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Black Sheep Ale (Special) - Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Not Rated.
Black Sheep Ale (Special)Black Sheep Ale (Special)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

518 Ratings

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Ratings: 518
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 18
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 07-13-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 518 | Reviews: 347
Reviews by dherling:
Photo of dherling
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a reddish brown with no head. The nose gave some malt, hoppy bitterness, and a bit of spice. The taste offered some malt, apple, fruityness, and again some hops. The mouthfeel was crips and highly carbonated, and this was a fairly drinkable beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice deep golden color with a much larger head than was expected,very nice lacing.Great fruity aroma of oranges with a real light hop presence.Taste is a little subdued but nice,fruity from the yeast I presume with a light hop backbone I also get dry malt in the finish.Could this beer get easier to drink?hey I really like this beer and glad I have a case.

Photo of RoyalT
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a beautiful ale. The color is a slightly hazy deep orange and the head was one of those not-too-foamy but pitting types with globs of lacing.

Smell – There’s that creamy malt and citrus hop aroma that I have enjoyed so much from other English ales. The touch of peppery spicing livens things up a bit, but this one is all about being mellow.

Taste – The malts lead the way here followed by the light hops and a smidgen of nut. All the ingredients work very well together.

Mouthfeel – Exceptionally smooth in between the cheeks. This ale is a little bigger than light-bodied with a very creamy texture.

Drinkability – A terrific easy-drinking English Pale Ale.

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of FadetoBock
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of generallee
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 500ml bottle into an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body has an orange amber color with a two finger head of light off white foam. The head is slow fading with a wispy thin layer just hanging on. Lacing is spotty and slick.

Smell: It has a very light aroma. All I really get is very light bready malt with very mild fruitiness.

Taste/Palate: Like the nose it has a light bready malt base with thin fruit notes. This is backed up and balanced by mild citrus and herbal hop bitterness. The light body has soft and mild carbonation and a somewhat thin and almost watery feel.

Notes: Overall it goes down easy but the thin feel and flavor are a bit of a let down. I do like what is there but I just want a little more of it.

Photo of Jason
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 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.

Appearance: The head is quite spectacular, it is just a big stick foam messy. Nearly clear with a dark orange amber hue.

Smell: Lightly buttery and fruity, faint esters and some earthy herbal hop makeup the aroma.

Taste: Lightly smooth with a slim carbonation. Juicy and bursting palate of malt hops and yeasty by-products. Juicy fruit with some cracker-like maltiness, fruitiness is more of faint apple and pear. Hops are through with a sufficient bitterness and arousing flavour. Some mild ester and buttery diacetyl within the nuttiness of the yeast adds much complexity. The diacetyl almost doubles in the finish as the hops come back with a leafy finish add to the flavourful after taste.

Notes: I am quite pleased with this brew, flavours and aromas bouncing all over with an impressive head. All of this is the big picture for what an English ale is supposed to be.

Photo of merlin48
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pint.9oz brown bottle pours out a mostly clear, amber gold colour. The head is an offwhite, enormous froth of thick and sudsy foam which leaves massive lacing of all kinds. Odd aroma for an English ale, with nectarines, and what seems to be a tart apple note dominating the nose over the usual malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and even. Taste is slightly bitter, with some funky hops going on. Malt profile is some very faint caramel. Earthy yeastiness, and some wild fruitiness provide most of the flavors. The hoppiness seems more herbal than fruity or floral in the taste. Spearmint comes to mind. It's light and refreshing and finishes with a herbal bitterness. This is, indeed, a Black Sheep, and would take me some time to grow accustomed to.

Photo of Weizenmensch
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has built a massive reputation in Britain in the fifteen years since its creation, and for good reason. It's quite unusual, for a Pale Ale - somehow I remember it being darker and creamier in Harrogate and Masham, North Yorkshire. It looks good for the type, slightly redder than usual, but with a nice head at the start. Retention lessens as the glass is emptied. As others have said, it has more effervescence than is ordinary, prompting more burps than the usual English cask ale. It's a nice beer, lots of different tastes, quite distinct hops, surprisingly warming, a good one to have drink at the Old Bell Tavern on a cold night in the Yorkshire winter. Carbonation does not spoil the mouthfeel but it is unusual. Overall, this is a true real ale that some Northerners would die for, and for good reason. I would drink this all the time if it were ever on cask here in Australia.

Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange/brown in color

Smell: toasted malt and tea

Taste: toasted malt, tea, dash of caramel, and small hops at the end

Mouthfeel: light bodied, low carbonation, dry

Drinkability: To me this one met the style guidelines. The tea taste is the dominate flavor. I was not overly fond of it and have had better in the style. I will pass on this in the future.

Photo of kaneel
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale copper, leaving a thin level of white head.

The aroma was off-putting initially, but it eventually grew on me. Nose is caramel, malt, tea leaves, a touch of hops. The hops initially smelled off, but it passed once it warmed up.

Taste is bitter, malty, fairly decent. Typical for the style, with a lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is about right for an EPA, about all I can say.

A decent English pale, but at the price point it's not one I'll regularly pick up. Bitter and full, but not memorable.

Photo of ant1
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of innominat
2/5  rDev -46.1%

Photo of wattoclone
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Swedes21
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - beer pours a gorgeous amber colour with a fluffy tanned head. Head is about 1-2 inches and has a lot of carbonation in it. Carbonation seems middle in the beer and lacing is decent.

Smell - I can smell a fruity presents with a hint of sweetness. A mild smell of hops as well, the beer smells really fresh.

Taste - very decent tasting beer, some minor aftertaste but it does not take away from the flavour. Found the fruity taste comes forward during the tasting as well. Not a dominant tasting beer,

Mouthfeel - light beer in the mouthfeel with a slight base of creaminess. The carbonation levels do increase, but nothing over dramatic.

Drinkability - An enjoyable beer, nothing i would hunt down but would drink if offered. Overall, i found the beer lacked a "punch" taste in the end, there was no quality that separates it from the rest in its field.

Photo of fionn13
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of stephenlee
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Magnus-Robot-Hunter
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Good Head, little bit of a yeast or faint sour tast, but smooth to drink.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of March 2012. I can't believe this is the first Black Sheep beer I'm reviewing - the brewery is a classic.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A faintly hazy orange-amber colour with low carbonation. Forms a decent head of frothy white foam that lasts for a minute or so before dissipating. Aroma of slightly sweet caramel malt with hints of yeast esters, toffee, stewed hops and butter.

Tastes of caramel malt with a mild bitter finish. Notes of fruity yeast esters, caramel/toffee, stewed hops and a hint of diacetyl in the background. Quite dry, with a subtle sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with some astringency. Aftertaste of fruity yeast and caramel malt.

A decent ale. A restrained flavour and good body make for easy drinking. Dry but fruity. Well-crafted and worth sampling.

Photo of ADR
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy ginger color, big and creamy head with suds that hold shapes like styrofoam. Sugary patchwork lace. Slight buttery toffee aroma. Mild and delicate to the tongue, flavor starts with some caramel and slight diacetyl but is soon counteracted by a well-done flowery hop that lingers into the aftertaste. Slightly papery and thinning a little too early, this beer still exudes quaffability -- I could toss back plenty of this one.

Source: Liquid Solutions

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice copper hue with a frothig offwhite light khaki head forming large bubbles and dwindles at a moderate pace. Aroma has a great ripe plum and fig fruity tone that jumps out with the initial smell. Some earthy herbal qualities are tucked beneath a sweet bread malt profile. Flavor is balanced not overly sweet or bitter in either direction, very much an English session ale finishes pretty dry. Some definite hop character with some mineral water tones, a bit of caramelized fruit and earthy herbal hop flavor blend nicely. Mouthfeel is well rounded medium bodied dry semi bitter finish left behind on the palate between each sip. Drinkability overall is prett solid, I would just rather drink a 10 dollar six pack instead of this for 3.99 a bottle. Worth a shot especially if your into English ales, I will see this beer again when in the mood.

Photo of rastaman
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kind of edgy bland flavour. Nice hop bite and decent slightly roasted bitterness, but doesn't do enough to excite me, slight watery finish, i will give it another go after seeing its decent ratings, but i can't really see myself liking it that much.

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Black Sheep Ale (Special) from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
84 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.