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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,138 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,138
Reviews: 593
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 28
Gots: 88 | 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.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,138 | Reviews: 593 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear orange/brown, big off white head, sticky lace all over the glass. Smell is citrus, bread, some grains, sharp iron aroma, and pineapple. Taste is malty and citrusy at first, some floral, iron and light bitterness. MOuthfeel is light bodied, low carbonation, watery and unpleasant. I haven't really found an English ale I like much, evidently because of the water.

Photo of wcudwight
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Gold orange in color. Large creamy white lasting head. Foamy. Faint on the nez. Maybe a bit bitter. Taste is better than the smell. Nicely hopped and bitter. Much better than I expected after putting the glass to my nose. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Like a Dasani. Very drinkable and smooth. I bought this because of the cool label and name. In someways it was better than I expected. It is a good beer. The smell and mouthfeel are letdowns though.

Photo of Enola
3.41/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass with a nice orange color and a thick head. It tastes slightly better than it smells. It smells hoppy and tastes bitter as a result. A little thin for the mouth feel. I would probubly drink another one. I will try it again sometime.

Photo of ReebShorts
2.73/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2 1/2 finger foamy white head on pour, color of beer is kind of a dirty orange, and cloudy. Head faded to about 1 finger after a munte or so, leaving some lacing, but seemed to have good retention.

Smell is malty, lemon, citrus (like orange rind), some grassy element in there as well as spiced hops.

Taste was a bit sour, couldn't find a date on this bottle, so not sure if I just got an old one or not, but i'm not really feelng this one, it's kinda sweet at first than sour and it lingers.

Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, medium copper beer with a big, fluffy, off-white head that reduced quickly but left a nice lacing behind. Apple and caramel in the aroma, with a grassy hop character and just a bit of earthiness. Fresh, fruity flavour with lots of malt and a balancing bitterness. Finishes off-dry with continued fruit and a hint of diacetyl. Smooth, silky texture with moderate carbonation. This is another great English ale with decent complexity that remains highly drinkable.

Photo of evh883
2.52/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Holy Grail Ale isn't as a great as what it's named for. The beer has a great appearance. With a brilliant medium amber tone and a descent head, it's an eye catcher. Unfortunately, the aroma doesn't really stand up to the look. There is hardly any malt presence. Luckily there is some bready hoppiness to it though.

The taste and texture are ok. It has a bit of a salty taste (which is sort of strange) that hangs a while on the palate. A little chalkiness and definite dryness are the dominant characteristics as far as mouthfeel goes.

Overall, I was not impressed with Black Sheep's version of an English Pale Ale. It does not hold up to the style well, but if you're a Monty Python fan it's definitely a must.

Photo of waldowin
2.66/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is definitely a pale ale, but only in the literal sense. It pours a watery yellow, and tastes much like recycled beer, a little strong on the hops for a beer with such low amounts of malt (you won't taste the malt, I promise). Even though it was "Tempered over burning witches," according to the label, it's not something of any preferred state, blessed or otherwise. This is truly a British Pale Ale, pale, weak, dreary, and dour. Not bad if you're into that kind of thing.

No head, very little smell, and what there is is faintly bitter. It tastes much like a tea made from hops might. Fairly bitter and not at all appealing.

If it were about $1 a bottle, it'd be a decent cheap alternative if you really wanted a British Pale, but at $3 a bottle it's just not worth it.

Photo of cubedbee
3.81/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The name and the label are definitely gimmicky, which made me wary of the beer's quality, but as a Monty Python fan I just had to buy it. Pours a slightly hazy dull copper with a huge almost overflowing cream colored head and some nice retention. Nose is a light fruity apple with some floral notes and a slight biscuity malt. Taste has a lot more of the slightly tart green apple taste with a slightly buttery bready malt base and a decent amount of bitterness lingering after the tart finish. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth, maybe a tad bit overcarbonated. To be honest, this beer is better than I expected, a very nice flavorful English ale, but at $3.50 a bottle I don't if it's worth it.

2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale is the color of a hard butterscotch candy, orange/amber. There is a 1" off white fluffy head. The head drops to 1/4" and has good retention. Good lace.

The nose holds sweet malt, toffee and light hops. Some sort of vegetal twang in the aroma as well.

Taste is malty with a light bitterness. Almost ESB-like. Very mild in flavor....bland.

Good carbonation tingle. Easy to drink but unremarkable. One and done.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.17/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

It's what you'd expect from an English Pale Ale. Pours a golden-to-copper color, with some haze. Nice carbonation and retention. Soft barley grain aromas, lightly bready, yeasty, and modestly spicy. Flavors are similar with emphasis on grain flavor from barley. Lower body than normal brings out more hop flavor, leading to grassy or herbal flavors. Body starts off medium, but becomes watery durring the finish. Easily drinkable. A nice beer, but not one I'll be craving soon.

Photo of ski271
3.09/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: I popped the cap, got my glass and then went into the other room to get my notepad, and by then the head in the bottle was slowly growing and pouring out onto the counter. I hate it when that happens. Poured a clear, light amber with a very large, thick, pillowy, off-white head with good retention as it slowly diminished to chunks of head. Good amount of thick lacing.

Smell: Malts, toffee, herbs, citrus, and hints of cherry and burning witches (love the label!).

Taste: Odd. Very sweet, malty and full up front, kind of like a Scotch Ale, but then it thins substantially. A light metallic taste shows through along with some grape. But then the finish starts out sweet and malty again before turning bitter, metallic and bland again.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, dry texture, very lively carbonation.

Drinkability: I wanted to try this beer more for the Monty Python reference than anything else. It’s a sales gimmick, and without the bottle you’re left with a very lackluster, average beer. But the bottle will definitely make it onto my beer wall in the basement.

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

presentation: 16.9oz. bottle with a yellow label and an image of a hand coming out of a cloud, holding a chalice full of medieval knights, a castle, etc. monty python is typed in an open face. the "gr" in holy grail is crossed out like with a sharpy marker so that you read holy ail. "tempered over burning witches" is printed on the front. a ring of leaves are engraved in the glass around the neck of the bottle. black sheep logo on back. no freshness date or abv.

appearance: head begins bubbling over the mouth of the bottle after removing the cap. pours a light copper orange with bright orange highlights in a pint glass. good 1" slightly off-white pancake batter like head. retention is good with good lacing and sticking.

smell: apple juice. some citrus and floral hoppy notes. maybe some bready tones, but forgive me, i can't get past the apple scent.

taste: i taste apples as well. prickles the front and front-sides of the tongue. good bitterness. i notice some buttered biscuit flavors as the beer warms. still apples, though. finish is lightly sour and seems to vary between sweet and dry.

mouthfeel: light-medium body. slightly harsh carbonation for a beer this light. swallow clunks a tad.

drinkability: good drinkability. carbonation and bite is bothersome at first. alcohol doesn't hinder. if you like apples, it should go down quickly.

overall: sorry if i sound like i'm beating a dead horse, but this beer smells and tastes like apples. like it, and you'll like the beer. don't like it and you'll hate the beer. if you're like me and you're in the middle, it can become annoying. decent english pale ale.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Woodman's East here in Madison.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a snow-white frothy head - resembles a hefe-weisen or cream ale more than a pale. Smell is grassy and lemony with a hint of apple juice. Taste is similarly grassy, lemon grass actually, with a strong citrus backbone and a crisp hop bite. Reminded me of Tommyknocker's Jack Whacker wheat with lemon grass. Drinkable for sure, but it's a nothing mindblowing and a little pricey. Still refreshing on a hot summer day.

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.

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

Pours a copper amber with a light tan head. Decent lace and retention, nothing to write home about.

Faint bread aroma, little toffee.

Slightly nutty, but more bready than anything defines the malt character. Very light hopping, bitterness is hardly noticable. Overall a touch yeasty and bland.

Lighter bodied. Worth a try for the bottle, but otherwise a typical if not sub par British ale.

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

Light clear orange-amber color. Nice foamy yellowish white head. Head sticks all over the glass. First thing I notice from the aroma is the sweet apple smell. Faint diacetyl and some sweet malts. The taste is dominated by apple like fruitness and maltiness. Medium bodied with a smooth slightly carbonated mouthfeel. Drinkability is great. At $3.50 a bottle it is money well spent.

Photo of claytri
3.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Ail poured a nice full amber but very clear with an off white head. The aroma was of malt with a lot of floral hops. It had a light malt taste with a big hop finish. The feel was medium, smooth, and somewhat oily. It was a very pleasant beer except when it wasn't.

Photo of slyke
3.09/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer features a themed label and comes in a half-liter (16.9oz) bottle.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a liberal off-white head that falls pretty quickly, but a small bit remains throughtout.

Smell: This one was hard to peg. A little hop spiciness, a little graininess.

Taste: Malty at first with a long dry finish, almost too dry.

Mouthfeel: Good, hearty mouthfeel in the maltiness stage.

Drinkability: This is a serviceable brew. Not bad, not great. I could drink a couple.

While I won't go out of my way to seek it out (other than for the occasional novelty of a Monty Python beer), I won't turn my nose up at it either. Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale is worth a try.

Photo of jimbotrost
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled 06/11/2005. Pours a bright reddih to copper color with a dense white head, looks good. Bottle did gush upon opening, not good. Nose is neutral maybe leaning towards slight maltiness. Flavor introduces itself malty, very subtly but then a "tinny" metallic undertone arrives. Mouthfell is very dry, slightly chalky, finish is long and leaves you thirsty!!!

Photo of beertaster13
3.34/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Monty pours a nice golden amber with a gorgeous frothy foam head. The head is thick like a shake. The smell is slight skunky at first, then the citrus aromas will peak through, lemon peppers and biscuits swirl around the nose. The hop presence is delicate and makes it every bit english. The taste is of thick buttered biscuits and grain yeast with caramel malts. Hint of bitterness will linger.Thick and delicious. A nice beer even with the gimmicky name.

Photo of Pegasus
3.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy copper color. with a quite decent off-white head, which soon collapses to patches of scattered foam, lots of broken lace, many streams of small, slow-rising bubbles.

Aroma: Light, sweet, caramel and honey aroma, mild hops, and a wave of lightly toasted malt.

Taste: Rich toasted malt flavor throughout most of the taste, with a late earthy note, turns to a slight, but lingering metallic hop bitterness near the close of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth, full, pleasant, soft on the palette, with little noticeable carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Very good, especially considering that it is marketed as a novelty beer, certainly good enough to stand on its own merits.

Photo of packetknife
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After months away from any real beer I finally hit 'The Tavern' in Cambridge and tried a few brews. This was the first and it was served out of the bottle into a goblet. A reasonable amber hue with a fluffy bleached white head that laced the glass all the way down. Smelled sweet on the nose, something like wheatgrass and citrus. Mine was very hoppy and my first reaction was 'Why is this an IPA?' until the sweetness hit me. After the initial roll, you can certainly get the fruity hoppiness and the sweet malts. There was a somewhat unreasonable aftertaste though that felt like film on my tongue.

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
2.74/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,138 ratings.