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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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

1,105 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,105
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,105 | Reviews: 589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vanrassel
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out of a 500 mL bottle with a smooth, creamy head over a slightly hazed copper body. The smell was herbal and earthy, with some fruity esters (apple) and burnt caramel.

The taste started surprisingly bitter and hoppy, but sweet malt balanced it out. The hoppiness became less pronounced as the beer went down. Moderate carbonation and medium body — overall a decent beer, but Black Sheep Ale is a far better choice from this brewery.

vanrassel, May 18, 2007
Photo of bobhits
2.05/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aight this beer looks like it's got potential. Then you smell it...it's like smelling a bud. Then you taste it and you get that same awful flavor.

If you want an American macro you can get one for a lot less. My friend and I both had to force this down as we didn't want to waste a beer. Looking back we should have just put this in the sink (had it last night).

It's a fuzzy yellow beer...do NOT waste your time or money. The only reason to have this beer would be to display the bottle if you've got a collection of beer bottles. The name is pretty cool.

bobhits, May 14, 2007
Photo of Shadman
2.78/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hopefully the smell of burning witches isn't imparted on the beer.

Very nice looking ale, a hazy copper color with a very thick, foamy white head that takes it's time receded to a small white cap. I noticed lacing clinging to the sides of my ale glass all the way to the top.

almost a malt vinegar smell, the kind you get from rotting crap apples. Some malt sweetness in there as well.


Big blast of hop bitterness right away. The apple-like malt follows quickly. Found it was more carbonated than I expected, Hop finish that resembles an IPA at the end. Maybe a touch on the sour side as well.

a bit fizzy, especially at the initial swig stage.

An OK ale, I’ll be spending my $$$ on others

Shadman, May 07, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper in appearance with a thick creamy head that stays awhile. Smell of slight malt, but not much else. Taste is slightly sweet with a hoppy bite to it. Mouthfeel is light - medium. Probably one I wouldn't readily try again, it has the hoppiness but it's not one that finishes clean.

Bookseeb, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
2.5/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've always seen this beer as more a gimmick than anything else but have also respected the Black Sheep name and since nothing else stuck out today at the store I decided to go for it. Decent off-white head retention on top of a golden amber body. A surprising waft of sweet apple hits the nose along with a little hop and not much else; almost more of a cider smell.

My first sip shows a large malt profile and strong toasted notes drowning out the fruit and hops I was expecting to at least detect. Metal also sounds in early and often, which is unfortunate, almost like the knights soaked their swords in this beer for a week before it was bottled, not cool. The aftertaste in particular is rubbish. I really wanted to like this beer but I wont be dropping four bucks on this stinker again.

daliandragon, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
3.93/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a nice copper color with a thick frothy white head that laces the glass nicely.

Smell: Honestly, not much smell. But there's a bit of apples and grains, slightly sweet.

Taste: Well-balanced flavor with some apples and grains. Good semi-sweet malt base with an appropriate amount of mildly bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light- to medium-bodied and with a nice crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Low ABV and generally easy to drink.

A nice English pale ale that is pretty tasty. I thought it might be a bit gimmicky with the name and all, but it's definitely a solid beer. A bit on the pricey side, but I'll probably have this again at some point

mithrascruor, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of liquidnoise
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank it strait from the bottle.

Smelled like beer. Nothing really stuck out.

Mushrooms were prevalant, but this beer otherwise tasted pretty average. I've had better.

I should have guessed a beer named "Monty Python" would be more of a gimmick than a master crafted brew. This beer really didn't appeal to me at all. I probably would have rather had a decent American Macro. I tried to rate it as fairly as possible given my dislike for it. I suggest something else.

liquidnoise, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved the movie, I can't say the same thing about the beer...

Pours a clear copper color with a tan head that went down pretty fast and left a trace of lace.

It smells good, as good as any English Pale Ale I've ever smelled before.

I liked the taste, sweet, light, crisp and refreshing.

It has a good mouthfeel, right on the carbination and no bitterness.

I could have a few of these in a sitting, it's not filling and the low abv won't slow you down.

Overall I would say this is just a "good" beer, hence the reason I gave it all 4's but like I said up front I thought the movie was a whole heck of a lot better.

JoeyBeerBelly, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A decent stab at the english pale ale style. Not great, though. and slightly above average taste. Mouthfeel is poor and there is little carbonation on the palate. This beer had a thick frothy head though and it made me look forward to drinking it, but the beer itself was just decent. Not much to it. No frills, but not bad. I want a little more flavor for a session beer. This is a beer to chug in my opinion. It is very very light.

jasonjlewis, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of TrojanMan
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's a good beer disguised behind a campy label.
Drink this one a little bit colder than you would a comparable ale. There's so much flavor here that it's tough to tackle quickly. Drinking it a little on the cold side "stretches" the experience as you let it warm in your mouth. I just find it a little easier to appreciate that way.

Pour into a pint glass, the head is thick and rich, perhaps one finger high and tapers off to leave pockets of floating yeast/head floatsam. Very little lacing and little stickage to the glass but the floating pockets remained throughout the entire drink. Interesting and pretty nice.

The scent is mild but complex. It's not going to attack your nostrils but there's a lot of information there if you choose to try to pick it out. It has a good bit of sweetness and a mild fruity aroma. Hop presense is very subdued but still noticable.

The flavor is smooth and very drinkable and somewhat of a cross between a sweet but thin malt base and a slightly-floral, mildly-bitter, almost-but-not-quite-Belgian yeast tang. Somewhere in the middle it transitions through a few flavors very quickly and ends up leaving a mild, slightly fuity aftertaste.

Smooth mouth to it with a nice, very balanced feel. Virtually no grittiness but not too thin either. Color and appearance are likewise very balanced. This is almost the ideal English ale with the only exceptions being a relative lack of bitterness and perhaps a tad too much malt sweetness.


I had some Town House crackers and pepper jack cheese on hand so I tried that with it and it went pretty well. Just make sure it's a mild pepper jack with a real creamy cheese base. Too much spice would ruin it. If I had my choice of foods... potato soup. F'real. Creamy and coating with some mild spice and a nice starchy base. The ale is a little on the sweet side and I think it'd be the perfect balance/compliment. Just an idea...

Again, good brew, nicely balanced and thoroughly English. If you like English ales, make sure this one is on your list. If you're not a big fan of English ale then I would say that you can afford to miss out on this one considering the relatively high price tag.

The bottle is worth collecting!

TrojanMan, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of nesta
4.08/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd heard of this, and heard it was good....figured I'd find out, even though it was a silly looking bottle. What could I expect, though? It was made to commemorate Monty Python, after all.

The price was about at the same level as Samuel Smith...about 3.49 for slightly more than a pint. It was refrigerated when I purchased it, but by the time I got home it was perfect serving temperature.

I decanted it into a mug. It was a pleasant copper color with a healthy, strong light biege head to it. It had a nice malty aroma with a nice, light hop smell.

The flavor was good, definitely above average, but nothing spectacular to write home about. Similar to Bass, but richer. It was a bit maltier and slightly nicer hop flavors and aromas than Bass has. It was about what I expected but exactly what I wanted, a tasty beer that was of good quality and would relax me after a day at work, but still very refreshing (today was our first really warm day this year, at 76 degrees farenheit...not exactly sweat inducing weather, but I wanted something to quench my thirst regardless!)

I would recommend this beer, particularly to those just getting interested in better beers than the majority of what you find at the grocery store. I would definitely consider using this for a black and tan in place of Bass Pale Ale. Its quite possible that I will this St. Patrick's Day.

All in all its tasty and I'll probably buy it again, particularly when I want something refreshing, but I don't see it making its way into common rotation in my beer consumption.

nesta, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of gmfessen
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a light amber color with a two-finger, off-white, thick head. Smell is not overwhelming but pleasant, with a slight sweetness and bit of hops. The flavor has a sweet fruitiness about it but is well balanced by a moderate hop profile. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with little carbonation. This is a drinkable beer, not bad but nothing outstanding either.

gmfessen, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance Bottle: The label alone is worth the price of the beer and a must have for any Monty Python fan. Label jokingly states "tempered over burning witches".

Appearance Beer: The beer poured a rich amber yellow and had a good head.

Smell: It had a malt aroma and hops presence.

Taste: Malt with medium hop bitterness with lots of buttery aftertones (common to English style ales).

Mouthfeel. Smooth and warming. A little dry afterwards.

Drinkability: Nice flavorful ale that goes down easy.

rohrbachsfan, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a light amber color. Good, off-white head with little staying power or lacing. Pretty clear.

Aroma- Mostly malt sweetness with just enough hops to make it interesting. .

Taste- Nice balance of malt sweetness and bittering and flavoring hops. Maybe just a hint of pine.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. Carbonation level pretty decent, but it goes flat very quickly. Clings to the mouth nicely.

Drinkability- Not great, but worth trying. There's nothing objectionable about it, it's just not superb. An average English pale ale.

theopholis, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of chilidog
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As per my BA Mag I enjoy the beer adds as I do the entire mag. Saw the Eurobrew add. Saw the Holy Grail beer glass. Oh ya! Gotta have. Gotta find beer. Local special beer store got it in just as I was inquiring on it. The two became one...here's the review.

Appearance I bumped up for the glass effort. It poured a pale golden heavy straw color. Fair carbonation, not much head or lace.

The aroma was slight sweet malty grass.

The taste carried mild hop, good malt balance, citric of lemon grass and alittle pine.

The mouthfeel was smooth, slick, citric tart. Ok finish

Drinkable yes, anytime in my new, very fragle, but very cool glass. A nice touch indeed!!

chilidog, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear nice amber with a huge white head, very slow fade to leave a nice half inch lace filled head. Lots of carbonation. No real gooey glass clinging lace on this. Left a clean glass. Not a whole lot of smell here, what is there is a bready, yeasty smell from the malts, but again not real strong. Pretty typical for the style. Taste fared the same, not strong, not bad at all, pretty average. Some bready and grain tastes, but that was about it, nothing to make it stand out in a crowd. It did have a nice smooth feel, crisp, light, dare I say refreshing, and excellent session beer. All and all this was a typical sessionable english brown ale, more notable for the name then whats in the bottle. A good one off try for the novelity if nothing else.

mikesgroove, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of penguinjive7
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with a rather large white head that leaves good lacing throughout.

A biscuity smell is the most present with some hop smells as well.

The hops hit upfront, but are not strong and it is followed by a taste that is mostly bread-like. There is a hint of sweetness in the finish as well. Nothing too complex here, which lends to the difficulty in searching for descriptives.

This brew goes down easy, and it would make a good session brew.

I would not go out of my way to buy this again, but it was worth a shot for the novelty, and it was a fairly pleasant brew to boot. Definitely worth a shot.

penguinjive7, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of jettjon
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the 500ml bottle, no freshness date. Into a pint glass, an attractive reddish transparent color with a few tiny bubbles evident. 1-finger whitish head fades quickly leaving a ring and no lacing. Nose of sweetish malt and sort of sweet, nondescript fruit, perhaps pears. Tastes of sweet malt and tea, finishes on a dry, bready and mildly bitter note. Overall bitterness is pretty surprising for a pale ale. Mouth is middle-of-the road, wet and slick without being either thin or substantial. Drinkability is OK; it’s a inoffensive beer but nothing really stands out.

Overall: A pretty average ale without any outstanding characteristics. Meh.

jettjon, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Holy Grail produces the most cranium I've seen on any pale ale. It's nearly pure white and is about three inches thick. The body is copper in color and is crystal clear... Highly filtered.

This gives off aromas biscuity in character, as well as subtle floral fragrances. There's a slight copper aroma too.

The taste is a bit off. I don't really detect a strong amount of hops, but the malt is strange too. It kind of has a light scotch whiskey taste.

To me this tastes more like a bitter, but I'm no expert on English style brews.

TheSarge, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Nesued
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

1pt 0.9 fl oz bottle. If you are a Python fan, give a read to the label. The "Tempered over burning witches" comment on the label was some good humor. For that alone it goes on my "beer shelf". I didn't see a freshness date.

Appearance - Crisp clear amber/orange color. A marginal head formed upon pour that resolved into a thin lacing that retained on the walls of the chalice. Some have reviewed this as having a big full head. I didn't see that. Perhaps it was a bit too cold when I poured.

Smell - Hop-heads should like this one. Really pronounced with a slight flower-like aroma.

Taste - wow, sharp bite which was unexpected. I've been drinking too many belgians lately so this one "took me back" to another land/style. A real hoppy taste that resounds thru this beer. Comparing this to a Boddingtons or Sam Smith I really see this as a middle of the road beer for the style. I did sense a bit of a fruity flavoring as well, but only after it warmed a bit. Did have a bitter (which is marked for the style) presentation as well.

Mouthfeel - Crisp/dry feel that leaves little on the tongue. It felt a bit thin for me and I really can't get over the bite. I've had other English Pales that were much smoother/richer.

Drinkability - Nope, not another one for me. Nice to say I tried it, but not a good representation of the style. At least to my taste.

Nesued, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of jameaterblues
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass.

A- Pale amber with yellow and orange hints...1/2 inch head: white, bubbly disappeared quickly. Sticky lace around back side of glass.
S-Light fruit (apple), butter or buscuit, slight sweetness and malty backbone, with light hops creating a slightly skunky herbal and spice notes.
T/M/D- Almost light on the the pallet...overall bitter body with a very light herbal characteristic. While the body is bitter, the beer finishes pretty clean.... with a very slight fruity sweetness. Not bad, but not great...there are definitively other English pale ales I would grab first.

jameaterblues, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of rousee
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber color with a thick lush hungry looking head that is about 1 finger thick. The head holds very well and does leave some decent lacing along the sides of the glass.

Smell is woody reminds me of cider to some degree. Elements of apple and pear somewhat rustic and earthy as well.

Taste is a standard British pale ale. While decently carbonated in terms of head, it is slightly flat in mouthfeel. Taste elements are a nice balance of malt and hops but clearly a bit more emphasis on the hoppy aspect. Woody and somewhat chalky as well. Low abv makes it a decent session beer. Seems like it would be versatile for pairing with food.

rousee, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of zuggy9
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wasn't all that impressed with this pale ale. It pours a basic amber with a decent head, with some retention and lacing. It's smells quite yeasty, and a bit skunking. The taste is strong and too bitter. There is a notable sulfur and skunky quality to it and it leaves a bit of a sour aftertaste. It's mouthfeel is fair, but I don't see really drinking this one.

zuggy9, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale
16.9 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* 1000+ Beer Karma point *

Pours a haze induced light orange with a bleached white head on top. Surprisingly nice trails of sticky lacings appear on the side of the pint glass.

The nose is rather light with some whiffs of rotting apples and toasted grains.

Juicy-sweet on top with a strong toasted grain quality. Prominent flavors of apple sauce and caramel sweetness with a metallic twang mixed in. Respectable hop presence on the finish.

To me, this is a text book English Pale Ale. A tad overpriced, but very true to the style and enjoyable.

Hibernator, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of StargherKing
4.1/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like so many others, I picked this one up mostly for the name. Pours a deep golden color, carbonation freely flowing upwards, full head that quickly deflates without dissipating. Smell is fruity, with some hops. Taste is hard to pin down...hints of fruits (orange, apple maybe?), hops, slight bitterness, and a dull metallic taste. Mouthfeel is very light, almost feels more like lightly carbonated seltzer water than beer. Drinkability is excellent, goes down smooth and easy. Perfectly capable beer, I could easily see myself picking this one up again.

StargherKing, Jan 04, 2007
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,105 ratings.