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Black Cat | Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

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Black CatBlack Cat
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 travise
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at about 48 degrees F. Poured into an English pint glass with virtually no head. Deep dark brownish black color, but when held up to light, a beautiful ruby color shines through.

It has a fairly subtle aroma of toffee, chocolate and coffee.

It starts with sweet malt, then rolls alond with a nice balanced roasty and sweet middle...it finishes with my tongue begging for more. very drinkable, nice carbonation, very balanced just enough hop bitterness so that it is not cloyingly sweet. also, the yeast is very clean for a british ale, a little fruitiness going on, but not as much as i would have expected.

 620 characters

Photo of claytri
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a fine dark amber with a bit of tan lace. The aroma was of dark toasted sweet malt. The taste was of good toasted malt with a nice sweet undertone. The feel was light and dry. Ths was a pleasant twist to a mild. I was not expecting the toasted malt. It was almost like a light stout. Definately a beer that will find it's way into my glass again.

 362 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a deep dark ruby red... Creamy tan head poured fairly thickly then faded to thin layer.... no real lacing

Aroma - Nice strong chocolate maltiness, coffee notes, toasted bread, smoky / dusty notes, some dark fruits (plums, figs, some blackcurrents), faint liquorice notes, spicy, nice peppery hop bitterness...

Taste – Definite chocolate maltiness, toastiness, watery black coffee, nutty sweetness, milky notes, fruity (blackcurrents, plums), peppery, strong eartiness, nice hop bitterness, light smoky notes...

Feel - Pretty smooth.. Medium bodied. At 3.4 % an extremely quaffable ale...

Overall - A very good and nicely balanced mild... well worth a try...

 730 characters

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Color: dark brown smell: burnt toast with toffey. The taste was very different the low alcohol and the low carbonation makes the beer seem flat and flabby. But there was some pleasant flavors of roasted malts and a light smoky quality. The mouthfeel was med. body. This beer goes good with a cigar or a cig. but I don't smoke very often. The low alcohol makes this beer most appealing. If you just want to taste a interesting brew without a heavy buzz.

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Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed for Halloween time, 2005. Picked up in Dearborn, MI.
A very pleasent (and somewhat alternative) offering. This was a favourable blend of a rich,dark, roasted brew within a mild context. Not an easy flavour profile to pull off, but this beer has great composure. Not lean in the least, especially considering its alcohol percentage. Be festive, it's a great treat for when the days start to get shorter.

 412 characters

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

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep amber-brown that almost looks black. Smell is heavily of toasted malts, also a hint of chocolate. The taste is not overly impressive, but it also doesn't disappoint. The taste is very well balanced, with a malty foreground and a smooth finish. The mouthfeel is light bodied with not too much carbonation, goes down easy. Overall, I would have to say this beer is very drinkable, although I paid almost $4 for a 16 oz bottle... so I think money would be the limiting reagent in this case.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown mild with a hint of ruby. Pours with plenty of carbonation and sustaining off-white head of foam that leaves a little lace on the side of the glass. The aroma is wonderful mix of toffee, chocolate and molasses. The mouthfeel is decent, could be a little softer. This ale starts out a bit fruity with the taste of plums and maybe even figs, until some of the roasted/chocolate malts start expressing themselves. The harsh bite of the carbonation accentuates the bitter finish. A fine mild, but I'd much prefer to have this one off a cask -- too fizzy.

 568 characters

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. bottle. Very dark brown in color, almost opaque. Moderate, tan colored head. Aroma was molasses and port. Taste was radically different than aroma. Burnt toast/coffee flavor, good but mild hops, very clean and crisp. A bit of sweetness came through towards the end, moreso as the beer warmed. It was light in body, with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. A light beer with dark flavor.

 399 characters

Photo of rebel1771
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark reddish brown with a nice off white head.

Very rich aroma with strong smells of roasted coffee and toffee.

The flavor is very nice with the coffee flavors coming through loud and clear with a crisp clean finish in the end.

This is a fine brew, I am very happy I found this.

 300 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the tumbler jet black in color, faint ruby highlights were noted when held to the light. The head was a brief finger of tan foam consisting of medium and large bubbles.
The smell was sweet and roasted malts, dark fruit notes, faint chocolate, molasses, and spicy hops.
Very flavorful. A wine-like dryness, roasted dark malts with a pleasant bitterness from the hops.
Light to medium body. Crisp mouthfeel.
This could be my favorite from Moorehouse so far. Tasty and highly drinkable.

 502 characters

Photo of mynie
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About as good a pour as you can reasonably expect from the style. Very dark ruby wiht a big brown head that fades away to a small, retentive cap.

Smell is firm, more than anything. Not watery or flavorless. Big, roasted malt, almost like a weak porter, backed up with a caramel sweetness.

Tastes very much like it smells. Very smooth roasted malts, bittersweet and a little smoky, that give way to a coffeeish middle and end on a pronounced bitterness. The lack of complexity is noticable, but great for the style.

This is a firm, tasty pub ale. A great amount of flavor for it's small ABV.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color with attractive reddish hightlites. Creamy tannish head that left nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is a pleasant mixture of toasted grains and dark fruit. taste is a bit light but rather enjoyable with a nice hoppy bitterness coming through at the finish. Good drinking session beer.

 320 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a White Hen coffee color with a little foamy film in the middle of my mug. And a half ring around the beer.

Smell- Very lovely aromas from this light brew. Smokey chocolates and grainy malts with a little stout acidity mixed well with some cream.

Taste- Pretty spot on with the smell profile with a few exceptions. Good mix of smoked and roasted malts mixed iwth creams and milk chocolate. But their was a dry finish that sorta left a small taint on my impression of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Malty all around with no nuance of hops. A little dry, but all in all a very pleasant to drink.

It's almost a blessing I haven't seen this brew on-tap anywhere near me, or I would become an undisputed alcoholic since the drinkability of this beer is soooo goooddd.

 786 characters

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.

 850 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, but clear shade of mahogany, showing ruby highlights. The tan, one and a half finger head is somewhat dense, but lacking in retention and lacing. Rich, chocolate/roasted malt nose, with a sherrylike aroma. The flavor is of roasted barley and coffee, sweet, but not residual. Almost a total absence of bitterness, just a faint fuggle hop flavor to offset the sweetness. The mouthfeel is flat and thin, with a clean aftertaste and high drinkability. Good choice if you're seeking an english session ale with a mild malt background.

 548 characters

Photo of texashammer
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

reviewed on cask at salisbury winterfest. dark ale with thin head that fades quickly, with nice ruby tones. roasty flavors in the nose give way to coffee and chocolate, some fruitiness. a little sweet in the finish, not enough balance provided by hops.

 252 characters

Photo of NClifestyle
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a great mild english ale. easy to drink, but enough flavor and mouthfeel to keep you interested.
looks quite dark brown, some head that leaves rather quickly. no lace.
smell is sweet, malt, cocoa/caramel.
taste is similar to a brown, without any hint of nutty flavor, malty and tingly sweet. just a tinge of hop bite in the back of the mouth.
thin to medium, but creamy and extremely smooth.
very little alcohol with a nice dose of taste gives a high drinkability score. good stuff.


 502 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and creamy malt scent that is sweet and smelling of burnt toffee. The taste is decent. It has a smooth black and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. It's light and easy drinking, but lacking a rich malt presence. The mouthfeel is decent also. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent beer, but nothing special. It has pretty good flavor, but lacking in body.

 546 characters

Photo of Schwarzbart
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much head when poured, but there is a pillowy fluffy ring that stays around the outside edge that provided good lacing. I thought maybe the glass had some soap residue which provided the odd fluffy ring, so I poured the other half of the beer in another glass which I made sure was clean and it did the same thing. The pillowy ring reminded me a little bit like blow bubble solution that had been slightly shaken. The beer was also dark, but clear like a cola that had gone flat. Smell was heavy in the roasted malts section with some molasses and also a hint of black licorice. Taste was of roasted malts, a little sweet and slightly astringent. Mouthfeel was thin and smooth. An interesting beer that I'll beer eager to try again to see if it tastes the same.

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Photo of BitterBrian
2.6/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - poured into pint glass a burnt brown with a half inch off-white head. Looks pretty much like a cola. Head disappeared quickly and left some decent lacing.

Smell - Definite malt presence, toffee and pine. It smells like the house after you wrestle the christmas tree in place. The malts smell sweet though.

Taste - The first taste was a chocalatey malts, but they fade quickly leaving a watery feel. Back of the throat also felt like I was drinking an overly carbonated cola.

Finish - Did I just drink a beer? Why do I feel like brushing my teeth now?

Overall, wouldn't buy this again. It says on the label that it won awards. . . in 1998. At first it was reminiscent of the looks and feel of Xingu and the taste of a brown ale, but that faded as quickly as the taste. blah.

 799 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer. Poured out to a deep cherry mahogony color with a good head of about 1/2 inch. Lace is well formed around the interior of the glass. Aromas of toffee, caramel, sweet herbs, earth and some woodiness are present. Taste is very quaffable yet still mild and complex. Flavors of mild malts and cocoa mix with some pepper and earth. Finish is slightly zesty and sweet. Nice. Mouthfeel is calm and mild, very easy going down. Drinkability is good; low ABV makes it possible to put a couple of bottles back without any guilty feelings or a heavy stomach. A very good mild ale. Recommended.

 592 characters

Photo of smcolw
2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Quickly dying head, some lace; a color just on the pale side of a dry stout.

Very mild smell. Nearly no hop, some darker malt aromas. For me, I smell mostly the refridgerator.

Tastes like a very thin stout. Very thin body for the color and smell. High carbonation. The initial sip has hints of chocolate, the swallow has a sprig of hops. Rather bland aftertaste, although I detect some coffee flavors.

This is a step up from Michelob Dark, but shares many of the characteristics. If this is a Mild, it is very dark and still fairly thin. If this is anything else, it falls short of expectations.

 605 characters

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 Beertracker
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black Cat should be served at cellar temperatures (50-55F) from a traditional pear shaped pint glass. This Mild Ale pours up soft with moderate carbonation into what I would define as, "The Perfect Pint." Black Cat has a beautiful deep mahogany color topped with a tight tannish-brown head. This one makes a person thirsty just gazing upon a full glass.

The "dusty" maltiness is predominate in the aroma with just a hint of fruitiness and maybe a whisper of floral hops. As this one warms, the wonderful aromatics begin emerging more readily. The flavor starts off slightly chewy with some nice buttery treacle & licorice notes in the background and then finishes slightly dry. The body is light-medium with a very smooth silkiness to it. The depth of character and complexity is truly amazing for such a small beer! If I had to make a simple comparison, I would swear that this ale is Theakston Old Peculier's little brother.

After having enjoyed a pint of Black Cat, it's very easy for me to understand why it has won so many CAMRA awards and why it was the Champion Mild of Britain in 1998. Enjoy Black Cat anytime as a restorative or paired with a hearty plate of traditional bangers & mash. Don't be superstitous about this Black Cat!

CHEERS! Beertracker

 1,269 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Puuurrrr-ple black with glints of light escaping. Frothy lace laden head cap with little bubbles on top.

Blackberry scents & graint notes, Sugar scents.

First swigs: Smooth burnt carameland table sugar sweet. Mixed fruit of red cherry and black grape. Grainy with a touch od charcol & tobacco. Slightly chalky with lingering aftertaste.

Silky feel nearly chocolately smooth with medium body.

Last swigs: Sweet molasses malts. Nearly milk stout but lighter and cocoa taste.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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