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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.

1,116 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,116
Reviews: 589
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 17.77%
Wants: 24
Gots: 68 | 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)
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,116 | Reviews: 589 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allergictomacros
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper with a creamy, medium density foam with some good lacing.

S - Loads of malt in the nose, some citrusy and floral hops with notes of lemon. Very light hints of apple and metal.

T - Buttery, and slightly tart up front. Clean bitterness in the aftertaste. A light touch of roastiness (that's probably a couple of witches) and some lemony hops are prominent. Flavour profile is somewhat muted, but very clean and characteristic EPA.

M - Smooth, perfectly carbonated, and somewhat creamy body. Probably the strong point of this beer.

D - In some ways, this is an unremarkable EPA - it expresses the style well. Good session beer IMO, and well executed.

Photo of funkengruven
4.22/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intriguing name, and "Tempered over Burning Witches". Very nice. Thought I'd give this a go.

This poured a nice gold amber with a ring of head that retains throughout, quite nice. Smell is sweet, caramel and Goldings hops. These hops are very prominent in the flavor, an assertive but clean bitterness followed by a mild acidity and sweetness which actually makes this quite a refreshing and drinkable brew.

A fine example of a good english ale, Definitely worth a try.

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and light amber in color. Excellent retention on the head leaving very good lace. Superior.

Quite neutral aroma. Some graininess, mostly sweet, little hop.

Caramel flavors start up front; the beer melds into light hop bitterness. The aftertaste reflects this bitterness as well although it doesn't stay long. Very good body, proper carbonation.

This is easy to drink. Very predictable as an English Ale.

Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale pours a hazy copper color with an off white head from a brown 16.9 ounce bottle. A bit of caramel or toffee is noticeable in the smell. The flavor starts out with the caramel/toffee flavor with perhaps a hint of diacetyl then fades into a lightly metallic hop flavor. Not a bad ale, but not outstanding. Worth a try.

Photo of edmundfitzoil
2.85/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked this one up at the ABC store on Baymeadows in Jacksonville. The label is kinda cool with the Monty Python motif, "tempered over burning witches."

I poured mine into a standard pint glass, and a white, big bubbled head rose up about two inches. The beer itself was a clear, plain amber color. The nose was lightly hopped and pretty lacking of much character at any level. The beer itself is very lightly hopped initially but thin and lackluster in both body and flavor. No real malt backbone there and really kind of simple, overly so in my opinion. I know my pallette is used to American, overhopped styles of ale, but I remember being more impressed with Bass the last time I drank it.

Notes: I found this one appears to be all about the marketing and label, and could use more substance behind it.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Amber colour with a generous frothy head and lots of lace. Fairly heavy carbonation, but a good looking pint. Smell isn't overly sweet, a bit of caramel and some nuttiness, with a bit of cookie-dough. Slight cellar-like musty/earthiness.

Taste is zippy with a zesty lemon sourness, unfortunately the malts don't shine through in the taste, a faint roasted flavour the only evidence of them. The Hop flavour is exceptional though, light yet full of life. Not a very good malt/hop balance in my opinion, but not unpleasant either. Mouthfeel is full bodied, and this beer dances on the tongue, unlike so many English ales I've had. Dry and sticks to the throat a little. This walks the line between light and heavy so well, and the hoppiness is quite welcome and refreshing on my palate. A very enjoyable EPA, recommended.

Photo of EvilKeith
4.13/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes of 08/06/06 visit to Delilah's, Chicago IL.

In the glass it was a pale amber, copper even, color. The head was impressively firm, dense, creamy, and tan in color. Lacing was outragously thick and sticky.

The smell was sweet malts, faint buttery notes, lightly fruity, and spicy hops.

The taste an excellent example of balance. Peppery, spicy hops playing off of a sweet malty backbone. On-tap this is even better than the bottled version. The creaminess of the mouthfeel gets kicked up a notch or two.

Creamy mouthfeel. Fair to moderate carbonation. Drinkable to the extreme.
Seek out this one on-tap.

Photo of BeerSox
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I admit I bought this drink when the yellow label caught my eye and the name caught my attention. It pours as a subtly cloudy pale copper color. The head on this beer is outstanding: about an inch thick, good retention, and it sticks. After a while it settles to form a nice cap.

Strong fruity aromas are present, almost like a very faint wine scent. Combines with a flowery hop presence.

A strong hop bitterness also lends an acidic finish. Almost no malt personality makes this brew a little one-sided.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. Finishes smooth with a crisp finish.

Not a bad beer: complex, but the hops are a little dominating, which some people may prefer.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Orange-amber body with thick and fluffy white head. A nice looking English Pale Ale.

Smell is biscuit malt with citrus and a weird kind of sourness.

Flavor is mild, slightly sweet, bready/yeasty and metallic. Light biscuit malt up front. Almost no hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin and a bit under-carbonated.

Drinkability is good. I love this style, and this one drinks just fine.

Buy it for the bottle, I did! It's not a bad beer at all, just less interesting than I expected or hoped for.

Photo of palma
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

orange-yellow body. Small off white head. Aroma is caramel malt, orange, and a little skunk. Average pale ale flavor here. light hops, bready, sweet background. Mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Not a very good brew IMO, but something I will drink if it's the only beer around.

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

Mini bomber, poured into pint glass.

A - Deep brown, with nice fluffy white head, small traces of lacing. Good head retention.

S - Smell was deep grain and malt.

T&M - Taste was very interesting. Bready malts, and slight earth tones carressed my mouth. This brew is smooth and you can lay these back quickly. Not the most complex beer in the world, but definitely earns some points for maintaing a solid flavor with each drink.

D - Drinkability is average.

A solid example of the English Pale Ale style. Give one of these a try.

Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden pale. Good head that ends with a good good size foam and lacing. Streams of effervencence shoot up.

Smell: light and malty with some slight herbiness.

Taste: medium bitterness with medium sweetness - very balanced and a good finish. Also some fruit like apricot.

Mouthfeel: medium thin and a good long aftertaste.

Drinkability: damn good. It would be better if it was a normal price.

Photo of Phatz
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a decent English Pale Ale that is good easy drinking but far from exciting. It is a very clever label on a cool uniquely shaped bottle. Certainly presentation and marketing are part of selling beer and they score points in that department. BTW: Terry Gilliam rocks!

Appearance: Pours a light golden grail colored ail (ale) =)

Smell: Not much here but a hint pale malts and musty English hops.

Taste: Pale malts and gently English hops make this a straight forward quaffable ale that is simple and easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp

Drinkability: Easy drinking beer made more for drinking than for thinking. Very sessionable.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of jokelahoma
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I reviewed this from a bottle a little over a year ago. My favorite watering hole just got it in on tap, so I figured I'd give it a go that way as well.

Poured a nice golden yellow-copper, with a thick, creamy head that lasts the whole glass.

The smell isn't overwhelming in any way whatsoever. There's faint hoppiness, a little sweet, earthy malt, neither really standing out from the other. Good balance, but lacks excitement.

The taste isn't terribly exciting either. There's a bit of hops to start, then a thin backbone of malt peeks through. There's a slight, very appealing bread crust flavor that sort of sneaks up on you as you're drinking this. That flavor is quite good. I wish it were more to the fore, and easier to find. The aftertaste takes on an odd metallic flavor, which is a tad unpleasant, yet not enough to spoil the brew.

The mouthfeel is, as it was in the bottle, creamier than expected. That makes it more difficult to drink this than it ought to be.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It seems oddly more bland from the tap then out of the bottle. It's none too exciting either way. As stated in my other review, I can see this as a great "training wheels" beer for the uninitiated. Not too hoppy, not overly tasty, but enough there to know it's a good beer. I'll try it again sometime, but it won't be at the top of my list any time soon.

Photo of scottoale
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 500ml. dark brown bottle pours an orange-amber ale with an off-white finger plus foamy head and good clarity. The head dies down leaving some nice sticky lacing.

Nice rich malty nose with very little sweetness to it and a balanced hoppy aroma in the finish.

Light sweet malt with a hint of apricot that smoothly blends with the hops to a bitter clean finish. A very nice balance as noted in the smell.

Light-medium body with a brisk, somewhat watery mouthfeel. With the mild ABV and a pleasant balanced flavor, this one's a very easy drinker worth a try...cheers.

Photo of wl0307
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown bottle presentation, BB Nov. 2006, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: reddish amber hue; the off-white beer head comes thick and frothy, sustaining very well due to a lively carbonated body.
S: lightly resinous hops lead the nose upfront, backed by the semi-sweet orangey fruity hoppyness; a floral theme slowly manifests, like green-tea leaves plus the fragrance of orange-jasmine, combined with a brown-sugary like sweet maltiness. Moderately aromatic, showing freshness and a subtle floral theme overall.
T: semi-thick textured, floral hoppyness, green-tea-ish rounded palate and lightly roasted, toffee-ish malts all come at once, backed by a mildly sour-sweet, citric fruity aftertone; slowly softening in intensity and leaving a soothing, tea-ish bitter aftertaste just like a healthy Bitter should do, plus an assertive floral (more like peach-blossoms now) aroma surrounding the whole palate.
M&D: not quite complex, this beer retains a very healthy balance and a medium body, while the softly-carbonated mouthfeel ensures an above-average "quaffability". It's hard to dislike this beer, just like most British Bitters on form. Yet it's also hard to rate it higher than Black Sheep's other brews, as it's slightly pale in terms of overall complexity, apart from the floral motif. I personally would place it under the Bitter category, but since Bitter also derives from Pale Ale, I'm fine with its identity as it is.

Photo of brushpig
3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

NI! NI! I will say NI to you if you don't try this beer!
A very nice head that lasted thoughtout the beer.Slightly sweet
fruity taste. Not too much of a bite from the hops.Light feel with little carbination.Not a very unique ale, but still well constructed.
I will definitely have one again. Now go away or I will taunt you a second time!

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of akorsak
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of arizcards
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of briman
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Freshie
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Photo of chakadrum
2.83/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of rustymoore
3.85/5  rDev +16%
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.

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
76 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.