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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: 22
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 hopsaplenty
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml brown bottle, ‘27.11.04’ inkjetted on base.

Pours vibrantly with a towering dimpled head of eggshell colored bubbles of all sizes. Slowly settles with lost of divots forming, leaving sheets of sticky lacing clinging to the sides. A hazy golden caramel color, with minimal carbonation streams. The smell is restrained, slightly fruity, dark fruits rather than citrus. The taste is slightly flat, bittered fruit. Only modest malt sweetness initially, followed by quiet hop bitterness. No hop bite, more of a nibble. There are some barely perceptible caramel notes, but the taste is generally flaccid. There is perhaps a slightly off bitterness that maybe shouldn’t be present. The mouthfeel is light with minimal carbonation. Lacking character and commitment to the cause, something seems just a bit askew. Perhaps it was a bad batch of burning witches used for tempering.

hopsaplenty, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of akorsak
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a 500 mL bottle of Holy Grail Ale, poured into an Ommegang Witte glass. The ale is slightly below room temperature.

Appearance: The ale is a light brown color, clear with no haze.

Smell: The ale smells of an earthy hop and biscuity malt.

Taste: The malts are sweet and overpower the hops. There is a slight acidic taste at the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel: The malts and hops do not mix well, creating a conflict on the palate.

Drinkability: I'd pass on this one.

akorsak, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA for $3.89 in March 2006. I tried this one a year or more ago, and wasn't real fond of it at the time, but that was before I went to England and learned a lot more about English beer, so I thought I should give it another go.

Pours a yellowy golden, with a touch of red into my Bath Ale Imperial Pint glass. A substantial solid off-white head sits on top of the bubbly mass- this one is full of carbonation.

Aroma is initially fairly sharp weedy hops, much harsher than I like. Flavor is much the same- there is a malt profile to be sure, but this tastes more like a bitter to me than a pale ale.

Definitely drinkable, and I love to support any beer that's been "tempered over burning witches", but I'll spend my poundpencefarthings on other choices from now on.

Dukeofearl, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of arizcards
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 500 ml bottle in late November from Cost Plus for $3.99.

This brew poured an orange-amber color with a decent white head that is leaving a generous lacing. Nose is of English hops and apples. Taste is of sour apples and finishes with a nice bittering hop. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Drinkability is good, quite refreshing and sessionable at 4.7 abv.

arizcards, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of briman
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours clear, with a light amber color, with some orange and copper hues as well. About a half-inch off-white head retained quite well, and settled into some decent lacing.

Aroma was a little confusing at first....seemed bready with some banana, but after letting it warm up it was much more along the lines of an apple cider....almost wine-like.

Taste is pretty sharp upfront...apple, citrus with a bitter hop finish.

Light to medium body, decent but not abundantly carbonated. Overall a little thin, and not as flavorful as I might have hoped. Doesn't really have anything that would have me coming back for more.

briman, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of Freshie
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Beautiful golden hue, clear, and with great frothy head. Laces decent.

Smell: Basic hop, with citric character.

Taste: Hops, with apple cider like quality. Tanic finish. Woody flavour tucked in there as well.

Moutfeel and Drinkability: Very smooth. The cider quality stays with you, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your taste.

Freshie, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of chakadrum
2.83/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pale golden color. Fluffy wet head (as opposed to airy/dry). Lacing was of a similar nature throughout the drink.

Little to no smell at first. I let it warm up for 15 minutes and then there was a slight hint of hops. But very slight.

The carbonation level on this was very nice. Quite bubbly which made it a positive mouth feel. I would also describe the beer as being crisp. There was definately a bitter aspect to this brew but there was more smoothness than overwhelming bitterness.

As for the taste, I was rather disappointed. There just wasn't a whole lot going on. Maybe my tastebuds took the night off. I sensed the hop flavor, but it was weak. It wasn't particularly malty either. It just tasted like bubbly, crisp, bland beer.

I don't think I will seek this beer out in the future.

chakadrum, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of rustymoore
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber gold with a frothy, thick head. Smells strong of grapes much like a wine. Tastes very much as it smells: much like a watered down wine with a slightly hoppy aftertaste. Quite tasty and better than I expected actually. Mouthfeel is smooth as this ale goes down very easily. Overall I could drink this on a regular basis.

rustymoore, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) a medium gold with a huge head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving s solid layer that lasted throughout the session.

The smell is of sweet malt and some faint fruitness.

The taste up front was a malt sweetness, almost honey like but shortly after, the bitterness from the hops come in and pretty much took over but that's temporary as well as the finish, imo, is a very nice balance between the 2 tastes . Yum...what a nice session brew!

Bottom line: Here's another session English Ale that delivers nicely in the taste department. I'll certainly buy this again.

Bitterbill, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of Noxious26
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured in a pint glass. Best before date on the shoulder (Oct 06).

Big huge volumnous head! Off white head is probably an inch and a half with a fairly gentle pour. As it starts to recede, it leaves big caverns and huge gobs of lace on the side. Beer itself is clear and a light copper colour.

Distinctly English pale ale aroma. Herbal, earthy, grassy hops with a light bready background. Catch the odd whiff of fruityness and maybe even a little tea.

Begins as a very good English pale ale. Nice balance of malt and hops off the start. However, in the middle there is a distinct herbal/earthy hops quality that pushes itself to the forefront and winds up as a strong herbal bitter finish. Aftertaste is bitter herbal hops. I'm not so big on the herbal aspect myself and would have prefered it left out.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. To look at the glass, you wouldn't think it's carbonated at all. Not a single stream of bubbles, but it does have just enough carbonation dancing across the tongue.

The taste is alright, but really not my favourite of this style. The herbal bitterness at the finish is like finishing a night of wild sex with a kick to the groin. It doesn't quite ruin things, and doesn't make the whole affair totally bad, but it sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Appearance and mouthfeel are top notch and the aroma is pretty good too, making this a pretty decent beer.

Noxious26, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of taez555
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber/tan body with a white head.

Interesting nose. A very fresh herbal, grassy, bready malt smell. Almost kind of fruity. Not your typical British pale ale sort of smell. Almost more... dare I say... american.

Medium bodied and a bit creamy. Classic bready, biscuit malt flavor. Definitely an herbal, grassy and slightly apple like fruity hop character. Hop bitterness is surprisingly present and almost borders on an english ESB or Brown Ale. Again, earthy, leafy some mild dirt or even tobacco leaf sorts of taste. Ends rather dry with a punch of bitterness.

I overheard someone at the store decide not to buy this beer because they thought it was joke, and personally I was expecting about the same. After tasting it though.. It's really quite good. Classic English pale ale. This beer could hold it's own against any fullers or youngs any day of the week. Might be amazing on cask.

taez555, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale amber gold color with pinpoint bubbles feeding a dense, white head of creamy froth that retains nicely and leaves only smatterings of thin lace that gets washed off by the end of the pint.

Aroma is coarse, toasty malts, wet paper bags, freshly cut metal, and some earty bitterness that I'll assume is hops.

Flavor unfortunately mimics the nose, gritty, overcooked malt notes of rotting cardboard boxes and sharp metallic minerality with meager earthy, tea-like hops in the finish. Not my bag at all.

Body is just a whisper above light, although the body feels a little beefier with a creamy texture and slick, dextrinous mouthfeel. I do not think I shall have this again. Not even with Spam, dead parrots, lumberjacks, and Mr. Creosote.

AlexJ, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a cloudy reddish orange honey color with a large tan foamy head. The smell has a large cinnamon and apple aroma,it smells good,but it's a little weird for a beer. The taste has a sweet maltly flavor,but it also has some sour apple tartness. The mixture of these two flavors doesn't go well together. The aftertaste is watery and a little metalic. The m/f is light. This is a beer that I would pass on in the future.

jmz62565, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber with a 3 fingers+ rocky head. Good head retention and lacing

Smell: Light toast malt & frutiness as the ale warms

Taste: Slight dryness and tartness gives way to some frutiness. A dryness and slight grainyness

MF: A tad thin. Good carbonation

Okay drinakbility, just doesn't come together a s sum of it parts. Will try again if I can some warm fuzzies about freshness or maybe it was the burnt witches?

russpowell, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a nice copper color with a thin head that quickly fell into a slight haze covering the top of the beer.
the aroma is a little grassy, malty, bit of hopsack.
the flavor is malty, grassy, minerially, spicy, bit of hopsack.
the mouthfeel is right on for the style, it coats with flavor, then drops off.
drinkable anytime.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of Weizenmensch
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not quite the Holy Grail of Ales, but fun and very Yorkshire, by gum.

App: Bottle looks great, ale is nice and bronze with a playful, fluffy cappuccino head. Constant effervescence but small bubbles mean more flavour in your nostrils but less fizziness. A typical bottle-conditioned English Bitter, perhaps, but not your fruity, sweet, delicious Landlordesque Pale Ale.

Smell: Tea, whisky, pineapple, coffee, and maybe a touch of lizard. Robust, bitter and well-rounded.

Taste: Well, it's got a few things in common with a Scotch Ale - I'm not too fond of the style, but I'm a big fan of this brewery. Did you know this ale is a blend of Black Sheep Ale and Yorkshire Square Ale, a darker ale of theirs? So they've gone cheapo to make this concoction, but it's still not too bad. You can kind of tell that it's a blend though, because of the mishmash of flavours. Anyway, this is a solid, drinkable ale, which smells good, like it's made with all sorts of things beer is not supposed to be made with (like tea) and it's more than the bland crap you usually get in a smoky Yorkshire pub (think John Smith, Bass). Taste is OK but not as good as Black Sheep Ale. Awesome brewery though, and a great story behind it. Definitely worth visiting the brewery!

Mouthfeel: Bit rough and watery. Not this style's strong point.

Drinkability: What's that proverb about some coloured sky at night, shepherd's delight? Well you and all other drinkers of this beer can talk about such things as the weather, your flock of sheep, the young ladies in the village and the details of the local cattle market, over a pint of this fine local ale in your smoky pub. Enjoy your pipe and overgrown sideburns/chops. Remember, this is a LOCAL ale for LOCAL people, there's nothing for you here!

Weizenmensch, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of elricorico
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a reddish amber colour with a rocky white head. The head leaves a lot of sticky lacing all about the glass.

The smell is very fresh, flowery and somewhat sweet. There is a bit of a baking bread smell, along with a decent amount of hops. Worth smelling repeatedly.

The taste, though not bad, doesn't seem to hold up to the standards set by appearance and smell. There is a bit of a tartness at first, followed by an understated bitterness mixed with something that feels a touch sour. Put together and I find it less than exciting to taste.

In the mouth I find the carbonation a bit too coarse for comfort. Drinkability doesn't suffer too much from that, but I don't find this beer one for savoring.

All in all it isn't bad, but it is easy enough to find a better example of the style.

elricorico, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.13/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"This ale can be from golden to reddish amber in color with generally a good head retention. A mix of fruity, hoppy, earthy, buttery and malty aromas and flavors can be found."

That's from the Bros' own definition of an English Pale Ale, and could have been written with this beer in mind.

Pours out a golden, orange-amber with a yellowish-white head that rises up to two fingers and hangs about in fluffy cake-frosting mounds, leaving sticky lacing behind. A few very tiny bubbles rise, and the beer is quite clear, with perhaps a bit of chill haze.

This is so English in scent and flavor both; I can smell slightly earthy, creamy malts, and distinctly English hops.

Fruits? Check... Earth, butter, nutty malts? Check. Hoppy? Yep. I really want to call this a Fuggle-hopped beer but I'm not sure - it's definitely got a lot of distinctively English hops. The malt has a ton of character and the hops balance it out, plus a little, with tasty earthy bitterness. The hard water (Burtonized or natural, I'm not sure) is noticeable as well, and likely plays a large role in the flavor of the beer.

The carbonation is good; Slightly frothy, with largeish bubbles that bounce the flavors around and compliment the slightly dry hop finish. No complaints.

I'll admit it - I bought this for the name. I'm not enamored by the British Isles yet - I'm an American/Belgian/German kind of guy - but dang if this doesn't have a good character to it.

Tupperwolf, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted this 500ml bottle on 4th Feb, 2006 best before end 2007.

I note that the label says "best served at 13 oC" and I had this bottles left outside my back door for the day at an air temp of about 9.

Poured into a Korenwolf pint glass a nice amber brown colour (no haze) with a nice off-white head.

Smelled hoppy and tasted of hops though slightly sweet with fruit in the background.

Mouthfeel slightly syrupy. Overall a nice refreshing beer, could be good for a session.

I must admit that I bought this because of the novelty factor (I was entertaining friends), but was pleasently surprised at how good this pale ale is. Very enjoyable.

JohnfromDublin, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Color is slightly hazy, deep amber. It starts with a large, white head, but it fades a bit quickly and doesn't leave very much lace.

S: Honey is the first thing you smell. Some caramel, malt & wheat follow.

T: The taste is a lot sweeter that I expected. Malty, honey & caramel as was in the smell. As the sweetness fades, you start to get a little bit of hops flavor mixed, but not a heck of a lot.

M: Very smooth, medium/heavy body. I would compare the texture to the APWA's that I've had. Medium/heavy carbonation, someone had told me that the carbonation was too much, but while I agree it's a bit above average, I think the carbonation is just right for this particular beer.

D: Although the beer is smooth and flavorful, it is a little bit more filling than most other beers, which might not make it as drinkable. However, since it goes down easy and it's not very strong, it might take a while before you notice that you're full.

It was the "Monty Python" name that made me try the beer and I'm sure that's what the company was going for. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was certainly a pleasant surprise, especially since I got the bottles on a "buy one, get one free" special. I think this beer may be more conducive to being consumed with a meal rather than by itself, but I think this is a very good beer.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of Morningstar
4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was a novelty beer, which I rarely think of trying. I love Monty Python so I decided to give it a try. I was very delighted with the taste. It went well with meatloaf and baked potato meal I made last night. I would definitely recomend this ale.

Morningstar, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a big ol' glass mug so I got a nice rocky head to go with a slightly hazy orange/copper color.

This beer drinks like your typical, solid English pale ale. I find many EPAs possess a certain je ne sais quoi in the nose and flavor that seems to be somewhat earthy or minerally in nature... or something to that effect.

This is the second time I've tried this beer and it's better now than it was the first go-around. I think there may have been something off about that first bottle because now I find this beer to be quite enjoyable as a basic EPA, and imminently drinkable. Worth a try if you want something simple yet satisfying.

VoodooBrew, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have been resistant to tying this due to the novelty factor… Pours an orange/copper color with a nice full and rocky head – good retention. Light co2 and some chill haze. Aroma is lightly metallic/acrid with some aroma hop. Palate is full and effervescent. Flavor has a quick but light hop bite, with a metallic finish– quite the residual twang of tartness. A decent flavor, but not necessarily representational of the style. What the hell do I know?

SeanChouffe, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brown-gold with a sticky eggshell head that leaves a surprisingly large amount of lace. Nice carbonation throughout.

Smell is muted, mostly toasted grains with light hints of caramel and clean baked breads.

Flavor is clean with toasted grains, light baked bread, a little bit of caramel, and some light grassy hoppiness. Not a very complex flavor, but nice and refreshing and certainly pleasant. A little metallic note, but not too much.

Overall: Given to me as a half-joke gift, and it ended up being a nice surprise. Worth trying.

whartontallboy, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of scruffwhor
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- A clear, golden amber hue. Two finger head with residual foam sticking to the side of my pint glass.

Smell- A little subdued, but a noticeble creamy hops aroma. More emphasis on creamy for a pale ale. With hints of bananas.

Taste- Very creamy start, hops with bananas in the middle, and a clean creamy malt finish. A surprising end to this better than expected beer.

Mouthfeel- A light creamy palate, no overwhelming flavors to the taste buds. Very clean and refreshing.

Drinkability- Will definetly have to get a bunch of these beauties next time I'm at Sam's Wines and Liquors.

I drank this beer while soaking my aching feet. Feet soaking and Holy Grail Ale went together like swimmingly. Very relaxing.

scruffwhor, Dec 24, 2005
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.