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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: 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
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Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 586 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sinistrsam
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clean dark golden brown with a medium-sized head and left a little lacing. Hops and some sweet fruits dominate the aroma but neither are overpowering; very pleasant and sweet.
Hope bitterness slowly fades to something like sweet fruits and malts. Mild carbonation, smooth on the palate and quite drinkable. Nothing too complex, but a vrey pleasant ale, better than average.

sinistrsam, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light/medium bodied, nice cloudy coppery color with a substantial cream colored head.

Aroma is mild with a sweet malt and herbal hints.

Taste is slightly metallic at first, followed immediately by mild sweet malt, fruity with a hint of caramel and nuts, and then a hops bitterness with juniper berries or cedar, floral and citrus tones. Only a slight juniper aftertaste

. Smooth, drinkable and refreshing. Borders on Brown Ale character. Maybe not great, but definitely respectable and better than average. Went very well with enchiladas and should do well with barbecued beef or pork.

whynot44, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of Fugazme
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper with a great head and excellent retention. Sticks well to the glass.

Aroma is very pleasant. Sweet. Grassy and floral. Caramel and even maple and pine.

Taste is good... nothing flashy or over the top. Hoppy and pleasant.
Fairly balanced but thin. Tastes of apples and is tannic... oh yeah.

Overall a decent brew... don't know if I'd crack another one.

Fugazme, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of JustinBathurst
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light and hazy copper with a big frothy head that pops out of the glass nicely and ne'er goes away (always a lace, always).

Earthy hopperific aroma with some kinda citrusy, tangy smell (those burning witches mentioned on the bottle, perhaps?), and a wee bit o' grape juice.

Nice smooth mouthfeel, average carbonation. Nothing bad here.

Taste is tangy and twangy (this is what I feel defines this brew), like a sour Granny Smith apple. There's an o-so-anglo earthy bitterness and a bit of softened wheat bread sweetness too. I like it.

JustinBathurst, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of horndecker
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not disposed to enjoy gimmicky stuff - Holy Grail Ale? I'm a Python fan, sure, but is this merely a callous attempt to milk some moola from movie mavens? Likely so, but I like beer, too.

Actually, it has a nice fluffy, off-white head topping a beautiful copper orange brew. Lots of stickyness, fine carbonation.

The nose has a clean hop zing, and hints of apricot, tangerine and butterscotch.Some caramel at the end.

The taste starts bitter, hoppy and bright, with a long descent to a rich bread and butter malt. Really nice. Decent body and great fizz deliver a good mouthfeel. Very smooth. As it warms there's a little tail of malty chocolate.

Hey, this was tasty and well put together. If it weighs the same as a duck it must be a duck.

horndecker, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of NClifestyle
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap this evening.
Not sure what to make of this beer. After a few sips, I asked the bartender what style it was, and all he said was that it said English ale on the tap.
Poured up a dirty, hazy, light amber color with a nice head of chunky bubbles.
Smelled like a bit of wheat, a bit of hop and grass, some bready malt, a big mix of aromas.
Taste was hard to pin down. I got a hefe flavor right off the bat, then that was taken over by a light bread malt hint that segued into a grain flavor. This beer tasted nice, but it didn't stick to any category I'm used to.
Easy drinking, and enough mouthfeel/flavor to have more than one, but the strangeness of the taste just left me clueless. hmmm.


NClifestyle, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of DevilDogBeer
2/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer presented itself as an American macro brew, CMB. I had to reread the label to make sure it wasn't from one of the jumbo 3! This beer poured a yellow color with very little head. What head did form faded quickly into almost nothing. The taste was slightly bitter and was very average for a typical pale brew. The mouth feel was watery and the earthy aftertaste makes this beer not very drinkable. The name and the label are witty, but unfortunately the beer inside is rather uninspired.

DevilDogBeer, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of NJbeerman
2.08/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I recently tried this product on draft at a reputable place. I was very surprised to find it cloudy - never seen a none cast bitter to be cloudy. It had very little head which quickly disappeared.

The smell was a sour sweetness - made me think of ringwood yeast at first. Being an English pale ale, I expected some bitterness but there was none to be found. All I got was a sweet, sourness that made the drink quite undrinkable.

I will not be ordering this again and I would be very hesitant to try any of their other products. I comes across as more of a gimick beer then anything else - before finding it here, I thought it was a bud product.

NJbeerman, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of Cwrw
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Newly available in Alberta, though I think BC has had access to Black Sheep brews for a while now. This beer is definitely a treat for the Monty Python disciples. Typical Holy Grail labelling. Holy Grail poured with a superb and massive, chunky, bone-white head that slowly and noiselessly churned. It became meringue-like, with pockets and indentations forming, providing an amusing show of carbonation. Very sticky lacing. The beer's colour is rusty water, hints of light maple and even light orange. Nice colour and great head for an English pale. The aroma is that wonderful balance of caramel malt and English hops I love so much. There is nothing out of the ordinary here, but it is all very well done: the elements mix nicely to give a great deal of satisfying aromas, all in their right places. Earthy, woodlike hops first greet the nose, a little ticklish to the nostrils and warming. There are some dark fruits here as well: blackberries, faint pear and apple, and plum. Good malty sweetness, balanced exceedingly well with the hops, coming through as brown sugar, raisins, brownies, and butterscotch. Rice-pudding. All throughout there seems to be a very dry, balsam-wood note. The aroma really is superb: fresh, creamy and inducing. The taste was a little disappointing at first, only in that the aroma seems to promise more. This is still a very good tasting English pale, but just not as flavourful as some others. The taste on the front of the tongue brings wood flavours, and some sourish malt, almost a little cardboardish. In the middle the malts add some vanilla-like sweetness, a little cream, light fruitiness, and some wateriness. The taste as a whole is just not too full. The hops definitely arrive in the finish and leave their bitterness; cinnamon and cloves. Oak flavours really seem evident to my taste in this beer. Oddly enough the alcohol seems quite noticeable in this pale, even though it is only 4.7%. The beer is medium to full bodied, spritzy in carbonation, but extremely drinkable, as any good English pale ale should be. I could drink this all night. This is not really the Holy Grail of English pales, but a discovery worth making all the same. I suppose the Monty Python excerpts are only natural for this beer, so..."Not some farcical aquatic ceremony by some moistened bink!"

Cwrw, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of slitherySOB
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Expecting a gimmick, I was pleasantly surprised with this very good beer. Auburn/copper in colour, with a decent one finger head that lasted. Whisps of lace stick to the glass. Bit of toffee, fruit, malts, earth, grass and caramel in the nose. A rather odd blend that smells pretty damn good. Taste, hmm... Delicious. Lightly sweetened with malts, toffee and fruit, mingling with this down to earth bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit dry and buttery. However, this is quite the exceptional pale ale and one I shall be buying again.

slitherySOB, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of HochFliegen
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange with a big thick white head.
The smell was like green apples. Almost like the jolly rancher hard candies. I couldnt detect any other scent. I was kinda expecting to get some deep malty and bread like smells but it just wasnt there.
The taste was very sweet with well a green apple flavor. It had a slight nip of bitterness in there but not much. It finishes off very dry and sour.

HochFliegen, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of Viggo
2.93/5  rDev -12%
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.

Viggo, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of wcudwight
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

wcudwight, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of Enola
3.43/5  rDev +3%
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.

Enola, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of ReebShorts
2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

ReebShorts, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

DrJay, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of evh883
2.53/5  rDev -24%
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.

evh883, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of waldowin
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

waldowin, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.83/5  rDev +15%
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.

cubedbee, Sep 07, 2005
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
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
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

BEERchitect, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of ski271
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

ski271, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
3.63/5  rDev +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.

Px2GrafX, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Golden2wenty1, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Jul 02, 2005
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.