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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale - Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Riggwelter Yorkshire AleRiggwelter Yorkshire Ale

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

286 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 286
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 9.9%

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)
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Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 241 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LBIsurf

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.09 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown/amber color, with a thick 2-3 finger head.

S - toasty/molasses smell.

T - bitter, coffee-like toastiness.

M - Decent carbonation, with a surprisingly thin mouthfeel.

D - Moderate. Definitely not a session beer. One to two pints is enjoyable, but it is by no means the best English ale I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 23:53:43 | More by LBIsurf
Photo of goethean


4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into an imperial pint at 50f. amber. overcarbonated. nice english strong ale-like vinous malty aroma. eaasy drinking, smooth, malty flavor profile. nice (earthy?) hops flavor at the end. definite aftertaste of hops. highly quaffable. great malt depth for such an easy drinking pint, and real hops flavor, too, thus achieving a nice balance.

English brown ale? I thought this was an excellent English bitter. Oh well...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 01:19:34 | More by goethean
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a mug.

I picked this one up because the black sheep on the label reminds me of my 14 year old black lab. He's quite fat, and he spends a lot of time on his back, kicking his legs up, begging everyone around to scratch his belly.

Pours a dark brown with some amber-reddish highlights. Three fingers of plush foam retain well, and leave behind gobs of sticky lacing. I like the way this beer looks.

Fairly complex aroma despite not being very assertive. Some lightly roasted malts, bitter coffee, caramel, and some sweet dark fruits.

Dark malts lead the way. There's a decent bit of coffee flavor, caramel. There's a flavor in here that almost tastes like tea. After checking other reviews, I've seen tobacco pop up a few times. Maybe that's it. I have no clue what tobacco tastes like.

Body is medium. The flavor is rich. Pretty dry finish. Bitter for a brown. Pretty easy drinker, I had no trouble putting this away. Quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 03:47:33 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of DoctorDog


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 1 pt. 0.9 oz bottle into a nonic. No freshness/best by date indicated.

A- Deep copper / amber and clear. Pours with massive 3+ fingers of creamy tan head, which fades slowly to a solid cap.

S- Moderate breads, and buttery, molasses odor.

T- Very roasty, almost charred coffee maltiness. Hints of dark fruits and molasses. Charcoal bitterness is fairly substantial and lingering.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium/light feel. Some astringency.

D- Fair. The char effect is a bit too coating and astringent for me to go beyond one pint.

Future outlook: Well, this was OK, but nothing really to make me feel the need to seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 03:46:37 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of bheilman


3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells like whiskey. Dark ruby red color with a decent head. The beer is a bit sour but still very tasty. The scent is the strongest point of this beer in my mind. It is unusual, but not so off beer smelling. The taste is mostly malt with a fair balance of hops but more in a sour flavor than a fruit or citrus flavor. I don't love the aftertaste, but's it's not all that bad. It does go down fairly easy, but not my favorite style, so I probably wouldn't drink too much of this in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 00:16:56 | More by bheilman
Photo of BrewSomerville

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Chocolate, toffee, caramel. When I first poured it out, I thought I smelled some sulfur, but it quickly disappeared. Fruity esters, and something like burnt sugar.

Looks: Big, tight cream coloured head. You could say that the head looks rocky. Great head retention. The Beer is a red-ish brown colour. A small amount of lace was left behind.

Taste: Good balance between hop bitterness & malt sweetness. Some really nice malt flavours. Caramel malts, chocolate, some coffee notes. Some nutty, biscuity flavours. Some lemony flavours from the hops. Some floral hops. A slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation. On the heavier side of medium bodied.

I would love to try this on cask!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 03:09:10 | More by BrewSomerville
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a two finger rocky tan head that quickly receeds. Nice patchy lacing.
Smell of sweet chewy malt, biscuit, fruity esters and a hint of chocolate. Very inviting.
Malt and biscuit up front with a nice, defined fruity hops that linger past the end. Balanced out with a nutty, bread-like finish. Nice complex taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth and clean. I'm just not sure how well the hops fit in with the whole thing. Its average ABV and sweetness make this brew easily drinkable.

Overall, the best brew I've had so far from Black Sheep. Its highlight was its aroma. Nicer head retention and a bit more balance between the hops and malt would have made this an excellent english brown ale. Riggwelter is still a great ale that I would definately pick up over Black Sheep's other offerings down here.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 22:26:53 | More by ludachris
Photo of biggred1


4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with a very fine light tan head that leaves some nice lace. The nose is of herbal tea, tobacco and toasted grain with some chocolatey malt. This is a good tasting EBA, lots of soft but complex flavors going on, malty and herbal with subtle hop bittering. Light bodied and crisply refreshing, lingering tea-like bitterness in the finish. One of the better examples of the style available to me.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 02:13:18 | More by biggred1
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice enough looking brown ale. Chestnut in hue, a somewhat aggressive pour generated a thick three fingers of head, that displayed decent retention, and is already starting to leave nice thick clumps of lace as it slowly recedes.

The aroma has the somewhat typical esters associated with english ales, with the fruitiness of pear and a hint of apple. The malt aromas are understated, but the breadiness with underlying hints of biscuit and toffee are noted. I suppose this one may open up more if slightly warmer. English hops also present on the nose, and have me thinking Goldings with their floral and woody scent.

Wow, lots of toffee in the taste, along with some nuttiness that wasnt noted in the aroma, otherwise the malts and esters are quite similar to what was described earlier. The alcohol is surprisingly notable, with its hint of wood alcohol that plays well with the hops. This is an interesting brew.

Fairly light in body but full of flavour. A hint of astringency, grain husk, and an underlying chalkiness are certainly noted. A fair bit of malt present, but is nicely offset by the bitterness and warming alcohol presence.

Fairly drinkable ale, and certainly worth trying for fans of the style. It is fairly assertive yet a tasty enough brew. While i probably wont be rushing out to try this again im glad i did and would certainly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 01:08:28 | More by demcorhip
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, clear brown with a one finger head with great retention. Good lacing

Smell is very faint unfortunately, and is the weakpoint of the beer. Sugary, caramel malt and some toffee notes.

Taste is malty and sweet up front. Caramel malts are sweet and somewhat biscuity, and buttery. A little bit of hop spice in the finish. For a brown ale this is pretty complex.

Thin bodied with a sharp, but low carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, but its too sweet for me to have more than a couple

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 01:56:14 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of fosterific


3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pour brown, dark walnut even. There was a fair dollop of head that left trails all over the sides of the glass. The smell is sharp and pointed with the inviting scent of caramel and toffee. The taste is refreshing, something new for me. The roasted malt and bitter hops scream England in my mouth. A good representative I think. Finishes quite dry, would have been a little higher had it not been so dry in the aftertaste.
Had a good nice feel in the mouth, just the right amount of carbonation.
I loved the color of this beer, sometimes there is a lot of reddish hues in brown ales, but this one has none of that...just brown and beautiful.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 00:56:13 | More by fosterific
Photo of TheMistler

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque, nutty brown. Millet-y, off white head. Variably thick head, with some big bubbles. Decent drapery lacing.

Pleasantly tangy nose, and yet also crisp. There is some caramel, as well as chocolate. Dirt, as in earthiness.

Roasted, nutty qualities predominate in the taste. Some hoppiness pulls up the rear, leafy, leaving behind a pretty good amount of bitterness. Sweetness is taken care of with some toffee. The hops and roasted qualities give hint of coffee. Finishes dry.

Surprisingly light bodied. Substantial carbonation plays well with the roasted characteristics. Fairly easy drinking, but the heavy flavor keeps it from being up there.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 22:51:43 | More by TheMistler
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This past Friday night I did a blind tasting of brown ales with my wife, because I figured it was time for me to re-evaluate a style I don't think much of. We each poured samples for the other, noted what was what and then brought out the beers, so while we couldn't taste the same beer at the same time, we were both able to taste without bringing any bias to the table.

Riggwelter is a seasonal beer that turns up at the LCBO every once in a while. I've had it before and never understood the fuss about it.

Fairly standard brown ale appearance. The brown is exactly in the middle of all the shades I see, and it produces a cream coloured head which gradually fades to a film. The aroma is subdued but pleasant enough, runnning the malty gamut, with hints of bread, caramel and nut. It would be good, but its too subdued, even at warmer temperatures. I also found the flavours to be tame, although they did gradually improve as the beer warmed. There's a fair bit of toast, along with caramel and faint coffee notes. The palate is fine, smooth and medium-bodied, with a lightly bitter finish.

When I discovered that this was the Riggwelter I wasn't surprised - its pretty average both as a beer and a representative of its style. There's just too little of interest going on to justify purchasing it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 18:50:51 | More by bobsy
Photo of froghop


3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

beer three of day two in hong kong.

pours a dark brown with a small biege head, and limited lacing.

smell is of wheat, some fruits and berries, and some roasted malts.

taste is of cocoa, wheat, a touch of coffee, malt, some spice in the back, and dark fruits.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 06:33:59 | More by froghop
Photo of Jeffo


2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 finger medium thick off-white head that quickly fades into a thin film. Colour is brown or russet and is pretty clear. Film quickly disappears and leaves zero lacing. Looks quite flat by the halfway point. Very average for the style.

SMELL: A pretty weak nose, even weaker than the norm for the style. Some sweet caramel malt and a faint biscuit touch as well. A faint hint of hops in the background as well. Pleasant but too weak to really be noticeable, which seems to be the norm for the style.

TASTE: A caramel malt start with some toasted grainy malt as well. Biscuits in the middle with some hop bitterness through the end. A very long lasting hop bitter aftertaste dominates for quite a while, while a bit of sweet wood competes for space as well. The aftertaste is a bit too much, but some might like this degree of forcefulness.

PALATE: Thinner body and higher end carbonation with slightly prickly carbonation. Goes down just a tad rough and finishes with a touch of stickiness. Wasn't all that impressed.

OVERALL: Not the most drinkable brew I've every had. The strong and dominating hop bitter aftertaste is slightly offensive and would make it hard to drink this in great quantities. I didn't look forward to the next sip. I could see someone who loves strong dominating bitter hop aftertastes really enjoying this, but I prefer a bit more malt ballance in my beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 16:13:13 | More by Jeffo
Photo of barleywort

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Alternating dark brown and crimson red in colour, more crimson after the carbonation has settled from the pour. A thin tan head that stays for a while but dissapears suddenly (or maybe it was some of the oily food I had for dinner). Think less beer lace and more beer curtain; before head dissipated, the lace clung to anything it touched.

Smell: An underlying biscuity nose but relegated by tones of coffee, banana bread and molasses. Even faint hints of bubblegum, like Tripel Karmeliet.

Flavour: Initial sips were strong in molasses flavour, almost like black strap molasses. Molasses gave way to caramel and a roasted bitterness, something akin to an overcooked molasses cookie, came through. The finish brings out more of the banana bread flavour and by the end of the beer, I was tasting only caramel and banana bread. The initial bitterness gives way to a generally sweet but muted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: lightly carbonated, but still manages to feel crisp.

Drinkability: Although the molasses character in the nose and initially in the taste nearly turned me off at the outset, I'm glad I took the chance to see it through. The bitterness disappears after a few drams, replaced by a complex, dynamic flavour. Definitely one to give the benefit of the doubt and to sip and savour. Another respectable offering from the UK's Black Sheep Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 03:01:34 | More by barleywort
Photo of GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep clear brown/red with a fingerwidth off-white head that stays around for the ride.

Very interesting aroma of citrusy hops, burnt toast and biscuity malts.

Tastes like it smells, the toastiness is very noticeable along with a lemony zest, medicinal syrupy taste in the finish.

Very rich creamy and syrupy mouthfeeel. This is a very good brown ale, I have nothing to complain about here.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 00:20:47 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of prosper

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with a tan head that receded quickly.

Smells slightly toasty with some hints of tangerine and pine hops.

The first thing you notice about the taste is the roasty bitterness. There's a ton of roast and dark malt character to this beer. Coffee, dark chocolate, and the like. There's a faint hoppy bitterness, but it's overshadowed by the dark malt bitterness. Some hints of caramel. As it finishes, banana-like esters become apparent.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with low-ish carbonation. Slightly cloying.

Not too drinkeable, I'd say, between the bitter roastiness and slightly sweet finish, I'm just not dying for the next sip.

Average right down the line. No major faults, but no charm or likeability, either. Forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 03:19:54 | More by prosper
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep red-brown that can be seen through but just slightly. Two fingers of foamy beige head with fairly good retention.

Nutty and chocolatey to the nose. More so nutty. Whiff of herbal hop notes.

Nutty again to the taste with a bit of anise flavour on the back half of the tongue. Malt forward, hops muted, a hint of herbal flavour to the finish has to be looked for to be noted. Faint caramel/cola flavour as well. Pretty good for the style.

Body is on the lighter side of medium and the carbonation is a touch prickly. Not bad, but nothing special.

A solid beer of a frequently bland style. Enough character to be interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 02:42:35 | More by elricorico
Photo of shamus

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bitter with some licorice and brandy notes. Dry with little carbonation. Tastes fresh but not all that interesting to me. I mostly liked the black sheep on his back on the label and the accompanying explanation of Riggwelter. I've also had this brewers Black Sheep Ale which was nothing I'd try twice.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 20:08:15 | More by shamus
Photo of nasty15108

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt .9oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured dark brown with pleanty of garnett hues. The pour produced a thick head of tan foam and lots of soapy lacing.

S - Nutty with hints of caramel and butterscotch.

T - Malty and slightly nutty. Slight smokiness. Finishes dry with a decent amount of hop bitterness.

MF&D - A great overall ale. Would be great in a session.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2009 20:03:59 | More by nasty15108
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear brown color with a thick tan head that hung around for a few minutes. Aroma is earthy, woody, creamy, sweet and malty. The body is crisp but creamy at the same time. There is a nice frutiness to the brew. The buttery diacetyl flavor is pleasant. As i drink it it becomes slightly bitter. The hints of roasted malt and coffee comes out. A would have a few pints of this easily. A great english brown.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 04:07:11 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/12/08. Bottle. Pours a clear copper with a frothy tan head. Aroma of toast, roasted/burnt malt, light blackberry jam and butter. Flavor of roasted malt (burnt, crisp toast). This is roasty, but has a thin, light body. Slight bitterness in the finish. Interesting beer, enjoyable.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 18:42:11 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of magictrokini


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 18:11:26 | More by magictrokini
Photo of albern


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice English beer, a bit tart for a brown ale, but a nice beer nonetheless. Riggwelter means a sheep overturned, and hence the graphic on the label. The beer pours a dark clear ruby color with a very nice tan head that retains very well and laces. There is a creaminess to the head that seques into more of a foamy presence. The nose on the beer is sweet malts, some hop bite, some raisiny aromas as well. There is an earthy quality to this beer.

The taste is a tad musty, a full palate of roasted malts, some raisin like flavors, and an astringency that knocks things down a few points. There is a slight dryness in the finish, but overall this is a sweet roasted beer with some dark chocolate and charred flavors. The beer is more creamy than crisp, it has some hop leafy bitterness, and then there is the astringency. The mouthfeel is a tad oily and the aftertaste is quite noticeable roasted maltiness and bitterning hops. This beer is worth seeking out.

Re-review June 2010: This beer has a lot more caramel flavors, lots more malted toffee, and lots more pale malt flavors. There is less astringency for sure. There some leafy hop in the background, some very subtle charred flavors. This beer just got bumped up a notch. It is quite good.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 20:46:43 | More by albern
Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
86 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.