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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

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Monty Python's Holy Grail AleMonty Python's Holy Grail Ale

Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stcules on 05-24-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 603 | Ratings: 1,210
Photo of Extrajoker00
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed: 3/16/14

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale by Black Sheep
poured from a bottle into a 12 oz mug

P-packaging: the big sell, holy grail with the letters crossed out and re worked 4.0

A-apperance : chestnut blonde with a one finger head and some lacing 3.75

S- smell: faint malt subtle but very pleasant 3.75

T-taste: a little tinny but very well balanced and light in character 3.25

M-mouthfeel : sturdy but smooth, really nice finish 3.5

D-drinkability: very good. not too heavy, crisp enough to refresh 4.0

O-overall: glad I bought a couple in a mix. would have again 3.5

great for a tasting party or the British humor fan. good beer all in all

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Photo of Zetcha7x
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz single from CJ's Doghouse in Lansdale poured into a standard pint. No prior knowledge of this beer just a random selection for a mix-a-six pack.

A-somewhere in between a gold and copper. Medium amount of carb bubbles. Don't remember any head. If it was there it was gone before I started drinking. No lacing.

S-metallic upfront. Some grains and toffee. As it warmed and I drank I began to notice more fruit.

T-pretty much the same as smell. I also picked up on an apple taste as I drank.

M-light-medium bodied. High carbonation feel and little hop bitterness.

O-a decent beer. I have had much better English ales, but also much worse. Sorry the Monty Python thing doesn't sway me either way.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. American brewed edition. Sampled on February 28, 2014.

This is a nice looking medium amber-copper color with busy carbonation and a short-lived off-white head. Little lacing.

The aroma is soapy with toffee. buttered biscuit, and mild sweetness. Not much in the way of hop character on the nose. That comes later.

The body is about medium and quite smooth.

The taste has all the expected elements of a sweet English Pale Ale with sweet malts, toffee, and a slight bitter finish but nothing the overwhelms. I used to drink the original English version and I think it is superior to the American-brewed version. But this still holds its own in a pinch.

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Photo of jbridge127
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I got this purely because of the name of the brew, which I'm sure was Black Sheep's market gimmick. It worked. Overall I was not disappointed, but I have had many beers that were better. The appearance suggested it would be an Amber or wheat ale, but the flavour was much more bitter.

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Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one a while back, but was so s**t-faced I don't remember what I thought of it. Anyway, saw it again and had to grab it. I mean really, anything tempered over burning witches can't be bad, right? Well, for what I can only regard as a novelty beer, it's not bad. Not too bitter, nothing sweet, and with decent carbonation. It's beer. Very drinkable. I could easily pound a bunch of these and have a great time. Recommendable. Cheers!

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Photo of Cervezaconcalor
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank out of a snifter

A - Light brown with minimal head the dissipates quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Caramel, fruits and alcohol.

T - Smooth caramel with some sweet fruit and toffee. Leaves a toffee after taste that is no great.

M - Light

O - An OK beer but will not get again.

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Photo of Beric
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Serving: Bottle poured into pint glass
Served: 10 January 2014

Appearance: Crystal clear brown with a hint of red. Pours with a one-finger white, foamy head that collapses into just about nothing. No lacing even though the glass was perfectly clean. Would have liked the head to stick around longer/have observable lacing.

Smell: Smelled rather metallic, which was a bit offputting. The metallic smells did die down after a while, after which sweet maltiness could be smelled.

Taste: Really not half bad, but nothing special. Sweet maltiness similar to an Oktoberfest- caramel and toffee notes abound- with a buttery flavor too. The butteriness smooths the beer which finishes quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation; very refreshing. Thinned out after a while.

Overall: My first English Pale Ale, so I can't speak too much about how this stacks up to others in the style. Overall, this was a very easy drinking beer with some muted malty notes and a dry finish. Glad I had it, but I probably wouldn't get this again, as I prefer English Bitters over this.

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

This beer's color is just a little lighter than amber with a lot of cloudiness in the body and even maybe some yeast floating around in there. The yellowish head is strong, and it rests at about one finger's height with good retention and an even, consistent mix of spotting and patching left by the receding liquid.
The nose is good but strength is a struggle. It shows off its English nature a little less in its aroma than its flavor, and I only get hints of the earth, leaf or mineral that is the staple. I do get grassiness in the hops offering a moderate bitterness, which may add to the bit of earthy note that is there. It's mostly bready, though, ultimately, with a mix of softer and dark fruits speaking to alcoholic esters. There's a somewhat familiar slightly buttery note that I've noticed before as well. It's almost like buttered bread with jam in some regards, but with more to it.
The flavor gives more toast and bread with less of the diacetyl note, the fruity notes still riding through while the grassy and slightly spicy notes from the hops linger underneath with earthiness to boot.
The carbonation in this beer starts off stronger than it finishes, as each sip flattens out on the end. It remains crisp, but it goes fairly limp on the tongue from time to time. Smoothness suffers a little. The overall dryness runs from beginning to end.

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Photo of burnerfinger
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A darker than a typical macro (yes I brought up macro right off the bat)
about apple cider color
lots of clarity
very little head, and very little lacing

S - a bit metallic - a bit of ABV and not too pleasant to the nose

T instead of shining here is where it disappoints

M not real complaints here

D really didnt make the cut
"you call that beer? I'd rather have another" - -Rufus

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.16/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2013. Purchased some time back from a supermarket. Tempered over burning witches! Who doesn't love Monty Python?

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A bright orange-amber hue with faint haze and good carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before settling as a patchy surface layer. Nice lacing. It looks great! Aroma of fruity ale yeast, mild caramel malt, grass/hay, stewed hops, a whiff of solvent and faint cardboard. Not much going on.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of fruity ale yeast, caramel, grass/hay, stewed hops and harsh cardboard. Well-attenuated, followed by a restrained, leafy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of stewed leaves, acrid cardboard and fruity yeast esters.

OK though not mind-boggling. It looks lovely, but this is its best aspect. The aroma and flavour are balanced but rather dull; stewed hops and ale yeast notes abound. Body is alright. Not a bad brew but nothing special - its fame begins and ends with Monty Python. Goes down easily enough but no need to seek it out.

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Photo of louisianajones
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass. Bought at Crazy Bruce in Bristol, CT as part of a mixed sixer.

Color is somewhere between gold and orange, leaning more toward orange. 'Bout a half finger of white head receding quickly to nothing; lacing is minimal.

This has been sitting in my fridge for a few days, so it's cold. Not getting much in the line of aroma; slightly pungent without being skunky. Catching some banana/citrus notes as it warms. Maybe it's too cold at the moment; we'll watch the game and let it warm some. Now we're getting some hops and malt with the citrus. Generally pleasant.

Decent carbonation. Pretty basic malt/hops taste which intensifies as it warms; malty beginning, hops on the finish. Carbonation also seems smoother as it warms up some. Aftertaste is predictable for an ale, which is not a bad thing.

Not terribly unique, but good stuff. Much better all around if it's not so cold (yeah, well, it's English). Very, very drinkable. Think "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MGs; nothing earth shattering, but a groove that'll make you smile. I'd have another one.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber; medium frothy head, dissipates quickly, good lacing

Aroma: Malty; slight earthy hops; light apple cider; some honey as it warms

Taste: Strange/different flavor; apple cider flavor in the start; creamy malt in the mid with hops showing up; finishes slightly dry; adjunct aftertaste

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

i really didn't care for this one, and after finally trying it, I see why ive overlooked it for so long. it pours a standard golden color, clear, with an oatmeal looking head without much retention. the nose is sweet English malts, a little on the stale side, and a slight skunky aroma. the flavor is about the same, with the sweetness being quite intense in the end. its got a tin body without nearly enough carbonation, and has a sort of spoiled aftertaste. its grainy and light, for those who get off on that sort of thing, but its a far cry from the best English ales. maybe its better from the bottle, but im not sure ill invest in another one of these anytime soon. average in every sense of the word.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.08/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an Irish pint glass.

Look: Deep clear copper, not unlike tea. Cream colored head that leaves to a film with bubbles. Light random lines of lacing.

Aroma: Malts, bread, raisins, apples.

Taste: Starts out slightly tart and tangy with bready malts and loads of fruity notes, namely tart apples and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, tangy.

Overall: A decent session but lots of tart and tanginess.

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Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but dark mahogany in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a thick collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of apples, toffee and lemon citrus are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of fruity yeast and toffee along with some hints of chocolate malts. Bits of sweetness are also perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is noticeable towards the finish.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable. It's rather complex for a light-bodied beer.

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Photo of nukem5
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great amber color with nice sicky white foam cap. Some slight laceing down glass has occurred.

S: Smells fruity and piney with a bit of wet cardboard aroma at the back end.

T: Taste is also fruity with hints of pine and some lighter malts.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly over carbed IMO.

O: Overall a solid drinker and would have it again not the least bit unpleasant and very refreshing.

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Photo of jucifer1818
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a: billowing head, clear light (straw color) in appearance.

s: mellow with a slight fruityness, and very slight bready notes

t: like the smell. Light, fruity, and bready. Very much a session beer

M: light and wattery with some grainy texture

O: this, as said, is a light session beer, and tastes like a lagger for a ale. I expected this beer to not be very good, as it heavily banks on its name, but to be honnest, its not bad
However, you can do better

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Photo of Caskaway
4.03/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pay attention to the bottle - label and artwork are rather clever. This beer surprised me - appearance is complex, taste is straightforward.

The pour was brilliant. Minimal head but exceptional retention and lacing. Carbonation was active throughout, lively and persistent. Color is copper, reminiscent of sparkling apple cider. My sense of smell is not particularly keen, but I would consider the smell to be above average. Mouthfeel is acceptable for the style, taste is very smooth and drinkable.

The taste is familiar, not quite sure...perhaps a toned-down parallel to Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale?

Given the style and the taste, I recommend being cautious with your food pairings. This beer is probably best as a stand-alone session beer, or paired with something light. I was snacking on pita bread and hummus, which proved a good match.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
3.43/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent amber ale color. Smells like blatant gummy bears. Much more complex than you would expect. Definitely on the sweet and fruity end. Good beer for the summer sun. Decent drinkability. Tastes better than a shitty novelty beer--not awesome but better than you would expect.

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Photo of SmashPants
2.81/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: pretty awesome. Standard 500mL brown bottle, but come on - the label is Monty Python!

Appearance: mid amber in colour with a two-finger head that drops fairly quickly with decent lacing.

Aroma: not much going on here - light grains and a bit of those standard English hops. 'Skunky' is a good word.

Taste: heavy fruit and spice hops. Flavour dissipates quite quickly, with little else other than a biting off bitterness. Not terrible, just not as good as many other English ales.

Aftertaste: there are some good-quality English hop and particularly heavy bread malt flavours coming through, but only a modicum.

Mouth feel: a rather thin body for an English ale, with a usual lack of carbonation. Generally the lack of fizz suits the style as they are medium to heavy, but this one misses by a mile.

Overall: bit of floral and spicy bitterness, but nowhere near enough carbonation, not strong enough and not well put together. After 15 minutes it feels like a headache too.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. A batch code is printed on the shoulder but there is no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is light bronze. A finger of light, eggshell-colored head left a skim of foam and a ring around the edge.

Smell: The first whiff is sweet, fruity, and grassy. Apple or grape juice blended with honey, sweet caramel, light toffee, and grassy hops.

Taste: Grassy and crisp. It is on the lighter side, too, but still very tasty. The grassy and floral hop bitterness outshine what fruits are there. The fruit juice is there but not prominent. Pale malts, honey, sweet caramel, toffee, and lemon zest.

Drinkability: It is crisp, clean, and tasty. All around good stuff in my book.

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Photo of Hatchman
1.28/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A- pours a golden copper, looks like an ale. Very light head with light lacing. Some carbonation visible. Don't like the looks of the carbonation.

S- Smells like a lager. Taste is very mineral and copper, no hops, no malt, no alcohol smell. Smells like Miller Lite.

T- Tastes like a lager. No hops, no malt, but does have bitter mineral taste.

M- Light body, high carbonation, feels like a lager. OK, a heavy lager.

O- Still can't figure out how this is an ale. This is not an ale. This is definitely not the Holy Grail of Ales. This is a marketing ploy. The bottle is kind of cute, especially the part about being brewed over the bodies of burning witches, but this beer is all hipe, and no hops. Stay away, stay far away.... unless you like Miller Lite at 4 times the price.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a clear dark golden color with. White foamy head with good retention and lace.

S- some mineral-like well water, cereal grain, copper, with just a bit of hop

T- earthy, sulphur-like water, grainy, a bit of malt and hop

M- light bodied, medium-light carbonation, slightly foamy finish

O- this one was a 'meh' for me. It's not ad but nothing about it makes it beyond average

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Now why aren't more beers tempered over burning witches?? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, dry grass, light honey, light flowers, and a touch of cedar. The taste holds notes of caramel, light biscuit, grass, and a pinch of vanilla and powdered sugar for the sake of it. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice EPA, one that's mild without being boring, and one that lends itself to a high degree of drinkability.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - 2-finger off-white head over crystal clear amber body, moderate carbonation bubbles

S - apple cider; not much else going on

T - apple, touch of hop spice, nice malty backbone, dry finish; simple, but pleasant

M - light/medium body, high carbonation (gives it a bite)

O - a decent English Pale Ale

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
77 out of 100 based on 603 ratings.