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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.

510 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 510
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 16
Gots: 29 | 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.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 510 | Reviews: 346 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A standard English pale. Very decent hoppy and barley aroma. A bit light on taste but goes down well with food. Satisfying but nothing extraordinary. Understated bitterness and a great big head. Light body colour and mouthfeel. Dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours clear amber with a two finger white head that dies down quickly and settles into a thin ring of bubbles around the surface. The level of carbonation is light to moderate.
S: There's a lot of malty sweetness in the aroma along with notes of hops. The sweetness in the smell is rather intriguing.
T: Dry and sweet malty flavors dominate the taste, and there are hints of hops and spices, particularly in the finish, which is a little bitter. The flavor is interesting because it starts out sweet yet finishes bitter.
M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and it feels smooth and crisp on the palate.
D: Drinking this was a breeze - I would definitely have another one of these given the unique contrasting flavors.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with a rocky head that leaves a few splotches of lace behind

Smell: Toffee and a stone fruit, tea-like aroma

Taste: The toffee arrives first, but by mid-palate, the fruity tea-like flavors arrive, accompanied by a mineral element, as well; after the swallow, the sweeter toffee and fruit elements balance out nicely with the bitter, earthy flavors; a bit of woody character in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A fantastic session beer that ranks with the finest of what gets imported from the British Isles

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding English pale Ale. Lots of bread, peaches, and pears in the nose and flavor. Hopped for balance, while adding a mellow spiciness over the firm malt base. Lightly grainy in flavor, but not to deter. Round, yet smooth feel. Thins a bit into the finish for easy drinking. A good beer for any occasion.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pourred a very nice copper brew with a with a thick foamy head that disapear a bit quickly. Good malt nose and taste until I feel the sharp sour and metallic aftertaste. Wow, such a great start but a very disapointing ending. Below average for this one but I would still be curious to try other product from this brewery.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blurry orange-amber; looks for all the world like an IPA. The head is very light tan... which I first saw when it came spouting up out of the bottle after I popped the cap. It's stiff, sticky and leaves a respectable amount of lace in chunky rings. The superior surface also pits, or rather craters, with impressive vigor.

Earthy hops are present in the nose, but their strength is muted. I can also appreciate lightly toasted caramel malt and grain. The flavor follows the nose, but is more aggressive. Sweetish malt and earthy, somewhat spicy, hops coexist nicely. The malt-hop balance favors hops, though not hugely so. A pleasant fruitiness appears with warming.

The hoppy bitterness is gentle, but insistent. Black Sheep would be a good starting place for someone who wanted a gradual introduction to American APAs or even IPAs. The finish is medium in length, increasingly bitter and finishes on the dry side. It reminds me of the mouthfeel that I get after drinking strong, unsweetened tea. The body is middle-of-the-road for a pale ale; no complaints.

Black Sheep Ale is a good to very good English Ale that--due to the sub-5% ABV--should be an excellent session beer. I will definitely buy more if I run across it again.

Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Black Sheep Ale is much like most of the ESB's on the market out there. The color is amber or copper. The head is white and soapy. The lacing isn't too bad here. The smell is mostly malts and a little bitterness going on. The flavors are of dry malts with a little sweetness in the background. The the mouthfeel is smooth and for the most part really drinkable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle for $3.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium amber body with a frothy, inviting, off-white head. Thin traces of lacing.

Smell: Toasted grains with a bit of caramel alongside a spicy-scented, fragrant hop aroma.

Taste: Biscuity malts with a touch of graininess and caramel sweetness. Sip of black tea. Very, very faint fruitiness. Spicy, floral English hops. The bitterness is initially mild but resilient, and increases as you head towards the dry, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A rather full-flavored session ale with a keen drinkability. Worth a try.

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 biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. A whole lot of unstated English-ness just seems to wash over me when I look at this.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium orange-brick amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, and somewhat chunky off-white head, which leaves some random, scattered streaky lace around the glass as it gently falls away.

It smells of toasted, kind of sweet biscuity, bready pale malt, a touch of hollow caramel, a thin raisin and muted orchard drupe fruitiness, black tea, and floral, earthy hops. The taste is lightly charred biscuity pale malt, bready, buttery caramel, apple skins, over-steeped tannic tea, and an herbal, wet grass, and weirdly tincture-like hoppiness.

The carbonation is moderately understated, the body an adequate medium weight, and duly smooth, with a lurking, abashed creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the sweetish biscuit malt waning in intensity, in the face of a growing herbal hoppiness.

A reserved, enjoyable enough, and still quite tasty, crisp British pale ale - more or less well balanced, and a candidate as a decent potential sessioner, were I ever in a joint that offered such an option.

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tall pilsner glass. It had a nice amber color with a huge foamy head. It left great lacing behind.

S - It smelled of yeast and fruit-like flavors.

T - Very good. Nice hoppy balance with some clove ot floral tastes.

M - It was nice and soft on the tongue.

D - It is a very drinkable ale. I wish it was more readily available where I live.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a tumbler.

Gotta love it when awesome customers travel to the UK and bring you back some tasty beverages. This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises lightly-toasted biscuit, mild grass, and sweet flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger vein of sweetness stemming from the biscuit, though this serves only to perfectly balance the grassy and flowery hops. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, this stuff is not gonna set the world on fire, by any means, but it is a very tasty, very easy-to-drink little brew. Something tells me it would taste just grand (Wow, did I just say that? Who am I, a middle-aged upper-class Victorian woman?) from a hand engine...

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, light malts, pale hops, some caramel and a touch of mint.

T: The taste is well balanced with lightly sweet flavors of honey, caramel and a little spice up front. Then a decent pale hops presence comes in to provide a little bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not heavy at all. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice session beer to drink several of throughout the entire evening.

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 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 RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the palate it isn’t powerful and moving, but it does give a somewhat smooth, sweet, and deep flavor. And overall, that is enough for me to enjoy it. It won’t take a place among my all time favorites, but it is worth trying for the smooth flavor in itself. And on a total side note, the cap has a cool design I thought (I collect them).

Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a 3 fingers+ offwhite head. Head retention and lacing are good

Smell: Ever so slight malt sweetness

Taste: Some caramel, grainy bitterness, & some nutiness & fruitiness. Finishes dry with a hint of smokiness

MF: Slightlyl under carbonated, but otherwise blanced

Drinkable enough. Try this this I've had this on prior occasions & it had more malt character, rough crossing for this sheep?

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

clear, amber color, a gilded peach, under a massive mess of creamy froth, leaving lace...aroma, a bit sour, citric, musty, at first (a surprise), loaded with lemon and orange, with hints of ginger, and pepper, unusual, arousing, ...
Smooth on the tongue, easy off the palate, and perhaps a bit thinnish, ultimately. Hoppy, citric character bounces a bit in the mouth, but it's stay is short, and the rest of the drink is pleasant, but bland. That may be the point, actually, but it doesn't work for me.
Yeah, don't listen to me, it's a fine ale...sweet, and bitter, citric, and smooth...quite a nice little brew...go knock ourselves out...

Photo of WesWes
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is musty with hint of maltiness. The traditional residue of English ale yeast is present. The taste is terrible. The beer is quite watery, bitter, slightly malty, musty, and dry. The mouthfeel is decent. It's a light bodied beer; smooth, dry, but in need of carbonation. It drinks fine, although it's unlikely for me to ever have another.

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Black Sheep Ale (Special) from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
84 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.