Black Cat | Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd

very good
166 Reviews
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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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 213
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

17oz bottle picked up at the Coop today for $3.50.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1.5" light tan head dies back leaving pretty nice lacing ... brew is damn near black .... but shows crystal clear dark ruby highlites when held to a bare bulb.

Aroma is fruity with caramel and lite chocolate notes .. and an odd background aroma of "jerky".

Dark malt flavors dominate with lite chocolate and caramel .. not as sweet as I would expect... I think I am mistaking the "roastiness" for a "smokiness". Has a pronounced smoky characteristic .. No real hops to speak of .. light body and carbonation... sorta nutty as it warms. Very drinkable, but not for me and I will not dock it for that .. just simply not something that I would ever really want.. the roasty flavor overpowers the other flavors in my mind.

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

I'm a big mild fan (its probably my second favorite style), and was excited to try this beer that won Champion Beer of Britain at the 2001 GBBF. Very nice almost black color - just a hint of brownnish-red when held up to the light. The head dissipated quickly to a thin cap of foam. The nose is all about licorice, with some hint of malt. On the palate, the licorice was there, as was a bit of length due to a muted hop note, but there was not enough malt to make me think "mild" and not enough complexity for me to think "great mild." While it was definitely high enough on the drinkablility scale to be a session beer, it was unable to pull off that key trick of a great mild - tons of flavor in a low alcohol beer. I'd love to give this one a shot from cask though!

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

Color's a sturdy brown, though flooded from behind with crimson shades, and enhanced by a big, bubbling, creamy-tan head, leaving lace behind.
Aroma, smooth, creamy, some nutty notes, glimmer of cocoa, hints of butter and spice, mostly malty.
Taste: tidy bitter hop notes flank the palate at first, then disappear altogether, and all is mellow, silky smooth. Medium-bodied, at best, with a short, nutty finish. Tasty, though, and quite a quaffer.
Easily encompasses the best aspects of the "mild ale" style, a better sort of brown. But not the kind of thing I'd normally reach for, nonetheless...

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

Pours ruby-tinged brown with an off-white quickly fading head. Nose shows lots of caramel and light roasted malt, quite sweet. Some hints of coffee in there to. Really nice despite not being overly bold Flavours are more roasty but still light and mild. Sot much caramel, but still a little bit of sweet malt towards the finish. Great moderate carbonation and light-ish body.

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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.

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

There needs to be more English Dark Mild Ales in bottles that are distributed to my area. Its a pretty hard style to review.

Beer is brown and clear with a thick off white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate.

Light in body and really roasty. OK, this is really really thin. Its like cold coffee. Not my bag but I guess its OK.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, dark brown... almost unusually so. The head is almost a stark white (more of a slight offwhite, really, but still)... it seems shocking in contrast. Interesting. Very bubbly.

S: Sweet malts, raisins are quite strong, Bready, with some interesting yeast notes.

T + M: Quite a light flavour... almost watery, both in flavour and feel. Some dark fruit hints are there, with a little touch of soft powdery chocolate.

D: Nice and easy to drink. It's in quite a good drink, though a little light for my personal palate, perhaps. Worth checking out, if nothing else.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, best by April 2010, into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Shared at a tasting. Thanks go out to my buddy Jim for picking up this style tick for me in London, and to Michelle for shuttling it across the pond. You guys are awesome!

A: Clear, tawny brown body with a thin, fleeting coating of tan bubbles. A swirl reactivates the head, but only ever in a coarse, soapy display of ephemerality. Lovely clarity, disappointing carbonation.

S: Clean, light chocolate malt with an understated, balancing touch of earthy hops. Straightforward and pleasant.

T: Fairly sharp, actually, with rather thin, acrid maltiness up front, turning into a dry chalkiness on the tail end. I guess it's got a good amount of flavor for such a low ABV, and it's extremely clean and dry, but it just isn't all that pleasant.

M: Thin, watery, and lightly carbonated. Easy to drink.

O: Whenever I make it to England, I think I'll be steering clear of Dark Milds - give me the punch of a good ESB any day over this rather insipid (albeit clean, balanced, and easy-drinking) concoction. Black Cat seems to be a pretty decent example, but even with 6 people at the tasting we didn't manage to kill the whole bottle. Hate me all you want for not appreciating "subtlety" and "complexity," but this beer was long on boring and light on tastiness.


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Photo of Onenote81
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for awhile now. Bottle poured into a mug. Pours a dark ruddy brown with some ruby highlights on the edges. A small tan head caps it off. Disappears to just a ring around the edge. Little lace sticks. Scents of molasses, licorice, plums, and some faint cocoa powder.

The body is decent. Crisp carbonation, moderate depth. Flavors of mild bittering hops, lots of bittersweet malts, a light sour note in the middle, and a faint chocolate finish. This is my first of the style, but I think I like it. Very simple, but full of flavor and character. Nicely done.

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Photo of Viking
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looked like a good brew for Halloween season. The body is extremely dark, almost black. It pours to a thick, tan head with good retention. Leaves plenty of thick rings clinging to the glass. Sweet roasted malt smell, with hints of chocolate and a bit of smoke. Flavor is mild, with the sweet taste of malt dominating. Has a lightly smoky taste, but is very subdued. Hints of chocolate present. Slight taste of hops comes through in the finish. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Easy drinking brew, low abv helps make it very drinkable.

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Photo of jettjon
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500ml bottle with no date in evidence, into a classic English stout glass. Dark brown, virtually opaque color capped with one finger of brown-tan foam. Slow fade down to a scattered cap and ring along with bits of clingy lacing along the side. Pretty good looking so far. Nose of toasted barley with some sweet malt peeking through. Taste has a surprisingly strong, yet pleasant smokey character yielding to toasted barley. Hints of sweet malt, finally finishing on clean, ever-so-slight bitter note. Mouth is middle-viscous leaning toward thin, with good mild carbonation, and overall smooth, thirst-quenching character. Drinkability is quite good, aided by a low 3.4% ABV. This, my friends, is a “session” ale.

Overall: A great “sessionable” dark ale, in the traditional sense of the word. I can imagine drinking pint after pint of this stuff along with fish and chips in a dark English tavern somewhere.

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Photo of DrAnnaNemis
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
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!

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Photo of drewbage
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a new pint bottle purchased from by my new local BevMo and sampled in one of my big Imperial pint tulip glasses.

Beer pours a deep dark black to the initial observation in the pint with virtually no head. Dark rubies twinkle out of the late night velvet of the glass and a clarity is discernable amongst that inkiness.

Aroma is both roasty and surprisingly smokey with just a touch of caramel sweetness first discernable. At first blush if I didn't know better, I'd swear someone had blended a bit of rauchbier into my mug.

Flavor is nutty with a deep brown malt flavor on the fore palate. As the beer moves back in the palate a roasty toasted note grows cleaning the palate of the nutty sweet caramel flavors in the fore. As the beer leaves, a smoky tone grows largers and larger as the roast dries the palate out and gears you up for the next immediate sip.

A vague sweetness is left behind on the lips as the tongue aches for more moisture.

Who went and put this smoke in my Black Cat? I definately preferred it when it was first brought in and was less roasted and more caramel. But still as one of the few commerical examples of true mild that we see here in the states, I'm a big fan. (It was better on cask back in England, but hey.. nothing's perfect)

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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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of marc77
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brilliantly clear deep crimson hue. Frothy head recedes into a spotty, loosely bubbled layer. Mild dark chocolate and caramel malt along with stately prune like fruitiness comprise the aroma. Subtle burnt black patent undertone. Chocolate malt becomes sweeter and milky as the beer breathes. Snap of sharp, lightly tart, metallic tinged black malt bitterness upfront in flavor yields to understated notes of chocolate, dark caramel and burnt raisny fruitiness. The mild hop bitterness appropriately offsets the minimal residual and caramel malt derived sweetness. Faint earthy hop flavor melds well with the roasted malt profile. Lightly bodied and crisp, yet smooth, and not thin in mouthfeel. Finishes with a well attenuated dryness lending a fading powered bittersweet cocoa aftertaste. Although Black Cat initially seems like a watered down porter in flavor profile, it becomes progressively more complex down the glass, yet retains a constant lightness and quaffability. A nearly ideal session brew. Similar, but slightly inferior to Young's Dirty Dick.

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Photo of codsmith
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip

A: Deep black with a hint of red towards the top. Very thin white head head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: Heavy raisin & chocolate smell that is backed by a mild floral hop aroma coming off the top.

T: Very interesting and mix of chocolate malt and raisin flavors that have a roasted and bitter finish on the malt portion. There is a slight hop finish that comes through with a soft and grassy hop finish.

M: Surprisingly light bodied and carbonated well. I was hoping for a little more body to tie these flavors together.

O: It has a interesting aroma and taste, with a nice balance on the hops, but it seems a bit thin and could better if it had a thicker body.

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Photo of KroMagnon
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

cool logo with a shrieking cat and a witch zooming off into the air. This is a 500 mL bottle and it says "Real Lancashire Ale" above the cat. The beer pours a bit thin, with little head, but has a wonderful black color with ruby highlights if you hold it up to a light. The beer has a subtle aroma, with a hint of malt and roastiness. The flavor is dominated by roasty bitterness, but it is not as intense as a Murphy's Stout (for example). There is also a soft maltiness and slight sweetness to provide balance. Overall the lightness of the beer is evident but it is certainly not a light beer! The back label says they use English malt, roasted malt, sugar and hops to make it. The sugar probably lightens it up a little but this is definitely a flavorful beer, and it would be a great thirst-quencher. This is the only non-homebrewed "mild" I've had and this particular one strikes me as a light-bodied porter.

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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 LiquidAmber
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A deep black brew that is really clear if you hold it up to the light.

Smell is malt and molasses, slight chocolate smell here too.

Taste is crisp and a little sweet with lots of chocolate and coffee flavors to it. Mild flavor that isn't harsh at all. Very mild flavor.

Mouthfeel is light.

Very drinkable, mild flavor in a serious looking beer.

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Photo of Wildman
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am unfamilar with this style, so here it goes. The color of this was very good, being a very dark amber color with a nice head, which didn't hold though. It might have been due to the beer temperature however. The aroma smell of coffee and malt. The taste was almost a combination of sweet and bitter. The body of it seemed a little light for a dark ale, but then again that might be indicative of a mild ale.

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Photo of notafood
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black to dark red from top to bottom in the pint glass. Buff colored 1 inch head that dissolved to a steady quarter inch of foam.

Smells like the horse feed at a farm I once lived on. Oats, molasses, malts. Very grainy. It even smells kind of dusty like a barn.
Rich chocolate and molasses. Excellent roasted malt flavor.

Very light and drinkable for a such a dark beer. Not much carbonation, very easy to drink.

Excellent session beer. Not very filling, easily quaffable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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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.

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Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
3.83 out of 5 based on 213 ratings.
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