Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

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Monty Python's Holy Grail AleMonty Python's Holy Grail Ale

Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stcules on 05-24-2002

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Reviews: 607 | Ratings: 1,235
Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.56/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like most of the reviews have said previously, I was a tad leery of trying this based on the novelty aspect. BUT this was awesome, brought me back to the pubs in London in the best way. Similar to an ESB I would say. Very welcome in my home.

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Photo of cracgor
4.45/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color. White creamy head. Head sticks readily to the glass and has great retention. Not a lot of visible carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Bitter/hop smell as well as the nutty butter aroma of an english pale ale. Smell is strong as I don't have to hold my nose near the glass to smell this beer.

Taste: very fruity and a strong nutty/butter flavor. Tastes like I expect an English Pale Ale to taste. Hop bitterness is an opening flavor, very sweet hops. I also detect some acetylaldehyde and alcohol flavors as it develops across my mouth. This beer is complex with many flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body.

Drinkability: This is the style of beer I find myself drinking most often these days. It is a favorite style of mine. This beer in particular is easy to drink and interesting to the palate. This beer is more than a curiosity for those only interested in the label or those that would pass it up like a cartoon beer.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.4/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Overall a terrific ale.

A: clear pale amber with small head

S: biscuit malt and honey, intriguing

T: taste of biscuits, honey, and just a touch of hop snap in the finish

M: Very smooth, medium mouthfeel. My preference

D: very drinkable, left comfortable warming and was great paired with chicken and stuffing

Would definitely recommend this ale. Great with chicken and suspecet it may be good with pork too.

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Photo of xare
4.4/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers, if not THE favorite. It's bitter at first but lightens up with every swig. Dark English Ale that ages fantastically well as well - I've aged a couple for 6 months and over a year. It mellows a bit with age and actually gets smoother.

A brand new bottle will oftentimes taste overly bitter with the first swig but then the flavors begin opening up and blend together as you drink the bottle, it's a great beer to drink during the winter but may be a bit too heavy to drink during the summertime.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
4.4/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am often times skeptical whe I see something that smacks of novelty. Usually I tend to avoid such things but my love of beer and Python was too much for me to ignore on this one.


Color: Crystal clear amber with a nice off-white fizzy head, moderate retention.

Aroma: A touch of caramel malt with some mild floral and spiced hop aroma.

Flavor: Semi-sweet caramel malt, nice carbonation and medium body, hops are there but just in balance and support of the malty flavor, not too bitter. Pleasant.

Overall: First you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with...a HERRING!
Bring out your dead cause this one is actually pretty good! I expected some half-assed novelty beer to taste like shit but I was pleasantly surprised. It's not bad! It really is a true crowd pleaser as well, meaning your non-beer geek friends would enjoy it at the Memorial Day picnic and would be overwhelmed. It's a tad more malty and a touch more bitter than say a Heineken(with an Ale taste of course but not too bad, very clean.)

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.37/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, I admit I tried this the first time because of the Monty Python name on the label. But I am glad to see the beer is as good as the program/movies are funny. This was the 3rd time I've had this beer and was surprised to find I hadn't reveiwed it yet. I must have been overcome by grief over the loss of my parrot (a Norwegian Blue). Pours an absolutely gorgeous orange/amber color with a huge wheat-like head. Big, fluffy, off-white head. (HUGE tracts of head - sorry). Very good retention and great lacing from rim to bottom. Smell is like few other pale ales I've ever had. In fact, my mouth started watering the instant I smelled it, the anticipation was so great. Malt, enough fruit to make a shrubber's heart happy (citrus, apple, grape), spice, oak and vanilla and a nice sweetness over it all.Taste is malt, hops, oak and vanilla. Fruit and spice are present as well but less pronounced than in the nose. Personally, I blame the Knights Who Say "Ni" for that. Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied with just the right amount of hop bittering. Could be a bit smoother but quite enjoyable. A fairly dry finish with a pleasant hop/malt aftertaste. Don't let the Black Knight stop you from trying this brew. Good flavor and balance make this a good beer anytime.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.36/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label is awesome, Monty Python artwook is the best and it semms to go so well with the beer inside.

This Pale Ale pours an appealing orangey hue with a big chunky head and tonnes of glass covering lace. Aromatic bready malts and lots of floral and spicey hops make up the nose.

The taste is everything a good English ale should be; rich and full flavored, very well balanced, with a good English yeast taste. The firm bready malts are acuntuated by a subtle toastiness. This beer is hoppier than I expected, with richer hop character than the Black Sheep Ale. The hops are cedary and spicey and mix well with some great fruity esters. The mouthfeel is testured and creamy. It would be better if it was bottle conditioned.

Overall this ale was excellent. I was quite surprised.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.35/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half-liter bottle, in an English glass.

Appearance: Amber color, with small but lasting head.

Aroma: Some malt in the nose, with fine earthy hop aroma.

Flavor/Body: A touch of sweetness up front, then a good earthy/floraly hop flavor. Restrained fruitiness, and a good bitter finish rounds it out. Good body, just right for an English ale.

Despite the flippant name, a very decent English strong bitter. Very quaffable.

I love how the Black Sheep brewery, instead of having a range of different styles, focuses mainly on my favorite style, the English bitter/pale ale, and has several very good variations on that theme.

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Photo of beerNdarts
4.35/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't know what it is about this beer... it seems hard to find in the US, I've only seen it twice: New Orleans, and once on a snowboarding trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC. But whether the name, or the taste, the scarcity... whatever, this is hands down my top brew right now.

It's just a damn good beer... like the Holy Grail, it cannot be described, only experienced.

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Photo of Portertime
4.32/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just love Monty Python's Holy Grail so naturally I had to watch it while drinking this brew. Between gufaws I took sips and was surprised by it's smooth, flavorful taste. Poured a rich tawny color with a head that can choke a ladened swallow. Initially aroma was of caramel malts, some sugars, and a piney hop backdrop. Taste was similar and nicely balanced with roasted caramel malts in the front and a bittering hop finish. All in all a decent brew that must be kept away from the killer bunny!!

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Photo of Thrasher
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the late '70s, Python member Terry Jones funded a brewery to make its own porter, in an attempt to re-launch a very important style which, at that point, had completely disappeared from the UK. It didn't catch on, but was a truly admirable effort and perhaps gives indication of Monty Python's sentiments toward beer, despite their irreverence towards everything else. Indeed, this is no novelty swill, but a serious and valid brew. Hazy orange-gold with superb head, tempting aroma. Wonderful malt base with grassy, herbal hops, very little bitterness, with the unusual yeast providing a surprising amount of complexity. Perfect for washing down any meal, especially minstrels, mothers, members of the British Navy, spam, and of course ram's bladder cup. A solid pale ale, as good as any other British offering, save perhaps a freshly squeezed Mallard Fizz. Those who cannot see past the label are missing out on a quality brew that Mr Creosote would be happy to drink by the crateful. Just watch out for the wafer thin mint.

(Yes I'm a dork)

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Photo of sixerofelixir
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at Winking Lizard March 2010. Got a nice laugh from the bottle label! Review from notes.

Very good clear, amber color. Head lacing like a champ. Super tasty brew - toasty malts balanced very well with the bitter end. Went down smooth and satisfactorily. A most excellent pair with my fish sandwich. Delicious.

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Photo of ark57
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is a light amber color with a huge head. There is cedar and citrus aromas. The body is firm with some orange notes as well as some anise and cedar. It finishes with a dry balanced bitterness. It is somewhat different than I am accustomed from English Ales, but it is a good thing. I can almost taste the screams of the burning witches.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 0.9 fl oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Yellow, copper light amber with a very large off white head made of mixed sized bubbles. Carbonation is light with very small bubbles, leaves good lacing.

S = First aromas are clearly coming from the malt, sweet smells, some hint of popcorn, hops are also present though with lemon citrus smells.

T = Quite bitter, some hints of butter (perhaps slight diacetyl, but only very slight), there is a nice bite of white pepper and finished long and bitter. An excellent English ale. I really like the white pepper characteristics.

M = Light to medium bodied, foamy carbonation, light to medium mouthcoating.

D = Very drinkable. Would be great just for an occasion when in the mood for an English pale ale or excellent candidate for session drinking.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's see...a Monty Python beer from Black Sheep brewery. Bonus points already. Inspecting the bottle, I find some authentic Monty Python artwork, and a brew that claims to be "tempered over burning witches". That's by far my favorite beer adjuct. Far superior to blackberry, raspberry, and all the other berry ales my girlfriend likes. (I like them too.)
The holy grail's pour is something spectacular for me, particularly from a bottled beer. The head was so dense Gary Coleman could breakdance on it. I had to take a quick sip so the head would start to die down, and I could pour the rest. Incredible lacing, leaving thick clumps of head sticking to the glass.
Color was pretty nice. It reminded me of Bass, or any other classic english pale. The aroma was great. Mellow and subtle. A balanced aroma, with floral and a light estery undertone.
I have to say that this review is gonna be biased. I love this style. Holy Grail tasted great, with mild hops, medium body, light floral aftertaste, and all the trappings of any english pale worthy of Britain. One thing of note about this beer, odd for the style, is that it held a big head throughout, and formed little islands of foam on the side of the glass. Not flat little circles, but half inch thick mounds that oddly resembled the white rabbit from the movie.
The ale was a little pricey, but it'll be in my fridge again. I liked it a lot. Like Arnie said..."Oll be bock!"

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.28/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- A clear, golden amber hue. Two finger head with residual foam sticking to the side of my pint glass.

Smell- A little subdued, but a noticeble creamy hops aroma. More emphasis on creamy for a pale ale. With hints of bananas.

Taste- Very creamy start, hops with bananas in the middle, and a clean creamy malt finish. A surprising end to this better than expected beer.

Mouthfeel- A light creamy palate, no overwhelming flavors to the taste buds. Very clean and refreshing.

Drinkability- Will definetly have to get a bunch of these beauties next time I'm at Sam's Wines and Liquors.

I drank this beer while soaking my aching feet. Feet soaking and Holy Grail Ale went together like swimmingly. Very relaxing.

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Photo of Dudeletter
4.27/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was about with friends the other night, having a good meal with them at the local British pub, when I came across perhaps the only thing more fundamentally British than a pub: a Monty Python beer. Let me share something with you my dear readers: When it comes to Monty Python, I’m a bit of a fanatic. I can quote all of the movies by heart, own the TV series box-set, seen the musical, and have scared away more than one prospective girlfriend upon their discovery of my ownership of a replica of the Holy Hand-grenade of Antioch. So when I saw that the restaurant offered Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale as they called it, I could not order a bottle fast enough.

As you can tell, the bottle itself is clearly marketed to Monty Python fanboys such as myself. Boasting of being tempered over burning witches is all fine and good, but finer still was the beer itself. The beer boasts a rich amber color and a fruity, yet bready smell. Meanwhile, the taste, much like the smell, slightly fruity, you can definitely taste the malt, and has a superb aftertaste to boot. As a whole, it seems being roasted over burning witches does wonders, because Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale is a very solid English Pale Ale, and a rather tasty one at that

Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale is brewed by Black Sheep Brewery, a British brewery located in North Yorkshire, and luckily for all of you eager to try it, yet not so eager to go out of your way to find a bottle of it, they sell it here on their website. At least in my opinion, it’s worth a try not just for the fan appeal, as it holds its own as a good brew, so if it sounds like something you’d want to try, I recommend it. You may smell of elderberries afterwards though.

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Photo of Morningstar
4.27/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was a novelty beer, which I rarely think of trying. I love Monty Python so I decided to give it a try. I was very delighted with the taste. It went well with meatloaf and baked potato meal I made last night. I would definitely recomend this ale.

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Photo of freed
4.27/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on the shelf at a new market in town. Despite all attempts, the novelty convinced me to try it.

The bottle is labeled with quotes and images from the namesake movie, and the ale pours a hazy golden into my imperial pint. The head is quite impressive for a bottled beer, and it leaves a nice lacing through the glass.

The aroma is a very familiar rustic malt blend. The taste combines that rustic malt blend with the warm, dank sourness of a barn. The pleasant fruitiness of the yeast compliments its earthy flavors, and makes for a swell pint that easily holds up to expectations. A clean drink that really is pleasant and should be enjoyed in more than one.

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Photo of adamette
4.23/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio about 30 minutes ago in it's very own ceramic Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale Goblet. This is the kind that is about 16 ounces and has a wide base. There are Monty Python characters lining the rim and the name of the beer on a panel near the base. Very cool, especially if you are a fan of the movies or the beer. As you will see, I am a bigger fan of the beer at this point.

A Full light colored head dissipates in about 30 seconds, giving way to the golden yellow body with an orange hue. Since it was not in a glass I really could not evaluate it like normal but that is what I saw. Nice appearance.

S A basic ale smell of some malt, not too strong but pleasing and above average.

T Great basic ale taste of malt, not too much hops, loving the taste.

M Light to moderate.

D Great, I could have many of these indeed.

Notes: I ordered this (the "glass of the month" this month at Winking Lizard) with a bit of trepidation but it proved to be very enjoyable indeed. I would not hesitate to buy this again. I recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of padjo1
4.21/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one looked like a perfect pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or St. Peter's Brewery Pale Ale and that didn't give up on taking after them in other attributes as well. Imitable yes, but unoriginality meets more liberal scrutiny than incompetence earns. Well done!! (-And there was much rejoicing-)

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Photo of Xriken
4.21/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy Grail Ale is my favorite beer. I have only been only been drinking for ten years and i have had alot of different beers. I am by no means an expert connoisseur but i do enjoy its malty taste and feel.

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Photo of RobH
4.21/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz. brown bottle.

A very interesting (in a great way) ale. I had no idea what was in this bottle, and I was pleasantly surprised and pleased.

I'm not a big fan of American Pale Ales, so this English style was a treat with it's smooth mouthfeel and no in-your-face hops.

The dark golden, hazy colour is appealing to the eyes. I hard-poured mine into a pilsner glass and got a lasting, white pillowy head.

I drank this on a hot summer day and I have to admit I quaffed it down pretty fast.

Appearance: a pretty, dark golden hue

Smell: inviting maltiness with a balance bitterness

Taste: same as the aroma. Very well balanced. Hop heads probably won't like this one.

Finish: smooth and lengthy, inviting another sip (in my case, mouthfull).

I recommend this for anyone to try at least once.

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Photo of Nibbley
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber almost copper color with a big fluffy head that lasts and lasts.
Aroma is of crisp green apples with vague hint of flowers and straw.
Taste is very sharp at first the gives you the nice round malt finish with a bit of hoppy zing.
Really good English Ale.
Also, I loved the Python art work on the lable.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.2/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a large head. It had good lacing that clung to the side of my mug. The aroma to me was a combination of fruity and nutty. The beer went down smooth with a bit of a sweet aftertaste that was noticed. It had a lot of carbonation. All in all this beer was drinkable.

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
3.38 out of 5 based on 1,235 ratings.
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