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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale - Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Not Rated.
Riggwelter Yorkshire AleRiggwelter Yorkshire Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

297 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 297
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 14
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 297 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.58/5  rDev +19%

16.9 oz brown bottle, with a classy sheep-themed label and a raised hop-flower design on the shoulders of the bottle.

Apperance: Magnificent. A dark brown beer with ruby highlights and excellent clarity. A decent pour produces a massive fluffy white head with good retention and awesome lacing.

Smell: Caramel, sweet toffee, roasted grains, chocolate, a little bit of fruitiness, and the unique yeastiness so typical of Black Sheep's brews.

Taste: Heaven. It's rich and creamy, full of chocolate and dark caramel, supported by a full, earthy bitterness from the English Goldings hops. Finishes dry and bittersweet, with good length.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied, with a crisp bitterness from the roasted grains and decent hop rates.

Drinkability: It's 5.7% abv, and fairly full-bodied. That being the case, it's not a session beer, but it goes down remarkably easily for its depth and weight.

Conclusion: In my opinion, THE best English or English-style ale out there. Pure and simple. Every time I have this I discover something new to like about it. It's complex, robust, and quite unique. This beer was a mainstay on my trip to Yorkshire, and the Black Sheep Brewery is fantastic if you ever get a chance to go. This beer is absolutely perfect for a chilly fall afternoon after raking leaves or a cold winter night by the fire. Definitely in my "top 10 beers of the world."

BedetheVenerable, Sep 29, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Wow what a quality made yorkshire ale,nice chesnut hue witha a good rocky head.Good medium body with a nice almost rich malty flavor,good sour tinge to finish it off.First Black Sheep ale I have had the pleasure to try looking forward to many more.I will be sure to get this again.

oberon, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

Appearance – This is a light and gleaming brown in color with a nice-sized dark brownish-white head that showed good retention.

Smell – The darkish malts have a bit of yeast and butter to them. Otherwise the aroma is almost devoid of sugar, although there’s some liquidy kind of mashed barley sweetness as the ale warms.

Taste – The malts are very dark, almost like a Schwartzbier, and the sugary cane comes out to play at the taste. There’s a refined and very subtle yeast flavor as well that I enjoyed.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied with some easy carbonation and a non-offensive bitterness at the end.

Drinkability – This is definitely a worthwhile session ale although a bit darkish than the norm.

RoyalT, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of Todd
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Presentation: 1pt. 9fl oz custom brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby red edges, crowned with an off-white patchy, creamy, sticky lace. The beer foam seems to crawl up the sides of the glass like it's alive.

Smell: Light carob, brownies, earth, faint coffee, background floral -- faint.

Taste: Semi-coarse around the palate, but smooth overall. Nice firm body and feel (from the brewing water). Crisp, dry. The hop flavour builds and peaks, with a raw, leafy, semi-astringent sharp flash of rind-like bitterness. It settles, then earth and a mild roasted malt character comes forward. Some carob, light toffee, coffee and touch of smoke. Malt character and sweetness is thinner than expected -- this is a very attenuated beer. Finish is dry and bitty with residual malt flavours.

Notes: Roasted, sharp bitterness / astringency ... all typical of a robust porter. Thought a bit more malt to balance would have been nice.

Regardless ... a really decent brew from the UK, not exceptional, just classic of the style with all of the traditional flavours. Good drinkin' here.

Todd, Jul 21, 2002
Photo of shapudding
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Georgeous dark amber brown with an amazingly thick and creamy bubblebath of khaki head sitting on top. Caramelly chocolate, vanilla, and warm alcohol scents. This is very smooth and just flows so easily over your tongue. The carbination is not so much, which makes this very drinkable. I like the feel of this one. Body is not so thin, but not really medium... maybe somewhere in between. Alot of vanilla bean flavor, black coffee, and maybe some whiskey. Very good drinkability , good flavors and mouthfeel to it.

shapudding, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev +6%

16.9 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Raised glass of a hop vine around the base of the neck is a bit showy. Fast to foam up and form a dense light tan head that takes a while to drop down. Solid brown with reddish amber hues glimmering off of the light.

Bit of a roasted twang, musty, fruity of black currant, caramel and earth in the aroma. The nose is creamy in a way from a very faint diacetyl.

Just as smooth as it is crisp with a sizeable dry and roasted malt character. Stable medium body with a nice flowing texture from the carbonation. Diacetyl is noticeable from the start but in a mild way, roasted flavours creep in slowly with light charcoal and coffee. Touch of fruitiness as well as a nuttiness from the yeast. Big push of earthiness middle to end. Alcoholic esters are in the back and don’t bother the palate at all. Finishes with a lingering diacetyl and toasted and roasted grain.

A fine dark ale to say the least, complex without taking away from drinkability. Went well with apple wood smoked turkey breast.

Jason, Jul 31, 2002
Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

According to the label, a riggwelter is a sheep that has fallen and can't get back up. Guess that explains the distressed sheep on the label. This English Brown pours a clear, copper mahogany body with a two finger beige head that is creamy, with good retention. Lots of patch lace gets left on the glass.
Aroma has a note of mild chocolate malt, but is mostly creamy caramel with earthy hops.
Mouthfeel has a medium body and moderate carbonation.
Taste mirrors the aroma, with chocolate and caramel maltiness balanced by a nutty and earthy hops bitterness. Slightly on the sweet side, overall, but quite tasty.
This is a tasty and satisfying English Brown Ale. Very solid.

merlin48, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

nice and dark, almost molasses in color. Vanilla and saddle leather nose. Frothy head which leaves tightly knit lacing. Lovely malt character, smooth and toasty,,, nice mellow and balancing hops, finishing with a dry hoppy glow. Good, classy brew I'm quaffing here, worth seeking out and trying.

Billolick, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of tigg924
3.58/5  rDev -7%

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, light brown in color

Smell: toasted malt, leaves, and earth

Taste: toasted malt, tea, hops, and a leafy tobacco

Mouthfeel: light bodied, smooth, moderate carbonation, sweet for the style

Drinkability: An above average brown, but not among my favorites. I could have two. The leafy/tobacco taste I get here sets this apart from others in the style.

tigg924, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of innominat
3/5  rDev -22.1%

innominat, May 19, 2014
Photo of magictrokini
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%

Reddish-brown pour with a fair-sized off-white head. Roasted malt, caramel, and banana in the nose, with some straw. Taste was a ton of straw, popcorn, and bitter, bitter malt. The straw is nearly overwhelming when you get to the bottom. Strange beer.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2014. Acquired a while back from a supermarket. A local hero; named after a Yorkshire term for a sheep that has rolled over and got stuck on it's back.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear, dark reddish-brown hue with medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of vaguely fruity malt with hints of roasted grain, caramel, ale yeast esters, faint dried fruit and stewed hops. A twinge of warming booze in the background. Nice.

Tastes of caramel malt and subtle roasted grain with a seriously bitter finish. Notes of roasted malt, caramel, fruity yeast esters, mild dried fruit, leafy stewed hops and faint earthiness. Well-attenuated, with a hint of alcohol in the background and a strident hop bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with spritzy carbonation and decent body for the style. Could stand to be a shade thicker. Somewhat astringent, followed by an aftertaste of bitter stewed hops, fruity malt and ale yeast.

A solid, nicely-balanced example of a strong ale. In fact, Riggwelter forms my mental template of the style. Looks alright, while the aroma and flavour have a rich malt presence accompanied by a considerable hop bitterness. Subtle roasty and fruity notes mingle on the palate. Mouthfeel is OK but could be slightly more substantial. Well-crafted and traditional; shame it's filtered as I imagine live yeast would add an extra dimension to the character. Doubtless a cracker on cask. Worth sampling if you come across it.

jazzyjeff13, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of ADR
4.08/5  rDev +6%

Clear dark copper color, big and rocky head of almost an inch in an Imperial pint glass. Lots of clingy lacing. The smell is fresh with marmalade qualities. Light medium body, nice flavor that's composed of malts that showcase sweet orange flavors re-inforced by aroma. Malt lasts past mid mouth, with a well-done floral and slightly lemon-pepper hop balance. Enough fruity depth to call the brew refreshing and interesting, there's not really a fault to the beer. Fine drinkability.

Source: Liquid Solutions

ADR, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Appears a brown caramel hue with an abundant amount of beige head forming thick and rises above the rim of my English style pub glass, lacing forms thin but evenly. Aromatics slight diacetyl earthy herbal tobacco leaves, mild dusted cocoa with an English funk from open fermentation. Roasted caramel malts bring out cereal like whole grain ntoes as well. Flavors is mildly sweet with a touch of wet cardboard, excellent earthy English hop dose mild chocolate bitterness touch of toffee as well. Toasted nut and a flow of mineral quality arises. Mouthfeel is medium bodied naturally carbonated with smooth carbonation no cloying qualities at all. Drinkability is session material all the way I'm glad to have local access to this ale.

WVbeergeek, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of rastaman
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Pretty nice stuff, a lot more character and a little more elegant than their other brews, nice roastiness and maltiness, medium bodied, light hop bitter finish, not mind blowing, but certainly nice.

rastaman, Jul 24, 2002
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer has a deep brown body with a slight garnet glow at the base showing its slightly dense but clear body. There is a thick light tan head that last and last and a good carbonation of big bubbles gliding up the side of the glass.
S- The soft balsamic vinegar aroma becomes more vinous as the beer warms but quickly gives way to a woody dry toffee note that is light but pleasant.
T- The soft toffee flavor has a slight tartness to the finish and a soft bitterness lingers after each sip. I can't tell if the bitterness is hop or roasted malt but there is no hop aroma or flavor otherwise noted.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight watery but almost chewy texture. No astringency or alcohol warmth.
D- The nice soft toffee and toasted malt flavors are nice but I'm not sure if the tartness and woody notes suggest this is old or just the "traditional flavor" of this beer. A little more depth would have been nice in the flavor and aroma.

rhoadsrage, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

JMS1512, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Brenden
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%

This beer lets a little bit of light into the body but is otherwise a very dark brown. The brown head is about 3/4 of a finger, nice and tight with good retention. Lacing is somewhat more than moderate, spotting and lacing with a few legs here and there.
I'm not sure how to tag this beer upon first inspection. It seems initially to have lots of dark fruits along with creamy sweetness, maybe a touch of roast, and some dark cocoa. It's got a hint of nut and something leafy.
I might initially have pegged this for a traditional Scottish ale, but there's a bit of transition that occurs. It has a warmth that seems to be from alcohol despite being below 6% with lots of caramel, roast, nut and dark chocolate. While not peaty, there's some earth with just a ghost of something smoky. Hops aren't neglected, but this is allowed to be malt-forward, and it's good here. Lots of fruity sweetness and gentle tanginess run through as an undertone from beginning to end. This beer, ultimately, is rich, deep and complex with some layers to sift through.
This has a big body for a brown, particularly an English brown, though it doesn't stray from its purpose. It has depth in the feel, too, with dryness underneath a sweeter overtone and a certain richness to it. Crispness is light but firm and consistent from first hitting the tongue to the back of the throat in every sip, while it goes creamy smooth for the duration.

Brenden, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of MrVonzipper
3/5  rDev -22.1%

MrVonzipper, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of jmz62565
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a dark mahogony with a huge tan foamy head. The head leaves great lacing making this a real nice looking beer. The smell is all about dark fruit. There is alittle bit of nut "chewiness",but the dark fruit totally dominate the aroma. The taste is very porter like with dark fruit,coffee,nuttiness,vanilla,roasted malt, and a smoked wood flavor. The m/f is medium and the complex flavors are very good. A very good beer that I think is alittle underrated.

jmz62565, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Clear burnt ruby with a mound of creamed suds on top.
Nose of roast malt and buttered grapes.
Begins with a mild roast coffee essence that calms and heads towards bitter chocolate. Toffee-coated raisins are next, then it gallops towards diacetyl-induced butter. This is quelled and offset by the lingering roastedness and the vaporous, fleeting molasses and anise. The roast fades towards carob as caramel-bathed black grapes surge in the later half, alongside traces of rye-like smoky, bready spice. Ends assertively Goldings bittered with perks of herb and a strong, lingering black tea finish.
Tempered carbonation and an unruffled medium build. This is a good short-distance quaffer. However, It seems a bit high in butter for sessions of long duration. It's a minor gripe. Fresh off cask or tap, and this could be an all-nighter...and perhaps into the next day.
An impressive creation. Like a hoppier Brown Ale / Old Ale cross.

cokes, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%

A brown ale with abundant ice cream float head. Hoppiness and malty character and complexity, some cocoa. Earthy, touch herbal, bit astringent mouthfeel, which is fine with food.Lace in glass. Definite nuttiness. Surprisingly drinkable. Satisfying. Good for its style.

Sammy, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of CanuckRover
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%

Pours a dark, dark brown, mimics the colour of the bottle. Decent creamy looking head. Spotty'ish lacings.

Caramel, coffee beans, slightly burnt aroma. Malt and alcohol combination gives a whiskey tinge to it.

This beer's a little rough. Burnt bitterness throughout. Dark fruit, dates and raisins put it on the sweeter side of things. Coffee bean bitterness, like chewing on one. Butterscotch and slight buttery feel to it.

Mouthfeel, a little on the thin side for me, kind of slippery. Doesn't do a fantastic job of blending the alcohol, it tastes stronger than it's 5.7%. An okay beer, pretty rough around the edges.

CanuckRover, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of Reverand
4.08/5  rDev +6%

Riggwelter poured to a gorgeous dark brown with an off white head that left a nice lace all the way down. A bit rough on taste at first but finished off cripsp and clean. Great body, certainly way better than a newcastle. I loved the the fallen sheep it kind of made me think that if I had too many of these I might end up the same way.

Reverand, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Ciocanelu, Sep 22, 2013
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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
86 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.