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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

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1,144 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,144
Reviews: 596
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 28
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,144 | Reviews: 596
Photo of Ralphus
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

That's.. no 'ordinary rabbit'!

Holy Grail Ale is a decidedly lageresque beer and while the title is perhaps a bit misleading it's not all bad. It pours with a dark golden pour and a clean white head. There's some lacing that's evident but mostly a simple ring of foam is left behind.

In the nose there's a light smell of fruit but not much else. The fruit is there in taste as well with some hoppiness at the end finishes it off. Things are hampered by a fairly earthy smell and taste towards the end of the glass however.

Mouthfeel is light and somewhat watery. There's no complexity to speak of but if you are looking for a simple session beer this might fit your needs.

Photo of adamette
4.23/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio about 30 minutes ago in it's very own ceramic Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Goblet. This is the kind that is about 16 ounces and has a wide base. There are Monty Python characters lining the rim and the name of the beer on a panel near the base. Very cool, especially if you are a fan of the movies or the beer. As you will see, I am a bigger fan of the beer at this point.

A Full light colored head dissipates in about 30 seconds, giving way to the golden yellow body with an orange hue. Since it was not in a glass I really could not evaluate it like normal but that is what I saw. Nice appearance.

S A basic ale smell of some malt, not too strong but pleasing and above average.

T Great basic ale taste of malt, not too much hops, loving the taste.

M Light to moderate.

D Great, I could have many of these indeed.

Notes: I ordered this (the "glass of the month" this month at Winking Lizard) with a bit of trepidation but it proved to be very enjoyable indeed. I would not hesitate to buy this again. I recommend it to anyone.

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.76/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a golden color,small head a thin lace.
The aroma was of herbal hops,grains,citrus and malts.
The taste of light citrus notes,caramel hints and sweet apple fruits.
The feel was light body,smooth and medium carbonation.

Notes: A good session brew. Well balanced.

Photo of RickS95
2.67/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thick white head that doesn't stick around long. Clear bronze color. Fruity nose.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth. Slight lacing. Strange finish...not much going on. One sip is bitter, the next sip has nothing. Either way, it's gone before you know it.

Certainly not one of the best beers I've had...won't be trying another.

Photo of LordofTime25
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a amber color that has little or no head. A little lacing.

Smells slightly hoppy and grainy.

Has a dry hop taste with a hint of grain, but pretty average taste.

Very watery mouth feel with very little carbonation.

A very average English Pale Ale.

Photo of atis
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit darkish amber with large and foamy head that stays in almost half finger thickness for most of the glass. Some small carbonation bubble are visible and there is decent lacing.

Aroma is weak sweetish malt, could not detect anything more. Taste is mostly malty with some citrus and quite sweet, sometimes seems even too much of it. Some herbal hops can be felt in the rather dry finish.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, I was suprised that the beer is that good, I bought it only because I am a fan of Monthy Python and it is nice that it is drinkable as well.

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

Poured somewhat of an amber colour with a thin white head that stays the same throughout and leaves lots of lacing.

Smells like a normal ale, sort of hoppy and grainy.

A dry hoppy taste, very little body, needs more malt and more hops.

A watery mouthfeel, I wasnt too impressed by this, just a typical english ipa

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

On-tap at Half Moon in KSQ, PA.

Came to me a copper-amber color with a thin off-white head. Lacing wasn't to be seen here. Good color, though. The aroma was on the sweet side with honey, fruit and a little bit of lemon zest. The flavor was even sweeter and the lemony citrus was more prominent. There was some herbal hop flavor intertwining with the sweetness, but as it warmed the sweet toffee and lemon grew stronger and less enjoyable. Medium body with light carbonation. This is one I had never seen on-tap and had yet to try, so I couldn't pass it up...but I will for now on.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.82/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on a whim because of the odd looking bottle and name.

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin wisp of head. Has a faint hop smell. Taste is very crisp and there's a definite apple taste to it. Each sip is very refreshing and the apple flavoring adds a nice little touch.. a pretty solid english pale ale.

Photo of ReadyFireAim
3.44/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kind of bought this bottle as a joke, as part of a mix-a-six at a local spirit shop. Wasn't expecting it to be a halfway decent beer, honestly.

A - A crystal clear copper brew that produces a neat little bubbly head.

S - Sweet and tangy. There's just the slightest hint of hops in the background. However, I have a hard time really picking out the complete aroma because it's just not that aromatic. Fairly boring smell. I doubt there's any corn in there, but I am picking up just a bit of that in aroma, too.

T - Sweet, sweet, sweet. Caramel and just a bit of apple zing to it. Based on the nose I expected a bit of light bitterness to it; however I wasn't really able to pull any bitter notes out of it.

M - Richly carbonated. Finishes fairly dry.

D - It's pretty light and refreshing, almost Kolsch-esque (in fact this beer's character reminds me more of a Kolsch than a pale ale). Coupled with the low ABV I could see this as a session beer, splitting a pitcher or two with some buddies.

Pleasantly surprised with this brew, really. Not bad.

Photo of becktone
4.07/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 9-16-08

Eye: Pretty good looking overall. Creamy head at about a ½ finger. Color is really quite nice on this one. The best way to describe it is copper with a crystal clear body and lively and delicate carbonation. I can also describe the color as being extremely light nut brown with amber, orange and yellow all mixed in. Just from the way this one looks I can tell that it is not an American style. Head retention needs some work, as I sit here writing it falls to a semi-thick/thin old blanket close to rotting which covers the beer. Lacing is thin but solid (as far as forming a sheeting effect on the glass).

Nose: Pretty weak overall aroma. Slight and almost hidden caramel notes with some diacetyl in there as well. Also a bit of sweet candy type of phenol/ester-like butterscotch backed by vanilla. Hop aroma is low. If everything were a bit more pronounced I'd be happy with it.

Tongue: Quite a malt driven beer. Not much to hops here, just enough to balance the sweetness with bitterness. I would say that there is pretty much no hop flavor here. Much the same as the aroma-weak caramel notes. Not very complex at all. However, this beer does have a huge sweet malt profile, I mean the sweetness of this beer is unbelievable. I've never tasted anything quite like this from a beer before. Big vanilla notes, at least that's what I get. To me it tastes a lot like a generic Cream Soda, its that sweet and vanilla like. Some oakiness, or earthy/woody type flavors too.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium-light on the palate with a dry finish. Carbonation is delicate and is not over the top. In my opinion its level is just near perfect, it compliments the sweetness of this beer quite well. This is one I'll definitely pick up again, I really like this beer, its turned me back on to English styles. Unlike some of the English Ales I've had this one is not packed full of diacetyl...a characteristic I don't find all that appealing. Overall a well made beer, and one that I'll give another go round to.

Photo of tempest
3.51/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled a 12 oz. from the fridge at Abe's. Appeared clear gold with a white head and lacing in my pint glass.

At first pour, the glass smells like an imported lager. I suppose being shipped across seas in the summer will do that to a bear. After a little time its warmed up and I get a crisp grain aroma with lemon. The flavor brings out more of the lemon and herb hops in the aftertaste and mellow malts up front. The flavor is pretty mellow, but it's got a nice finish and its very drinkable.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with a twist-off cap.

Appearance was a very light copper with a full-finger whitish head that quickly fizzled away to pretty much nothing and left no lacing on the glass.

Smelled mostly of hops, with grassy, hay-like notes and a faint aroma of sweet toffee.

Body was rather thin. Not much up front, as the beer brought on a very watery flavor in the beginning, edging into bitter, herbal hop flavors and biscuit notes in the middle and back, with a finish that was somewhat long and sweet.

Overall, the beer lacks distinct balance, and is decidedly reminiscent of a pale American lager, with its watered-down flavor and faint, mostly bread-like notes and bitter, though not strong, hop flavors. These things combine to create a brew that I would not really care to drink more of.

The witty name of the brew drew me in, but it takes more than a name to bring me back for more.

Photo of n00tz
3.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased on Sept. 16th, reviewed a day later. Unsure as to how long it was sitting on the shelf at Riverside... First time I noticed it but I went further back into the store than I usually do this time.

A - Light orange body, white head exists only while pouring disappearing as quickly as it showed up. Very reactive carbonation.

S - Fruits & light hops, and weak at that.

T - Light hops and fruit... nothing remarkable, betters as it warms up greatly. I'd recommend serving at closer to 55-60 degrees.

M - Thin but clean.

D - Not going to revisit my fridge if it costs $2/bottle in the future. I'd gladly pay $8.5 for the six pack but even that's pushing it simply for the vanity.

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

a: crystal clear copper body with a thin white head.

s: a sweet, lightly fruity and hoppy nose.

t: sweet but light caramel up front, then some herbal/flowery hops. A light, balanced ale.

m: crisp, smooth, slick.

d: quaffable. very easy drinking, lightly hopped, a tad on the boring side. Would be just another beer if not for the Monty Python connection.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.34/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a honey orange color with a thin white head. Nose was honey-like sweetness. Taste was a grainy with English malts mixed with some honey and a little bit of hops. It was pretty bland and not that good overall. I would not drink again. Many b etter English Pales out there.

Photo of JamesS
3.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light copper, near yellow color, with some very nice head and good lacing. It has a slight pub bitter taste, but nothing very strong; well balanced. It goes down very smooth, nice and light. I had to give it some extra drinkability points due to my love of Monty Python.

Photo of jushoppy2beer
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

- Dark clear amber with brownish hue

- Lovely 2-finger head, white and fluffy with small bubbles. Produces nice lacing.

- Soft malty nose

- Malty on the palate, with very little bitterness an subdued hop presence

- Light body, with surprisingly little flavor overall

- Very refreshing and drinkable, but not as robust as I want in a good craft ale.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weirdly cloudy reddish color. Tan head is pretty nice though.

Spicy smell from hops, Goldings-like, with some earthy malt backing this up. The taste is big on that spicy hop character, more earthy like wet hay or something. It's not an entirely pleasant earthiness IMO.

Thick and heavy, belying it's low ABV. I would not drink this beer again soon.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.71/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Neat label! Nice thick rocky cap that leaves fine chunky lacing; the ale itself is off gold with a touch of amber/copper and carbonation.

S - Tea, hops, and a bit of leather. Very mild.

T/M - Splendid. Has a subtle hop swing and exotic honey and tea notes; perhaps even an herbal swing to it. The carbonation is waning but it's still there in support making this refreshing. Glad I'm not drinking it too cold.

D - More than drinkable and I plan to purchase it again. This would be nice with all sorts of food.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Durge
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Photo of UA8
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of hunteraw
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,144 ratings.