Black Cat | Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

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Very Good
215 Ratings
Black CatBlack Cat

Brewed by:
Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-26-2002

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Ratings: 215 |  Reviews: 166
Reviews by IllNate:
Photo of IllNate
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of sibling imports, cheers sis!

A - Dark brown with ruby red highlights, nice colour. Finger of tan head, subsides to lacing.

S - Roasted and biscuit malt. Nice english malt aroma. As it warms a fruity note is prominent.

T - High quality roasted malt flavor, mostly chocolate, coffee and caramel. Bready/biscuity background. A light hop bitterness that lingers. Very fine indeed! As it warms a fruity ester is palatable.

M - Very smooth mouthfeel, carbonation is spot on.

D - Highly drinkable, each sip begs another.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color but with some ruby highlights shining thru in a few places with a nice creamy off white head,some caramel and brown sugar in the aromas with a lighter earthy not becoming more prevelant as it warms.There is some complexity to this ale some earthy notes up front with some fruit and caramel melding nicely in the finish.A very nice soft well rounded mild here one of the better I have had to date,I think this is the way all milds should be.

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Photo of shapudding
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark and clear ruby brown, with a very thick and creamy beige head. Very wonderfully nice sour scent. The first sip bites your tongue at the sides. Bery nice malty flavors, toasty and good. Pretty balanced and very nicely drinkable. Leaves a nice malty tingle on your tongue for a moment, with the flavors staying around for a bit. Not too think, just enough body there to make it feel good. Perfect amount of carbination. Would like it more if there was a bit more going on flavor-wise.

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Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500 ml brown bottle, no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark brown with very deep ruby hues, a bubbly lace stands firm all the way down.

Smell: Fruity with hints of chocolate and a touch of malt and caramel also.

Taste: Crisp with semi sharp chocolate grainy flavour in the front, quite malty ... some sweetness, a little fruity, more light chocolate, caramel and roasted flavours in the middle. Then comes a bit of mild prickly hop bitterness and a weak burnt flavour that lingers a bit with some fading dry roasted malt and grain.

Notes: Very flavourful and somewhat complex for an ale with a lighter body, an inviting dark brew ... a pleasure to drink. One of the only mild ales imported into the US.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is an interesting beer. At first glance and swallow, it seems to be a porter but ends up being closer to a mild. I don't know much about milds but I am guessing this is a particularly dark and roasty one. Poured perfectly into a 20oz glass with creamy, rising head that eventually dwindled to a small ring. Not much lacing. Very appealing aroma with mixture of burnt roastiness, a light yeasty fruitiness, and a malty graham cracker flavor that is unmistakeably British. Flavor is a little difficult to grasp, at first it seems watery and thin with a metallic undertaste. As the beer warms and the palate gets accustomed to it, some more appealing flavors jump out. You REALLY need to let this one warm up to cellar or even room temperature. Remarkably fruity, with some coffee/burnt flavors at the edges. Mouthfeel watery but somehow it works. This would be a great breakfast beer to go along with crispy toast and fruit jams. ABV is thankfully low, a refreshing change of pace from US beers which are 5% or higher.

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Photo of ADR
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark, dark brown with a tannish 1/4 inch head that laces the glass in puffy globs. Lightly malty aroma, maybe a little blueberry. Mouthfeel is about medium-bodied and quite consistant -- without fade. Just the lightest of coffee bittering from a hard roast to the pleasant malt. Consistant flavor as well, works unchanged from beginning to end. A light touch of perfume-like hops marks the close. A light 3.4% alcohol by volume, but with a good amount of flavor (if not complex), marks this very drinkable Ale.

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, slightly opaque with some ruby shaded hues coming through with the light. A smaller, foamy tan head forms. Good soapy lacing is left behind after one sip.
Aroma: Nothing really dominating or up front on the nose. A little nutty with avery faint cocoa powder aroma. A deep inhale right on the top of the brew gets some coffee notes.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation delivers a very mild, plain ale. Some sweeter malty flavors tease the palate, briefly. A vigorous froth releases some hop bitterness. This dark ale with a lower ABV is not bringing anything spectacular. BUT... this ale does taste good and would be very sessionable. Would also be thirst quenching. Possibly fresh on tap or cask in England would have a little more oomph. Solid, average and drinkable.

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Photo of rastaman
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lightly sweet, and lightly roasty finish, pretty easy to drink, uncompliacted, but pleasant enough. Dry-ish finish. A little un-intersting, but i suppose being a "mild" ale, thats true to style, although, i am sure theres better examples of the style out there, this is still quite alright though.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer has a black body with a brown glow at the base of the glass. There is a big bubble light tan net of head that soon fades to a thin ring. The few tiny bubbles that can be seen trail up the side of the glass.
S- The nice roasted black malt has a soft berry not to it with some chocolate aromas coming through the roasted notes as the beer opens.
T- The mineral water and cream flavor give way to a mellow rich roasted black malt flavor. Like the aroma there is a berry quality to the malt flavor. The dry mineral note in the finish has a light licorice quality and a light bitterness of roasted malt that lingers for a moment after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight little fizz in the finish.
D- This is a very easy drinking beer with a good dark roasted malt flavor but it is to light for a stout or porter. This good session beer as some subtle depth to it but the rich flavor is the many player.

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Photo of dcbeers
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best enjoyed at just below cellar temperature, this brilliant dark ale pours a clear, deep mahogany with ruby-crimson highlights beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. The retention is fair, and it receeds to a decent collar and thin surface covering while still leaving specks and spots of lace throughout most of the glass. An initial whiff of roastiness fades to reveal bittersweet chocolate and a touch of creamy caramel alongside dark dried fruits (prunes, raisins) in the nose. The body is medium-light and it's gently crisp on the tongue with a fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation that softens as it warms. The flavor delivers everything that the nose promises; and although it's fairly basic, it's also quite charming. There's a delicate touch of leafy/earthy hops that becomes apparent, and the way that the chocolate, caramel, and subtle roasty flavors come and go as the beer warms is interesting. It's exceptionally well-balanced by a sublime bitterness that never really reveals itself, even in the short and dry finish. Quaffable! An excellent session ale that offers a great amount of flavor with some variety and complexity to it, but only 3.4% alcohol! Brilliant!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich deep black with a light creamy head. Aroma of roasted malt and sweet treacle. Licorice/anise flavor blends with the roasted malt, and a bit more sugary treacle. A bit thin, which actually doesn't make it more drinkable. Kind of odd mouthfeel, but it still has a very nice flavor and looks beautiful.

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Photo of RickS95
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, almost black, with just a touch of red. A small dark head appears for a short time.

Nice smell of malt and coffee notes with chocolate in the background.

It tastes like it smells, a bit of malty chocolate covers the tongue.

For something so dark, it's surprisingly light in the mouth. A nice mix of sweet tastes, with only a hint of bitterness in the finish...a nice session beer.

With a desserty taste and low alcohol, a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of prototypic
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Cat is dark mahogany brown and far from black. Plenty of light gets through giving it nice burgundy highlights. This cat's topped with a light tan head that's lucky to reach a finger deep. It ran away quickly and left trace amounts of spotty lace behind.

While the nose isn't strong by any means, it accomplishes a decent amount with what's there. Roasted and chocolate malts are the primary components. It features a light, sweet chocolate aroma. There's an overall earthy character to it and it features a very light hop aroma toward the end. Perhaps a slight yeasty, biscuity aroma, as well. Pretty good for being as light as it is.

The flavor profile continues the trend of floating above average. It has a definite malty base, but it doesn't quite taste like it smells. Toasted malts are the primary feature with very light chocolate malts following. The chocolate flavor is faint, cocoa-ish, and not very sweet. It's more grainy than I expected and definitely has an earthy character. Hops are light, but noted. They add bit of a buzz and seem to make it very dry. It's not exactly loaded with flavor, but for what it is, it's pretty good.

The body is light, but working toward medium. It has nice carbonation with very light bubbles. It's not smooth by any means, but it's not bad. Drinkability is good. Given the 3.4% abv and semi-light body, it goes down way too easy. Personally, I'd like a little more flavor, but it still does a nice job here.

Black Cat is a very drinkable beer that's consistently above average all around. For the style, I'm not sure it can be done much better than this. It's intended to be a light, session beer and it's exactly that. If you're looking for something with a deep range of flavors, move along. That's not here. I'm guessing most BAs pick this up simply to try the style. I know I did. It's not something I'd seek out frequently, but I've enjoyed it for what it is.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.66/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark pour belies a strangely sugary taste. Then a rather out-of-character smokiness pops in, almost like the smoked cheese taste of an Aecht rauchbier. Have to rate it downward since I don't think this was what the style was supposed to be. That may be because I only got a taste of it at our homebrew club sampling.

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Photo of BigJim5021
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Backer2004
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm . . . I can't really compare it to other milds, since I'm unsure if I've ever had the style before. Served a bit on the warm side, no real hoppiness, a bit of a fruit smell. Sweet with no carbonation or head. Smooth mouthfeel and rather easy to finish off. May try this gain but if I see this one out at a restaurant, then I figure the selection will be too good to just go for this one.

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Photo of Imbiber
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby with a good tan head. Aroma is malty and with a hint of caramel, Soft on the palate, lightly carbonated, this beer imparts a nice, malty, slightly sweet taste with hints of fruit and caramel. The finish is dryer, with mild hoppiness balancing the dark malt lingering on the tongue; a slight nutty flavour also comes out to a degree.

A nice, easy-drinking dark mild ale.

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Photo of mcbiydw2
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good roasted aroma and smooth drinking. Very palatable and shows good flavour for strength. No major flaws but a little thin and light.

Appearance is dark brown to black but a little more transparent than I would like. As a result the beer leaves little lasting impression in the mouth and the flavours do not last beyond the initial rush.

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Photo of leinie13
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a smallish soapy tan head that settled into a light ring. The aroma is sweet with toffee and a coffee candy. Almost smells like kaluha. The taste is of coffee with mineral water added to water it down. The coffee flavor is nice but light. There is some grain flavors, with toffee sweetness. Pretty good flavors for a low abv brew. The feel is very light and water with fizzy carbonation, almost seems like I am drinking carbonated water with coffee flavoring. Drinks very easy as there is not much body to this brew. I can see why these are session brews.

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Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 215 ratings