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 wl0307
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB Aug. 08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a deeply dark brown colour with faint reddish hues when seen against light; the khaki foamy head comes thick, retreating gradually into a light blanket.
S: a tad dusty due to the fluffy head, backed by a light whiff of black dates, Chinese red bean paste, black sugar, chocolates, and a light-bodied pale maltiness at the back. Pretty pleasant.
T: upfront are salty-sweet malts and sugary dates, underlined by a deeper, mildly-roasted flavour of black malts with a faint touch of chocolate, fast towards a lightly dry palate attributable to the hops. Mildly earthy and chewy-gristy in the finish.
M&D: slightly effervescent upfront, but softening fast on the palate before turning slightly thin in the end. On the balance, this is a feather-light-bodied Dark Mild with a very mild malt profile. Not bad, but certainly not doing justice to the original, cask-conditioned version as far as my previous encounter is concerned.

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Photo of ccrida
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 0.9 oz bottle poured into a nonic, Black Cat is dark black with medium sized, super creamy head that is pretty slow to subside, leaving a thick skim with delicate lace.

The smell is rich, malt and super chocolaty. Very Nice.

The taste is lighter and more astringent. I understand this one's a showcase example for Black Patent malt, and it provides an acceptable amount of acrid roastiness here. But there's an off flavor, maybe a bit oxidized, like stale hops, that is also noticeable in the nose. Being so low ABV, and probably not high turnover (or at least a long journey from the UK to OR), I assume thats not present when fresh. Served at cellar temperature, the off flavor comes out as it warms. Pretty good, but I was hoping it would have more of the chocolate in the nose.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin and slick, with none of the creaminess visible in the head.

Drinkability is high by nature of being a full-flavored mild. But the off-flavor is a bit much, and there's otherwise not enough there to make me want to drink the 15 or so 3.4% beers it would take to satisfy me on a long sat of watching sports. Why get up to pee that much when I can savor a few really tasty, bigger beers while not having to miss the games?

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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 flyingpig
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of chogm54
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer of this style. I was expecting a real thin, lightly flavored beer because of the low abv. I was pleasantly surprised. Pours a dark brown with lots of ruby highlights when held to a light. Big light tan head, nicely carbonated that faddes to a covering, then a ring at the top of the glass. Moderately sized rings of lacing.

Smell on the first pour was mild roasted malts, a second pour after the beer warmed up left less aroma.

Taste is pretty good. Roasted malts a little chocolate malts...the flavor is strong enough to get your attention and appreciation.

Moutfeel is light and nicely carbonated. I would not call it watery like the Anhauser Busch Stout they used to have at Busch Gardens.

Overall this is a solid session beer. At 3.4 percent, you could drink a good few of these with some good conversation and still enjoy each one. I would love to have this on cask or on tap.

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Photo of Euroglot
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of albern
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is extremely light, although its appearance and aroma is a bit deceiving. There just isn't much "there" in this beer. It pours a dark ruby almost inky black color with a nice creamy dark head, some retention, some lacing. The aroma is quite pungent. I'm getting some strong roasted nuts, some chocolate and coffee aromas, dark caramel hints. This also has some hints of very old fashion candy, such as Mary Jane, with lots of caramelized molasses. The aroma is really nice.

The taste of this beer is just too darn light bodied, and not enough flavorfulness. The palate is as watery as a big body of water, and it comes no where near to its promise in the nose. There are some watery toasted nut flavors, coffee, chocolate, molasses, sweetish malts, and maybe a bit of hop presence in the finish. This is a bit of a disappointment, but with a 3.4% ABV, I guess this is what you get. The beer is moderately carbonated and the mouthfeel is very light.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Cat was once judged Supreme Champion at the Great British Beer Festival – a momentous achievement, especially for a mild ale. I’m sure the half-liter bottle I drank had lost a bit of character after crossing both an ocean and a continent, but the essence of Black Cat did come through with a faintly dry-stout flavor and an intriguing complexity suggesting both peat and molasses. The aftertaste has a welcome tendency to linger with notes of coffee and cola nut, and a slight touch of smoke.

My Black Cat delivered fair head and lace. I found the body a bit thin, but that may be expected for this most un-American of styles – a mild ale. A beer this dependant upon subtlety and nuance is not likely to travel well. But Black Cat did tend to grow on me and I’d love to try this at the source in jolly old England.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tall, brown 500ml bottle, best before the end of Feb 2011, drank and reviewed 25th Jan 2011. Poured into a UK pint sleeve.

Good, really dark brown body, teak wood red when held to a bright light. On top a well formed light brown head, which gave some heavy lacing.

Semi-sweet dark chocolate smells, toasted/roasted malts too.

The taste is typical dark mild malty, without anything being too rich or overpowering. Very little if any hop presence detectable. It does get a bit bitter towards the end of the mouthfeel, otherwise the beer is mid-dry, leaning towards semi-sweet in flavour.

Slightly over carbonated for me, others may find it 'lively'.

Not a great beer, but a long way from being a bad one.

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Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

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Photo of OldTime
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

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Photo of sneaks2210
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of bzach
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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 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 doktorhops
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown around the edges and black at the core. Loose tan head has a short life but leaves ring lace. Carbonation clings to the side of the glass.

Malt is the theme here. Mostly a dry chalky chocolate base, like bakers chocolate with suggestions of dark fruit way underneath. Soft yeastey backside gives it some nice depth. Roasted coffee makes an appearance as it warmed a bit. Some burnt grain is faint. Showing the beginning signs of oxidation. Finishes quite crisp and cleans up ok.

Notes: A bit chalky in the mouthfeel and its no gem to look at but where the rubber hits the road this excells. A low ABV beer with depth and character? almost unheard of, at least in my neck of the woods, this has both.

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Photo of haz77
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Body is a very dark brown with almost no light showing through. A hard pour yields an inch of frothy tan head which falls to a thin, foamy island and ring. If there's carbonation, I can't see it.

S - Big hit of molasses up front, dark chocolate and dried fig pushing through in the background. Difficult to pull out anything else past the molasses.

T - Nothing appears for the first second in the mouth, then molasses and chocolate come though. These both fade in the middle and a light hay note appears. Liquorice appears at the end, but it isn't very prominent.

M - Light mouthfeel and soft, cleansing carbonation.

D - Very easy drinker, although I could see myself getting bored of it quite quickly.

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