Black Cat | Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

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
Photo of Mario61Aler
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of CrazyP
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

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Photo of QUINNY0960
4.73/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

One of my favourite brews to date and it's a local beer for me

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from a 16.9oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brown, fig color (according to the bottle, this color is known as "dark Ruby") with a small and bubbly tan head. The head doesnt really have any substance but shows the carbonation is there.

Aroma is slightly roasty and bready, with some caramel and earthy tones.

Really outstanding flavor. I am fairly new to the low abv beers but they are really growing on me: This beer may be the best yet. Some good fruity flavors with dark roasty notes and a touch of chocolate. A bit of brown sugar. Burnt toast.

Thin mouthfeel but not really watery. Its just right for the abv. I cant believe how good this beer is. At 3.4%abv, the drinkability is off the charts. With the solid and complex flavors, this is an awesome beer and one I can imagine is sessioned quite alot across the pond.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very dark red, it could be mistaken for a pint of stout or porter it's so dark. Long lasting white head, light lacing.

S: It smells like blackstrap molasses, if you like the smell of that like I do, you'll like the smell of this beer, maybe a bit of prune juice in there as well.

T: Very malty and sugary sweet. Heavy molasses and dark bread carry the beer and dominate the flavour. Hop bitterness is hard to find, but being a mild I expect it.

M: Light-bodied, light carbonation makes it very easy to drink, for this style very well done.

D: This is a fantastic beer. At 3.4% and packed full of flavour what more could you ask for in session beer. I wish more American breweries would take a stab at this style. Bottle was finished in about 5-10 minutes. Only downside is the $4+ pricetag.

 823 characters

Photo of morimech
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not that impressive looking but it is hard to believe how much flavor is packed into such a low ABV beer. What head did form quickly faded to just some fine bubbles. Light amount of lacing is left on the glass. Wonderful aroma of chocolate malt and Fuggle hops. Classic English Ale aroma that I absolutely love. The malt and hops work perfectly together in the flavor as well. Notes of chocolate with some herbs and earth. A nice body for such a light beer. Feels much stronger than what it is. A beer cannot get much more drinkable than this. A relatively harmless ABV but still wonderfully flavorful. American brewers could learn much from this beer.

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Photo of zenithberwyn
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of BDTyre
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm becoming increasingly fond of milds, and its a shame more brewers don't brew them. Moorhouse's Black Cat is one of the best I've had.

Pours dark ruby with a thin, presistent dark cream head. Actually a bit darker than I expected, looks almost like a porter. Malty, chocolate smell with a subdued hop profile. Slight hints of old ale, but not much.

Dry, malty chocolatey taste. Very faint sourness, slight coffee hints. Strong malt body. Very smooth and easy. A quintessential session ale.

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Photo of heytomcat
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of Bitterbill
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this in a trade with getkrunkhoe. Thanks Carlos!

This pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a very small head of foam that leaves the scene almost immediately. Just a ring around.. the glass left but it does have a little lacing.

The smell is pretty darned nice! I get some dark chocolate, some fruit, some caramel, and some roasted malt.

The taste is very nice as well! Good dark chocolate with some caramel brings a sort of ying yang with the sweetness/bitterness and there's some good dark fruity flavours with a touch of plum and some toffee. The more I sip, the more I notice the chocolate and that's making this son of a gun very tasty and very drinkable. Hell, 3.4%abv....I could drink quite a few of these, for sure.

It's light bodied but not as light as I thought it would be. Carbonation is close to medium, and it finishes on a slightly sweetish note.

This is my first real Mild Ale and I tell you what. I am now a fan! Great style and I envy the peeps in the UK for having a lot of them to choose from.

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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 goochpunch
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a dark, nutty, ruby brown body with a thin ring of head on top and some speckled lace on the sides of the glass. Smells of cane syrup, raisins, dates, brown sugar, toffee, chocolate, leafy hop and roast. Lots of caramel and dried fruits come up front in the flavor, which, towards the finish, has an underlying roast to it. The middle on into the aftertaste has moss, leather and tobacco, with just a hint of smoke. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is thinnish with a carbonation that could mellow out a bit. If this didn't cost so much it'd be a near perfect session with its dryness, complexities and low alcohol. Awesome.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Well surprise, surprise! I spotted this old English friend at the WineCountry in Long Beach recently, and decided that I would give this one a go. Cost $3.25 for a 500ml brown glass bottle. Wide bodied with a thin, but tall, neck stem. The obverse gold label has the silhouette of a black cat set against a red oval. No freshness date but it is listed as 3.4% Alc/Vol.

Now, I "know" this beer originally as 'Black Cat Mild' from when I first drank it on Cask when I lived in England. However, rather sadly, it seems that the word ‘Mild’ has been dropped from the name. This word appears to strike fear in all marketing men as it sounds far too lame and a little "girlie" to sell good tasty Ale it seems. This is probably why the brew is classified, rather mysteriously I have to say, as a ‘Black Ale’ on the bottle label.

Appearance: I’m stunned, from the off this offering immediately impresses me. A gorgeous thick & plush carpet light tan head readily forms above a dark brown body that has some ruby red hints at the edges. The light tan head is smooth and laces the wall of my Mug with some impressive visually stunning markings. Served to me unknowingly in a blind tasting, I would swear this was from the Cask, and probably loose a handsome amount of money doing so.

Nose: Dark malts and caramel with toffee. As it warms I get dark chocolate. Sometimes this has a real fruity aspect, which convinces you that it may even contain some dark fruits.

Taste: Roasted malts, mixed with a sharp biting caramel that is balanced by a malt sweetness that lends a nice structure. Finishes with some mild hop bite, and a chocolate roll swish. Some lingering chocolate bitterness in the finish. Very nice and incredibly tasty for the strength.

Mouthfeel: It sits in the mouth extremely well and has a comforting solid presence that allows all of the beers taste profile to disseminate in the mouth.

Drinkability: I find no fault with this Mild whatsoever. Smooth, tasty, light & airy yet with a solid malt profile. Highly Quaffable. A damn fine drinking English Mild that personifies all the traits to absolute perfection.

Overall: I have had the fortune to tour Moorhouse’s Brewery, not just the once, but twice, when I lived in England, and I have drunk this marvelous beer on cask many, many times. It is a damn fine Mild (there I used that 4-letter word). I will be the first to say that I never thought that this would transfer so well to the bottle, given the fact that the Cask can really bring out the finest nuances of a Mild. But it does, and it excels.

If you think a 3.4% Mild in a bottle will disappoint – think again! This is quite Excellent and a marvelous drinking beer. If it was a little cheaper it would most certainly fill my fridge.

Highly Recommended if you want to try a real English Mild from the bottle.

 2,871 characters

Photo of brdc
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Small capped bottle, poured into a pint. Thanks grandq for this one.

Dark, near black with some bright reddish hue, a fine and steady light tan carbonation.
Aroma of toasted malts, some cocoa. Nice but not powerful, as expected.
Little carbonation, smooth, very easy to drink and amazingly flavorful for the ABV. Toasted, sweetish malts, milky, chocolate notes, with a dry finish. A fantastic session beer.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of stirgy
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was dark brown in color with burgundy highlights and was topped with a thinning head of coffee and cream colored foam. The aroma is inviting and softly complex. Smoky, almost ashy notes with caramel and toffee, cherries, candy and cake-like. Smells sort of like a freshly baked and warm chocolate pound cake. The taste is smooth, creamy and sweet. Dark roasted grains with hints of vanilla and licorice. The body is a bit light and watery, but flavorful. Overall, this comes across as an easy drinking and very enticing dark ale. Not overly heavy or sweet. Just perfect.

 575 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is simply heavenly, with strong hints of toffee and chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Color is a beautiful dark brown with fine-bubbled and fairly persistent head. Flavor is on the thin side, but it is malty and smoky, more like a stout or porter than a mild ale. Aftertaste has a little bit of hop bitterness. This beer is the cat's meow!

If you're trying to work your way up to stouts from typical American lagers, this beer may be a good stepping stone.

The bottle I bought has a label somewhat different from that shown on this site.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color in this one seems to be merely very dark brown as oppossed to pure black, but it is a handsome beer, with a creamy tan head and nice lace so we'll let the name slide. Aroma is also complex and appealling; chocolate, heavy malt and dark fruit predominate.

Very tasty and difficult to define. Malt and dryness up front but a little bit of bitterness catches the finish nicely. Texture is perfect, with just enough carbonation to grease the wheels and no more. Mouthfeel is slightly thin but not watery or weak. Must be the lack of alcohol, which in a beer this delicious, I just don't miss that much.

My only complaint is that a 500ml bottle is four bucks in a store. Otherwise, you could happily drink this one for hours. I imagine having this one on tap in a pub in the north of England would be litttle short of heaven.

 838 characters

Photo of bobsy
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ruby colored liquid, with a medium sized white head. Sweet roasted malt aroma. Sublime coffee and caramel flavors jive with chocolate and dark fruits. There's a lot of flavour going on for such a low percentage. Extremely satisfying and smooth mouth feel. Overall this is a fantastic experience, and a mild that would make an excellent session drink.

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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.

 725 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 479 characters

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

This is a welcome departure from all the strong beers I've consumed this past winter. Blackened amber in color, with a trace of plum when held up to bright light. The beige/tan head contained bubbles of varying size and fades rather quickly leaving a rim of lace. Nice coffee, smoke, malt and chocolate aroma. The medium citrus and slightly astringent taste blends well with the full lightly sweet malt body. Looks can be deceiving and this brew is a pussycat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep brown color with ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. A 2 finger head settles to a full quarter inch coat over top, leaving a ton of lace on the glass. Nose is light caramel and bready notes, with some nutty notes playing in there. No real hoppyness is detected. Flavor is pretty nice as well. It starts nutty, moving towards a mellow brown sugary and caramel sweetness, finishing a very light coffee flavor. Nothing too big, but still very flavorful. Feel is on the light end of moderate, with a moderate carbonation. It works well with the lighter flavors and low alcohol. Overall, I think this one is very well built. Being a subtle beer, there is nowhere for flaws to hide, but I don't find any in it. This would be a great beer to have off a hand pump, sitting in the pub for a solid session. I will have this one again.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

german style shoulderless half liter bottle, purchased from Abe's in Bethlehem for $2.50 (50% off!) and poured into a dimple mug after allowing it to warm up from fridge temp.

Just as the label states, this one pours a nice ruby color with a modest, single finger sized off white head that sports moderate retention but no lacing.

Smell is faint, light chocolate notes from the dark malts, no noticeable hop or alcohol aromas (obviously). A bit weak, but understandably so.

Taste is also subtle makes itself known more effectively. Dry chocolate and a very slight fruitiness, from the ale yeast presumably.

Mouthfeel is light with low carbonation. Very appropriate.

Rating a beer like this is difficult. For me, this type of beer is much more out of my norm than most 'extreme' beers. It is a bit weak and watery, but that is exactly the point. It never feels watered down, just intentionally light, which is basically what a mild is. Very good and I would love to try some more english milds if it weren't for the price (this one was originally $5) and limited availabity stateside.

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Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
3.83 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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