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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

1,074 Ratings
THE BROS
87
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 586 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoo Hoo! Found this in a 6-pack! Pours a nice deep copper with a thick sticky head.

Lots of sweet mown hay and fresh bread scents.

Some saffron, bread crust/dark bread and sweet malt. Bitterness and butter also.

Slick, mouth coating medium body.

I can't knock back the 6-er, but a couple will do. Great label, but it almost drives you away (for fear of a gimmick).

A keeper.

OtherShoe2, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Tempered over burning witches" And what do you burn apart from witches? More witches!! Anyway, this bottle is going into my limited bottle collection for the novelty of Monty Python. But what about the beer itself? I thought you might bring that up:

Lovely faded golden blonde colored body, the head being billowy and holding up very well. The aroma is buttery, butterscotch, caramel, and toffee bits. The carbonation of this beer hits the palate when they meet, and it takes a brief momment before any beer flavor is found. Soft buttery diacetyl crawls through and is recongnized. There's some butterscotch, but thiss beer is mostly a stick of butter. You can butter your favorite foods by pouring this onto them. Some graininess exists in the taste too. Has a odd but faint aftertaste akin to burned shortening.

Not as smooth as other English ales out there. Solid, but not spectacular.

DoubleJ, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of Durge
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A slightly cloudy deep amber color with a whispy off-white head and moderate lacing. The aroma is pineapple banana with a toffee/caramel background. The flavor comes on as a tart banana and caramel malt blend in a very thin textured feel. Pretty easy drinking but I would like a little more body here. Carbonation is equally whimpy, not sure if it's the beer imported from the UK or the tap here at the British Beer Company in Hyannis, MA. Very sour though, which sort of spoils any of the banana malt subtleties of this ale. I would tend to say that this brew has gone bad but I have nothing to compare it to but good taste! The folks at the bar were good enough to sample the tap themselves but assured me that it was true to taste and I opted to leave about one-third of the pint for reclamation. The sourness just didn't taste natural to me and I've had this from a bottle and don't recall such a rough ride on the taste buds. It has some interesting notes but if this is really supposed to taste so dishwater sour, then I have to give this a low score and warn all comers of a let down.

Durge, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of UA8
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep golden hue with a thin white head

S- Very light scent maybe of some general beer scents such as grains and a touch of malt

T- Tastes somewhat of decent quality macro brew no real definable tastes. More just general subtle grain tastes

M- A bit thin but quite refreshing

D- I would say overall this is less of a "craft" offering than I had expected. It about a one leg up on something such as bud.

UA8, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of hunteraw
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this as a going-away gift from a friend. I love the name, and according to the label, it's "tempered over burning witches," too!

Appearance: Attractive honey color, quite clear, with lively carbonation. Big fluffy white head, with good retention. Very nice looking in the glass.

Smell: Soapy at first, giving way to some grain, nut, and herbal hops. Not a hint of burning witch, alas.

Taste: Light fruitiness at first, with a solid backbone of bitterness. Subsequently takes a turn to very hard mineral water. Interesting roastiness at the finish, but an astringently bitter aftertaste. Improves as it warms, the malty flavors fleshing out and covering the astringency.

Mouthfeel: LIght-medium body, highly carbonated, with a very slight diacetyl slickness.

Drinkability: Looked great, smelled okay, tasted less okay. Still, worth getting (and keeping!) for the label alone.

hunteraw, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of Bsobotik
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Amber, pretty opaque, poured with a finger width head that dissipated to a thin ring

S - My stopped up nose tells me its malty with slight hops

T - Pretty malty with very little hop taste, pretty straight forward with no secrets

M - Pretty smooth, very little carbonation

D - Not bad but not very exciting, wouldn't buy again

Serving - Bottle to pint

Bsobotik, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of RobH
4.25/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz. brown bottle.

A very interesting (in a great way) ale. I had no idea what was in this bottle, and I was pleasantly surprised and pleased.

I'm not a big fan of American Pale Ales, so this English style was a treat with it's smooth mouthfeel and no in-your-face hops.

The dark golden, hazy colour is appealing to the eyes. I hard-poured mine into a pilsner glass and got a lasting, white pillowy head.

I drank this on a hot summer day and I have to admit I quaffed it down pretty fast.

Appearance: a pretty, dark golden hue

Smell: inviting maltiness with a balance bitterness

Taste: same as the aroma. Very well balanced. Hop heads probably won't like this one.

Finish: smooth and lengthy, inviting another sip (in my case, mouthfull).

I recommend this for anyone to try at least once.

RobH, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of eweneek83
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Monty Python's Holy Gr(ail) (Tempered over burning witches)



Appearance - Looks like a American Pale Ale, though slightly lighter in shade. A clean but thin creamy-looking head. disappears after a couple drinks.

Smell - A bit like cooking butter and a sweet hint of ripe fruit, smells like a lager a small bit as well.

Taste - Bold, barely bitter. What dark lagers cry about and wish to be. An earthy, nicely bitter hop. Stronger than I expected.

Mouthfeel - The only downfall of this beer, in my opinion. It's carbonated like a crazy, almost gives burning sensation in the first couple drinks, a strong aftertaste, pleasant.

Drinkability - A little more filling and substantial than I expected for a 4.7%. Still, a good English pale you could have a few of, even if it is just the novelty talking. try it

eweneek83, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Drewcifer
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dingy copperish color with a decent white, fluffy head.

Smell is musty, buttery, slightly sweet malts. The slightest hops twang to it.

Bready malt flavor with some hops bitterness to it, more so than the taste alluded to. A bit of an apple taste to it, but only a hint.

Light-to-medium body, active carbonation, not to much though.

Overall, a pretty drinkable, slightly above-average EPA. Doesn't live up to the marketing of it (being a Python fan, I had hoped for something more impressive) but a generally decent brew.

Drewcifer, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seems like kind of a novelty, but am pleased to find there's a drinkable ale in this bottle.

A - Looks like an American Pale Ale, though slightly lighter in shade. Small but tight creamy-looking head. Retains pretty well.

S - A little buttery malt, maybe some carmelized sugar.

T - Clean, with a little perceived diacetyl. An earthy, nicely bitter hop.

F - Pretty good, the little creamy bubbles coat the tongue.

D - A little more filling and substantial than I expected for a 4.7%. Still, a good English pale you could have a few of, and could count on to be versatile at the table.

Patrick999, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of mooseisloose
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A selection at the new local "Pub". Served in an imperial pint (20 oz) with a light medium bubble head and an orange bronze color. Smells of raw sugar cane and a bit of pineapple. Taste is bitter but dry with a brief sweetness followed by a sharp but not by any means overbearing bitterness finish. Very light and refreshing for an ale. Actually seems to lack some body. A good ale for a lager drinker to start on. Highly drinkable.

mooseisloose, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of ElGeordie
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A fairly anonymous English Bitter in a half litre bottle. The beer inside doesn't really live up to the hype associated with the name.
It certainly looks good but fails to deliver in the taste Dept. It is a little thin on flavour - but it is a pint I could enjoy drinking all night

ElGeordie, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of GrimmReaper
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml. bottle that pours a shady copper orange color with a huge rocky tan head that leaves nice lacing.The nose really has'nt much,a little fruity with some buttery caramel overtones.Taste is tangy,bitterness,and sweet hitting you in that order,the fruitness comes out at you right after and than the bitter kicks in again with some malt blending in.Medium with a satisfieing mouthfeel to this one.Quite a good ale,i must say,well worth a try,cause i'll surely have it again myself.

GrimmReaper, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 16.9oz bottle into my Boulevard pint glass. This beer pours an amber orange with a thin beige head. The aroma is bready up front with just a slight hint of citrus hops on the finish. The taste is mainly light caramel malts with a lemony finish. It's really a tasty brew. The mouthfeel is full but not overly so. It's a highly quaffable brew.

hwwty4, May 30, 2008
Photo of kbnooshay
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy golden-orange color with a HUGE frothy white head.

S: Smells like it should for an epa. Malty and sweet with a hint of caramel. There is also butter and fruit hints. Light hops.

T: The hops hit first followed by the malt(opposite of the nose experience). There is a nice breadlike quality to the brew. The crisp hops balances well with the caramel malt. Great buttery caramel flavor.

Mf/D: Thin to moderate feel. I could drink a few pints of this with no problem. Not as good as black sheep, but its a good epa.

kbnooshay, May 22, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
2.83/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit, amongst the plethora of English ales available here, the marketing shtick on this one won my "I Fart in Your General Direction"-addled brain over.

This beer poured an attractive clear golden-brown hue, with a substantial head. The nose on this beer was more queer than Michael Palin's sense of humour. It's fruity, to be sure, of the fermented variety, but the type is hard to pin down. It is reminiscent of perry, so I'll say pears. It actually smells quite good. The taste is quite a divergence - malty, but bitter, and not in a good hoppy manner. It's thin, with a funky vegetal flavour, and a bland cereal character. The carbonation is also on the high side. The finish is moderately astringent, not particularly pleasant.

There are too many weird, non-complementary things going on in this brew, which may work for its label namesakes, but not for the stuff in the bottle.

biboergosum, May 19, 2008
Photo of Portertime
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just love Monty Python's Holy Grail so naturally I had to watch it while drinking this brew. Between gufaws I took sips and was surprised by it's smooth, flavorful taste. Poured a rich tawny color with a head that can choke a ladened swallow. Initially aroma was of caramel malts, some sugars, and a piney hop backdrop. Taste was similar and nicely balanced with roasted caramel malts in the front and a bittering hop finish. All in all a decent brew that must be kept away from the killer bunny!!

Portertime, May 13, 2008
Photo of birchstick
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This pours an organish-brown with a nice head. It smells very sweet, with grass, hops, and a touch of burnt malt. It starts out with caramel and brown sugar, then the hops kick in and turns very bitter. Personally, this was not my cup of tea. This beer has an excellent mouthfeel as it goes down. Overall, this beer did not warrant the price I paid for it, but it was pretty decent overall.

birchstick, May 11, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

jayrod20, May 06, 2008
Photo of erosier
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a short and thin tan colored head that laces the glass all the way down. The smell is of nice roasted malts and some peppery hoppy aroma as well. It tastes of nice roasted malts, then some citrisy and peppery hops as well. The mouthfeel is nice and fresh and crisp feeling which makes for a drinkable beer. I would recommend this beer for the taste and then for the collectable bottle for the monty python fan.

erosier, May 05, 2008
Photo of Spidey13
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Monthy Python's Holy Grail Ale pours a slightly hazy light amber. A fluffy 2-finger head leaves a healthy amount of lacing down the glass. The nose starts with piny hops and vineous, wine-like aromas with an underlying bit of sour fruitiness. The taste starts out sweet, with some toastiness showing up. More vineous flavors are in there with a mild, earthy bitterness showing up mid-sip and lingering a while in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is nice a full with a moderate amount of carbonation.

The novelty of the name and label gave me low expectations for this beer, but it is a pretty solid drinker.

Spidey13, May 01, 2008
Photo of GeoffW
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, fairly clear amber color, minimal head fades away quickly.

Smell is malty with a touch of bitter, not very complex but what is there is appealing.

Taste is fairly straightforward, a good amount of bitter, not much malt, overall very simple. Mouthfeel is decent, it's only 4.7 abv so the alcohol isn't detectable.

Drinkability is average, it's not hard to drink nor is it very alcoholic, but it's not something I would be eager about.

Overall it's a decent beer, nothing to write home about except for the tempered over burning witches part.

GeoffW, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into an oversized glass that the beer filled perfectly, with a medium amber-colored body and about two fingers of head.

The aroma had a slight spicy sensation, and the taste matched. However, this brew doesn't get the points for taste because, as other posters have stated, it isn't very complex, it's simple. Normally this wouldn't be a problem; however, when paying over $4 a bottle I want it to give a kick to my tongue and make my tastebuds wonder what just hit them. But with the not so complex taste it is super smooth. I'd have more than one in a sitting, but that is cost prohibitive.

Good quality, but not the best value.

DesMoinesMike, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An apple cider like body with minimal head that did leave good lacings, suprisingly.
A hoppy smell mostly, light and airy to be honest, but some faint citric notes and some pear/apple smells also. The hops come out at the start, as this beer some sharpness to it. Tart and citric (apples, pears, lemons), this beers also gave off a light coffee malt/biscuit impression. That may be just me, but it contained a malt presence on the backend. A good, balanced ale, but to be honest there's nothing spectacular about it and the MP thing is just a marketing tool to get people to try this beer...and it worked.

clayrock81, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice big sea foam head covers a golden amber with orange highlights, and recedes, leaving a think layer of sticky lace.

There is a slightly astringent light biter orange rind waiting for you here.

Some hops, and some malt. Let's call this one balanced, but not much else to say about the flavor.

Here we have a very light body and a touch of carbonation.

Have a few, heck at 4.7% have a bunch. I don't have much to say about this one, but it is enjoyable.

SLeffler27, Apr 16, 2008
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.