Black Cat
Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

Black CatBlack Cat
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Mild Ale - English Dark
Ranked #21
Ranked #23,013
3.85 | pDev: 11.17%
Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Black CatBlack Cat
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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 215 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DrAnnaNemis from Illinois

3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Kind of nice! A dark brown ale with no head. Smells of earth and wood. Maybe some tea. Taste is similar with some ash. Thin, watery and no carbonation. Seems to work. Nice pint!

Jan 28, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice color to this, pour is slightly more ruby than mahogany. No head or retention to speak of. Aroma is the best part - full of toffee, cocoa, and malt. Very similar to Dark Island on the nose, but even weaker, somewhat watery in flavors that are just too light for my liking. Fairly pleasant malty finish.

Nov 20, 2015
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TheSixthRing from California

3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours cola brown with a paltry quarter-finger head that quickly flattens out to a thin, broken layer of surface suds. A few spots here and there is all you get for lace.

Smell - Mild notes of toffee and chocolate with a bit of earth.

Taste - starts with mild toffee and caramel malt notes backed by a moderate amount of earthy, nutty character, like liking a walnut shell. Faint traces of chocolate. Finish has a light staleness.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with low to moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall - The bottle says it has rich flavor, but I found it mostly bland and uninspiring. It's a fair beer that will be quickly forgotten.

Oct 02, 2015
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rawfish from California

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Porter-like dark coloration with a standard 2 finger high head of shell beige. Quite a bit of lacing gets stuck to the glass.

The roasted malts are full and centered adding a light coffee ground, baker's chocolate, browned toast and golden raisins into the mix.

Smooth grains, essence of raisin bran with iced coffee, medium toast and pleasant acidity. Finishes with that roasted acidity and earthy hops, lightly balanced, bitterness and clean finish.

Light and easy with substance, it's a damn shame this style gets passed over.

A terrific easy drinker when you need something dark and alot of it. The nose and flavor gives me that satisfying dose of roasted malt and coffee nuances with a lighter body.

May 03, 2015
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chogm54 from Australia

3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Black, pours a thin offwhite head. Smell of roasted malt and dark choc. The taste is similar, with a real dry finish (like cooking chocolate). Low carbonation, feels very watery. Ok if you are after a mid strength dark ale.

Dec 19, 2014
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doktorhops from Australia

3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Today's brew is Black Cat an English Dark Mild Ale, a quintessential English session ale. This is the first English one I've tried as the style is not commonly imported; it should be interesting to see if they can get a full bodied flavour from such a low ABV of 3.4%.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear deep ruby body with off-white lace. Looked similar to Guinness Extra Stout until the head died down.

S: Pretty rich aroma for a mid-strength: chocolate with a roast malt base and some nutty/earthy hop notes in the background. So it's a bit of a mix of Pale Ale and Stout aromas.

T: Surprising in the flavour profile with much bolder than expected notes; smoky malts, chicory, nutty/earthy hops and a slight bitter finish. It's a touch watery but it is only 3.4% ABV, quite possibly the lightest beer I've reviewed however it isn't light on flavour [actually that honour goes to Grand Ridge Almighty Light @ 2.7% ABV].

M: Mid to light bodied, watery as noted above, with flat(ish) carbonation.

D: For what you get this is a decent brew - almost a light beer with the flavour of a full strength, in fact I've had full strength beers that struggle to have as much going on as this does. Would be interesting to sample their full strength ales as I imagine they would pack a good punch. Overall however I am not a mid or light beer drinker (I enjoy being lightly intoxicated) so I won't be getting this again, but it was a nice glass of beer nonetheless.

Food match: Stew or Shepherds pie would pair well.

Jul 15, 2013
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soju6 from Missouri

3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a thick tan head that fades to traces of lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and a bit nutty.

T: Taste of roasted malt and chocolate with a bit of nuts trown in. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

M: Medium body, smooth and creamy and a nice balance.

O: Enjoyable and flavorful beer for the style.

May 31, 2013
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falloutsnow from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Bloomingdale, IL
Date: "BC L0279 13:46" on label
Glass: US pint glass

Moorhouse's Black Cat Ale is an excellent dark mild, with accents and nuances of roasted and caramelized malts in the all the right proportions. The drinker is treated to chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toasted nut flavors, alongside some more nuanced toasted bread and mulch/earth flavors. To add to the pleasure, the beer isn't designed to wipe the floor with your liver. Wish this was available in six-packs at an easy-to-afford price.

Pours a 0.5cm tall head of light brown foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, fairly well clustered, creating a fairly packed, though still fluffy-looking head. Retention is a bit above average at about one-and-a-half minutes, receding to a thin, lacy cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is good: thick, single strands cling to the sides of the glass and are renewed with each sip. The body is a very dark brown-amber color, with light bringing out garnet-orange hues. Carbonation is not visible from within or alongside the opaque body.

Aroma of roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee-with-cream edge, mild tobacco, and hints of vanilla. Could be a bit more pungent and benefit, perhaps this could be acquired with a bit more carbonation.

A very nicely balanced flavor portfolio, with characters of roasted malt, caramel, toasted nuts, and coffee-with-cream being most notable. Front of palate finds caramel malt sweetness tempered with moderate roasted malt/char, chocolate, and coffee-with-alot-of-cream-in-it flavors. Mid-palate is of moderate roasted malt/char, chocolate, caramel, toasted hazelnuts, and roasted coffee bean-like flavors. Back of palate notes mild roasted malt, chocolate, and caramel sweetness with a subtle mulch-like ("earthy") presence from the Fuggles. Aftertaste of modest roasted malt/char, chocolate, caramel, a bit of nuttiness, and lingering mild acridity from the malt and, perhaps, Fuggles hops.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with fairly low levels of carbonation. The result is a smooth, flowing mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to avoid being stagnant. Closes fairly dry, with small amounts of lingering stickiness on the palate.

May 08, 2013
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SmashPants from Australia

3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: cool big brown bottle, funky label with a cute black cat :)

Appearance: nice and dark with ruby tint, head stays well for a low ABV beer.

Aroma: appropriately mild aroma of roasted grains, vanilla, and molasses.

Taste: sweetish, bready malt flavour with hints of black malt bitterness and notes of chocolate. Far too mild.

Aftertaste: doesn't carry through very well either. Not a brilliant beer.

Mouth feel: moderate weight to the body, very low carbonation. Doesn't carry the flavour as there isn't much to start with.

Overall: a well put together beer, but far too mild in flavour for me.

Nov 25, 2012
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colour that borders on black and has a light, tan coloured head about half an inch tall that reduces to about half a centimetre tall after a couple of moments.

Caramel and some toffee on the nose along with some earthy hops and a touch of roasted malts. There is some chocolate and a light spice aroma that is quite well-balanced.

Roasted malt flavour to begin, along with some earthy hops and toffee. There is a bit of caramel from the nose as well as some chocolate and light, fruity flavours. This is all quite subdued and slightly sweet.

Very smooth and quite light with an as expected, quite mild feel to it. The palate is almost creamy and overall it is a pleasant one.

A low alcohol content but is quite flavourful and pretty well-balanced. There is a nice earthy base and a pleasant feel with some nice caramel and fruit flavours throughout.

Oct 29, 2012
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at The Diamond in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a clear very dark amber bordering on brown in color with some garnet red highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a thin sudsy white head that reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aroma of dark roasted malts with just a hint of chocolate and dark fruit.

T: Light to moderate amounts of dark roasted malts with notes of bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit. Very light amount of bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Easy to drink and very sessionable considering the lightness of body and low ABV. I enjoyed this one and would recommend it to others as a good example of the style. Good complexity/depth to the flavor and the smell.

Jul 16, 2012
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metter98 from New York

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at The Diamond, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear very dark red in color and has some yeast particles visible floating near the bottom of the glass. It poured with delicate off-white lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark fruits and chocolate in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts along with hints of chocolate and dark fruits.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink given its light body and low alcohol content but is surprisingly very flavorful, just like other beers in the style.

Jul 16, 2012
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OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a cream colored bubbly head. No true lace.

Nice roasted malt with a cocoa note. Some nut aromas as well.

Smooth chocolate roasted malt with a nice nutty lingering aftertaste. Light bitterness intermingles with the lightly sweet brew. Wonderful flavors here.

Thinner than expected, but this makes this very drinkable. Good moderate carbonation keeps this from being too sharp because of the light body.

Overall, loved this. Will buy many bottles of this.

Jun 22, 2012
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy light tan head. Retention is a bit below average, but plenty of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Pleasantly roasty with minor notes of chocolate and caramel. Earthy overall with a slight mineral note. Super clean. I know it can be difficult to impress with a beer at this paltry an ABV, but this comes close. Very well put together.

3.5 T: The taste is good, but it's more of what you'd expect from a session beer. Moderate roastiness with light everything else. Touches of chocolate, caramel, and graininess. Lightly minerally and earthy overall. Low bitterness. Great balance.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Crisp, but not very creamy. Fine here.

4.0 D: Tasty, easy to drink beer. Great session beer.

May 18, 2012
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ckollias from Maryland

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

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark black with a thick off-white head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace.

S: Licorice, roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee aroma

T: Similar to the smell smooth chocolate and coffee dominate the flavor upfront followed by hints of licorice and roasted malts.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. Not much alcohol but very tasty.

May 08, 2012
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice tan and light head, some big soapy bubbles but also holds real well with a nice cap and retention. Body is a classic dark walnut brown to nearly black lots of red on the edges too, quite nice looking.

Great ripping chocolate malt, and milk chocolate sense. A little bit of fruit like berry perhaps too. Quite pleasant.

For a mild this is quite impressive. Extremely light bodied palate but filled with lots roasting finish. Charring malt and roasted black coffee. Mid palate fills with a fruity character getting some sort of raspberry on this, even a hint of tartness. Roast lingers dramatically in the finish, maybe even some rich bittering hop in here also, with an almost tinging carbonation on the tongue afterwards.

Overall quite impressed with this one and at such a low ABV I could just drink these all friggin day. Meow!

Apr 10, 2012
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CwrwAmByth from England

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown/black colour with a small off white head and awesome lacing.

Smells malty and burnt, very dark.

Tastes oh-so-good. Everything I love about mild, easily drinkable and refreshing, yet dark and burnt.

Overall a very good beer, I could drink gallons of it.

Mar 17, 2012
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CrazyP from Connecticut

4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown but clear. Pours thin, unlike some porters that resemble motor oil. Thin head that dissipates quickly.

S - Fruitiness, roast, coffee.

T - There's actually a lot going on here. Coffee flavors dominate followed by toffee and chocolate. Nice malt backbone with some fruity yeast esters. Very little bitterness, but the English hops are there.

M - Has a nice smooth mouthfeel that makes it extremely easy drinking. Low carbonation but not watery or thin.

O - My first introduction to the Mild style but this is an exceptional brew. I was worried about its age but it has done well in the time since it was brewed.

Feb 19, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal glass. Pours a dark red brown, one finger fine light tan head with moderate retention and tenuous lacing. Light, but inviting aroma of sweet and toastedmalt and chocolate. Flavor is toasted and burnt malt, light suggestions of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is mild, but satisfying. Light to moderate bodied. I was facing this ale with some trepidation because of the ABV, but I am quite pleased at the eveness and flavor combination of this ale. I'm really happy to have had the chance to try this style.

Feb 13, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown with auburn highlights, filling a pint glass under a creamy head that reaches half an inch before settling and leaving a coating of lace.

The aroma is rich with malted chocolate, tea and molasses. Some cookie dough presents with warmth.

The flavor profile is as expected from the nose with the addition fresh whole wheat bread. This one has light sweetness and only a touch of bitterness in a faint finish.

Full body, slightly chewy with lively carbonation.

Easy drinking, the full flavor warms well. With a low ABV, this is a classic afternoon session beer for a lazy day with friends or alone.

Jan 15, 2012
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Brenden from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark ale for sure, just barely allowing some brown to sneak in at the edges in the light and showing a lovely deep red hue throughout in the light. As this beer recedes, a medium brown head about a finger tall drops a tattered but sturdy curtain of lacing in plenty.
The nose presents a malty presence, a bit more chocolate malts than caramel with a more bittersweet than sweet presence, though the lightly caramel sweetness isn't lacking.
Malts take the forefront as well in the flavor, and this beer really does have a sort of raw, bittersweet chocolate element as well as an earthiness that, combined with the malt characters, creates a sort of charcoal flavor that makes the base and isn't off-putting. A bit of a coffee note also comes out. There's just enough leafy hops bitterness to add a bit of an edge without distracting.
This is a lighter-bodied ale for sure, and this sort of beer would be great for someone who's into dark, malty beers but needs a break from big American palate destroyers. While not heavy, this beer maintains a gently crisp feel without losing a rolling creamy smoothness that goes all the way into the finish. I can imagine this being essentially what the brewer was going for.
This is a very nice beer. I can't believe it's the first of the style I've reviewed and one of the few I've tried, though it's not as widely an attempted style as many.

Nov 14, 2011
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fx20736 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a British Pint Glass. Served at Cellar Temp.

At first glance black but which reveals an anemic, pale ruby when held to the light. 1 finger khaki head which doesn't last long but leaves some respectable lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel malt with just a whiff of Musty English Hops.

Mouthfeel: British Ale mouthfeel, nice.

Taste/ Notes: the upfront taste is pure roasted caramel with no Hops presence at all. Then this aftertaste creeps in which reminds me of potting soil or old coffee grounds. Now this may sound disgusting but actually it is beguiling to say the least. There is an old cottage in the forest about this that just tickles me. This is unlike any other beer that I have ever had. I hope to drink more of this bewitching brew.

Nov 02, 2011
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear (when held up to the light) dark brown/ruby red color with about a half inch light tan head that stays around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is charred/burnt malt, bittersweet chocolate, and coffee. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also an earthy flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's thin but also a bit slick. Moderate carbonation. It's pretty easy to drink, I think it's a great choice for a session beer. I'd buy this again in the future. $3.99 a bottle.

Oct 10, 2011
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EmperorBevis from England

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the beer on cask so was overjoyed to by chance find a stockist for the beer bottled.

Very much the definitive bottled mild.
Pouring a body of pure ebony with a slight off white creme caramel coloured head which was of good stock and lasted.

I used a conic glass and topped up from a second bottle, this created a most pleasant drinking experience.

The beer created a heady aroma of coffee and burnt sugar and the taste was rich with that full on charcoal taste of a good dark ale.

A very old fashioned sudsy texture that really took me back and made me smile coupled with a perfect peaty aftertaste.

Fulfilling the traditional historic role of a mild this was both thirst quenching, drinkable and low enough gravity to keep on supping without going wobbly.

My only detractor being the price, as mild is traditionally a cheaper option to bitter or stout and despite having quite a collection of beers currently this cost the most though this was mostly due to the outlet.

Highly recommended to lovers of mild,
others read up on the history and stylings of mild first before buying.

I am glad I bought a couple of extra bottles and the next time I have company for a session this will be a most promising starter ale.

Sep 25, 2011
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PEBKAC from North Carolina

3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle from New Beer. Sat in the fridge for an additional month. Poured into a rounded tumbler. I refrained from using a straw this time. I've become quite lazy this summer.

Color is sort of like ebony. Near black, with rich, reddish-orange veins. Lasting light sand-colored mushroom head that leaves grimy blotched lace that probably won't rinse off without some Palmolive.

Smells like chocolate wafers & wet potting soil. Subtly sweet & earthy.

Bitter sweet, slightly charred grain. Though only mildly bitter, there is a decent amount of acid upfront that drags along with it some underachieving bitter-green hops. It eventually makes way for a softly sweet wafery middle-end, though that itself, suddenly seems quite minerally. The end rides out on that mineral aspect, along with some char, & regurgitates a bit more acid before it's all done.

Alcohol isn't a factor, & I don't feel myself yearning for a shot of bourbon on the side. Carbonation is stronger then expected; small, prickly & sharp bubbles. Body is non-existent except for a dusty, almost chalky texture. Sort of like those over fortified fruit juices that don't quite run smooth.

Overall a decent beer, but not worth the import price($5) unless I could find it absolutely fresh. So my ignorant opinion is thus: It tastes like a diluted brown ale. /shrug

Sep 08, 2011
Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 215 ratings