0%
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.

merlin48, May 06, 2004
Photo of IronDjinn
2.38/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I found this in Saskatoon, and maybe it was simply the excitement of coming across this right before going to see the Pixies concert there that made this seem like a good find at the time. Or maybe it was the fact that I came across a beer I've yet to try that piqued my interest. Let's not forget the wonders of nostalgia either, which tempted me to try the 3 Stooges beer last year (one of the first that I reviewed on this site). Whatever it was, I put down good hard currency for this, an action that I have to live with.

Packaging is great, not only is the label clever ("Tempered over burning witches" is a nice touch), but I also really like the sturdy 500 ml brown bottle it comes in with the embossed hops around the base of the neck. A quick check of the best before date says I am right in the best before cusp, where it will soon become "after".

This pours out nice enough, a hazed marmalade hue with a big creamy head with some impressive retention. It eventually fades to a thin foamy cap, and leaves a wall of lacing in its wake. And then it all falls apart....

The nose is somewhat faint, sweet almost sugery malt with a backdrop of floral hops (Saaz?). For the flavour the malt is almost immediately over-run by astringent herbal hops which pretty much take the money and run. Strong herbal aftertaste, not a very appealing hop presence, perhaps this has passed its prime. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, no body to it whatsoever.

Won't be making the drive out again for any of this stuff, that's for sure. But all is not lost, the Pixies were amazing, and I now have a fine bottle for my own home brew. Always look on the bright side of life! (oops, wrong Monty Python film).

IronDjinn, May 01, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1 pint 0.9 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Despite not being a Monty Python fan, the label is amusing enough and shouted at me from the imports case.

Pours hazy, translucent copper. Stately cream-white head rises a full two inches and falls leaving scattered patches of thin lace on the glass.

The nose is a mildly sour, grassy bitterness -- very plain old lager-like. Digging deeper, and letting the brew warm up just a little bit, it smells less like a plain old lager (which is good, because this aint a lager), spicier (lemon-peppery) and saccharine sweet.

Taste opens with a thin, sour bitterness that takes a second or two to rise to prominence and a steady background of lemony sweetness. The middle is nearly vacant, if not for some puffs of dust kicked up by the initial bitter burst and sweet background. Aftertaste is dim bitterness, surrounded with some earthy crustiness (like a few burnt toast crumbs sprinkled on my palate, not overwhelming).

Middling carbonation. Thin mouthfeel; rolls off like water.

Not bad, not bad at all, but not as good as the label.

RootedFool, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of Afterburner
2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark gold. Huge foamy, rocky head. Looks a little thin for a pale ale.

Smell: Apples, pears, and the yeast bite that will be familiar to any homebrewer. Malt also present. Mild clove spiciness.

Taste: Initial taste is largely of apples. Not much transformation mid-palate. Finish is dry, bitter, and cracker-like.

Mouthfeel: Light, spritzy

Drinkability: You probably COULD drink a lot of these, if you were so inclined. But I'd be chasing after a better beer.

Afterburner, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alright, this isn't bad for a gimmick beer. It's gotta be better than the "Governator" beer. It pours a tarnished amber in color, with a thick head and ridiculously stubborn lace. The beer itself is pleasantly bitter. There's hints of citrus flavoring interlaced around the hops. The alcohol is kind of strong and I can detect hints of it on my tongue. This would be a dangerous beer for me if I am looking to get drunk.

MuddyFeet, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of DaveGood
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright, I bought this beer for the mere novelty idea than
for any other reason. That being said, it was a drinkable,
although very average beer. It poured out a medium amber
color with a thick white head that remained throughout the
duration. The very faint aroma that I could detect was pretty
much driven by a citris smell. The taste had a strong
apple presence to it and a fairly bitter finish. It was a
medium bodied beer that went down fairly smooth, although I
couldn't see myself drinking this beer on a regular basis.
Overall, I would have to say that this is an average English
Pale Ale. It's probably worth picking up more for the novelty
idea (if you are a Monty Python fan) then it is for the
actual beer.

DaveGood, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok, gimmicky, yada yada, whatever.

There's a big, cream-colored head. Almost white. It's dense and slow, collapsing to uneven, lumpy foam. Thick, clumpy lacing. The beer is clear, dark orange. Tea-colored. The nose gives up sweet, butter toffee. Fruity toffee in the sweet front is just a little coppery when cool. It turns tangy: good, buttery, sour, malty. The finish is bitter with ample tangy toffee. I like this. It's a nice, tangy, bitter Brit.

kbub6f, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright amber with a billowy head. Nose is fresh, bitter hops, active carbonation. Good lacing all the way down.

Taste is clean and bitter, fresh and nicely hopped. Taste is just a little flat although well carbonated with a good herbal character that cuts through. Very mild citrus element somewhere in the middle. Unsweetened tea flavors start to emerge as it warms.

Light in body, finishes dry and clean. Quite a refreshing blend. Surprising, as I expected less out of this marketing gimmick but this is quite good.

assurbanipaul, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear watered-down tea color with a modest cream-colored head. The smell consists of very faint fruity aroma and not much else. The taste is rather faint and watery as well revealing only light malt, slight fruity hops, and a bitter end. This beer is a light bodied beer that finishes slightly dry. Very uneventful!

Notes: The bottle reads "Tempered over burning witches". Must be some bland and boring witches and this is one very boring beer. The label is rather flamboyant therefore reiterating the old cliche "Don't judge a book by it's cover". Holds very true here! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is a light amber color with a huge head. There is cedar and citrus aromas. The body is firm with some orange notes as well as some anise and cedar. It finishes with a dry balanced bitterness. It is somewhat different than I am accustomed from English Ales, but it is a good thing. I can almost taste the screams of the burning witches.

ark57, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy red/brown brew.

Smell is sweet and tart brown sugar and a hint of spice.

Taste is like tart apple cider at first. Mild sweetness and apple flavor. Malt comes through after a few sips and a tempered hop bite in the finish. As you drink this it mellows a lot and becomes much like a brown ale with malt and hops in balance.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not a joke beer, tasty yet different. Not really a pale ale, more of a brown ale. A brew that even Sir Robin would not run away from! ;)

Zorro, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of oelergud
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden orange body, very sparse carbonation, rocky head with amazing retention and lots of lace.
Not much smell or taste from this brew, only a fraction of the hop presence normally seen in a pale ale. A little tart sweetness in the taste. Very little aftertaste, especially for a pale ale. This feels more like an IPA.
Feels somewhat watery but slick.
Ok on drinkability.


oelergud, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of padjo1
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one looked like a perfect pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or St. Peter's Brewery Pale Ale and that didn't give up on taking after them in other attributes as well. Imitable yes, but unoriginality meets more liberal scrutiny than incompetence earns. Well done!! (-And there was much rejoicing-)

padjo1, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of bark
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The colour is deep gold with hints of copper. The liquid is somewhat cloudy, and the generous, yellowish foam is quite firm.

The smell of this ale is quite mild, but there are hints of bitterness and malt.

The body is surprisingly light for the great bitterness. There are clear flavours of diacetyl and caramel, although it is quite low on the sweetness.

The carbon dioxide is medium sharp, with small bubbles that fade away at once.

Overall, the taste is straightforward: First comes a pleasant bitterness, then a dry mouth feel and at last some flavours of dried fruit and whale nuts. The aftertaste could be described as “dry, balanced bitterness”.

bark, Feb 11, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.55/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy copper with a lacy white head. Some lace as you sip. Smell? Not much here. Some coppery, metallic aromas and some light floral hints. Hmmm.

Taste is coppery as well, at least up front. Lightly fruity in the middle and lightly bitter in the finish. Unfortunately, the lightly fruity and the lightly bitter don't make up for the assertive metallic taste up front. It ends up dominating the palate. Not terribly so but enough to annoy you. It is creamy and smooth though. Virtually no aftertaste. An unoffensive (mostly) below average English ale. I split this purchase with a buddy because he wanted the bottle and I'm glad I did. The selling point is the label though, not the contents.

ViveLaChouffe, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what i figured was just a gimmick brew ended up being not half bad. pours an awesome looking amber/copper colour, with a huge frothy head that lasts and also leaves a nice stickiness. the smell here is pretty good: slight sweetness, hops, a bit of malt and a little touch of fruit. the taste is similar to the smell but with a bit of a cream flavour running through it. there's a nice hop flavour as well but overall the taste is pretty bland. mouthfeel is just right for an ale and this one is very drinkable, but nothing terribly exciting overall. i'd have another, most definitely, but it's not high on the list for a repeat purchase.

SixpointJMH, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many, many years ago, 12 in fact, I remember driving up to Masham in North Yorkshire with a friend in October to try the beers from the hottest new Independent in town, Black Sheep. On that day they released two beers, the Best Bitter and Special. Well suffice to say that the most exciting part of the trip was the fact that we were nearly killed by a huge Massey-Ferguson Tractor in the country lanes that led us from the A-1 Motorway to Masham.

Presentation: A heavy 1 Pint 9 fl.oz. dark brown glass bottle embossed with hop leaves on the bottles shoulder. A colorful Terry Gilliam label pronounces the beers name with a colorful yellow background label. Listed as 4.7% ABV but surprisingly with no discernable Freshness Date.

Appearance: Masses of inherent and dissolved carbonation from the pour, forms a perfectly ivory white head atop an amber looking body that has some light copper traits. This is a good looking Limey for sure.

Nose: A Classic English Pale Ale, malt hops and some light caramel but this one suffers from a metallic nature that seems to run through the beer, aluminum at times?!

Taste: Biscuit malts and a tasty caramel mixed well with some crisp hops. Clean but a metallic nature runs through the beer at times also. This is the most annoying aspect and a real detraction for me.

Mouthfeel: Thin and inoffensive it never dominates nor establishes any criteria worthy of an above average mention. A session beer that has a nice ‘Cask’ feel on the mouth though.

Drinkability: Drinks well but that annoying “Out of the Tin” tastes still pervades this beer and detracts one from the ultimate pleasure.

Overall: Pretty average really – reminds me of that day I first tried Black Sheep beers.

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 05, 2004
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.