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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Black Knight's Reserve - Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Not Rated.
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Black Knight's ReserveMonty Python's Holy Grail Ale Black Knight's Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

75 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 16.22%
Wants: 16
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:
Beer added by: rudzud on 05-18-2011

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RochefortChris
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of mspencerpc
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of afoltz2
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of John_Beeryman
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Dennis_Hamel
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$ 5.99/16.9 oz at Oppermann’s cork ‘N’ Ale
Bottle marked L13 21:39 at 50 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of earth
Head average (4 cm), off white, creamy to fizzy, fairly rapidly diminishing to 2 mm partial layer
Lacing OK, scattered islands and partialring of small bubbles
Body chestnut, clear
Flavor begins with the earthy taste of the Maris Otter malts and the roastyness of burning witches, with a dry finish. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

An excellent ale, a good place to start if you’re new to Brit ales.

Photo of DonDirkA
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, nutty, roasted malts and just a hint of hop bitterness. Taste is a lot lighter than the scent. Some chocolate, a slight skunky flavor (which seems to be common in British ales), some nutty flavors, toffee and just a hint of earthy hops. This is a really good traditional British ale. Reminds me a lot of being back in England at The Bull sipping on some Everard's Traditional, just a bit roastier. It even has a bit of a woody taste like the traditional real cask ales I had in England. It finishes dry with a bitter hoppy taste that sticks around. And drinking it out of a Monty Python chalice (that came with the gift set) is just awesome.


Photo of tjsmith910
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of dsegel
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of rbmjr1
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Gaffattack
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Brenden
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one starts off as a beauty and maintains it, for the most part. The head, a light tannish color, is a thick, creamy, pillowy crown sitting over two fingers high on the medium-brown, red-hued brew. It maintains itself pretty well, eventually falling to a foam. Thick, creamy lacing is left at the top of the glass, followed by some lighter patching the rest of the way down.
The smell is potent, pouring out of the bottle as it's opened. This beer varies from boring, run-of-the-mill varieties, and is the most interesting English brown I can remember. What I find most distinguishing is a strong raisin/date/fig aspect coming alongside an otherwise nutty and earthy malt backbone and with a touch more earthiness and a little grassiness. It's even got a bit of a woody aspect and some smokiness from the roasting that's very light and complements the overall character well. The aroma, while strong, doesn't give as much variance as the flavor, where more of the complexities play out.
The body is a sturdy medium with plenty of depth and texture to it. A nipping crispness remains constant alongside a bit of creaminess that remains likewise constant.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the cartoonish and somewhat comic marketing campaign, no one should under mind the beer inside, because doing so is a missed opportunity for any appreciator of English Pale Ales and Brown Ales.

This Brown Ale is certainly knighted with a masculine and gentlemanly pour of solid brown with bronze highlights, and bright clarity. As the foam stance of ivory foam builds, it recedes from a rocky head to a thick blanket while coating the glass with sheets upon sheets of lace. Beer's simply don't look better.

The rich aroma of fruits and nuts abound even with the more solid overtones of chocolate, toast, and toffee. A fruity-nutty mix of dates, apples, figs, cashews all weave into the malty focus, and with an almost woody hop character lurking beyond.

The malty focus dictates the flavor spread but does so with a complex and varying combination of flavors that include the toffee, toast, slightly scorched caramel, peanut brittle, bread crust, and freshly kilned barley kernels. But it's the rich estery taste of apples, peaches, dates, figs, and marmalade that set this Brown Ale apart. Balanced only with the medium hop additions of earthy grass and wood bitterness, this keeps the beer balanced but doesn't draw undue attention away from the complex maltiness.

Although the malty-rich taste exists, the body prefers and creamy malt character that evades the sweeter tone than the taste suggests. Instead the medium-sweet beer allows for the medium-textured body to endure through the middle palate but then falling off quickly afterward and then providing a minty and woody semi-malt dryness that closes the beer.

Though I might prefer a slightly more toasty dominance that may promote more nutty character rather than the sweeter and fruitier example we have here, I recognize that this Northern English Brown Ale favors a complex fruity and malty variation that both excites the palate and is comfortably inviting at the same time.

Photo of Offa
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very good, a fuller and more characterful ale than the regular Holy Grail, which is itself good (at least the version actually brewed in England; I had one brewed under contract apparently that was bland and simple).

Dark brown, a bit reddish, it has a big tan head slowly shrinking to puffy, rocky head, a little lace.

Aroma is dark toasted barley, caramelised toast, hints of wood and tea and nutshells, some winy prune. It's not super complex, but it's well-rounded, full bodied and very nice.

Taste is winy dark fruit and wood, strong toast, some tea, subtle but firm bitterness and light sweetness, very balanced and well-integrated, with a very English character overall, and very enjoyable.

Photo of kazam55
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of DougT
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of redleg64
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of mixed_master7
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of WGO
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Stalgondo
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of goatas4
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of omnigrits
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored into a straight pint glass, as befits a British beer.

A. Dark brown with a good one-finger light tan head that eventually thins down, but leaves some good lace.

S. Sweet, medium roasted malts. Quite grainy.

T. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Lots of roasted, nutty malt flavours and a decent hop bite at the back.

M. Medium bodied, smoothly carbonated.

O. There are sweet English brown ales which have almost turned me off the style completely, but this is definitely not one of those. If you're looking for a good example of a dry English brown ale you couldn't go far wrong with this. I think they've nailed the style pretty well. Not every beer has to fire off skyrockets when you drink it. Sometimes, a simple thing done well is enough.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml brown pop top with cool Monty Python label. Despite what this says, I have a (very) strong feeling that this is Riggwelter (one of my all-time favorite beers, though nearly impossible to get in good condition Stateside) rebranded. Same abv%, same Maris Otter base, Pale Chocolate signature malt and 'strong Goldings finish'. Add to that the fact that this beer, while brewed at Black Sheep in Masham, isn't listed anywhere on their UK website, and, well, I stand pretty firm in my conviction. Let's see what kind of condition it's in. No best-by date, into my Riggwelter imperial pint.

Appearance: An attractive walnut beer, with surprisingly high levels of streaming carbonation and gorgeous lacing. Though bottled versions typically run a bit frothier than cask versions, I don't remember Riggy being quite this lively. Bright clarity, and a lusciously creamy light tan head that shows amazing retention. Interesting sidenote: I thought Riggy used to be bottle conditioned, but there's no film of yeast left in the bottle, nor in the glass. Perhaps I'm misremembering, or something's been changed for the US market? Though a bit over-carbed for my taste, this is GORGEOUS beer.

Smell: Just a hint of banana (that Black Sheep notes is present in Riggy) and some vinous fruit, along with earthy, yeasty notes, a hint of toasty caramel, and a touch of malt and cocoa powder. Really nice, though I'd like just a touch more malt character.

Taste: Nicer on the palate, as the pale chocolate malt and toasty Maris Otter come through first and foremost, supported by vinous notes and a ghostly hint of apple. Ends hoppy bitter and medium-roasty. The flavors are nice, though I'd like just a bit more intensity here. Perhaps with a fresh sample?

Mouthfeel: Light-side of medium-bodied.

Overall: Again, I'm pretty damned sure this is Riggwelter and, to top it off, this is the freshest example I've had in a LONG time. I hadn't had a worthy example of Riggy in years; this reminds me how damn fine this beer can really be.

At $5.00 a pint, this is a bit expensive, but solid as all hell.

B+ 89

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Black Knight's Reserve from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
84 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.