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 Hatchman
1.28/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A- pours a golden copper, looks like an ale. Very light head with light lacing. Some carbonation visible. Don't like the looks of the carbonation.

S- Smells like a lager. Taste is very mineral and copper, no hops, no malt, no alcohol smell. Smells like Miller Lite.

T- Tastes like a lager. No hops, no malt, but does have bitter mineral taste.

M- Light body, high carbonation, feels like a lager. OK, a heavy lager.

O- Still can't figure out how this is an ale. This is not an ale. This is definitely not the Holy Grail of Ales. This is a marketing ploy. The bottle is kind of cute, especially the part about being brewed over the bodies of burning witches, but this beer is all hipe, and no hops. Stay away, stay far away.... unless you like Miller Lite at 4 times the price.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
1.47/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: Gusher upon popping the cap, leave it to a beer named after Monty Python to play a joke on me. Pours a clear, orange-gold body with a tall, though short-lived, white head.

Smell: Vaguely malty, fruity, but there's a strong stink in here, some plasticy, chemical-like odor present and oh I find it displeasing.

Taste: Pale malts with a treacle sweetness and a kick of palate-ruining lacquer. Slight spicy bitterness, but at this point you're just trying to get that taste out of your mouth. Peculiar, downright icky aftertaste that sends the drinker in search of a tall glass of water. In fact, BRB!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation after the initial gushing.

Drinkability: Not recommended. Save yourself the drain pour and dodge this one, folks.

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Photo of C20Percent
1.85/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

*Review taken from notes*

Got this bottle from World Market out of one of their Beers of World boxes.

A: Pale yellow with a bright white head.

S: Sweet malts.

T: Terrible. Soapy. Flat. Flavorless.

M: Light. Watery.

O: Did I possibly get a bad batch? This is a terrible tasting beer. Would not recommend.

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Photo of pilotgod
1.86/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from 12oz bottle into Pint glass.

A: The light amber color of this beer is what you would expect from a Pale Ale, but the head was disappointing. Only about a 1/3 finger width was obtained and that had quickly disappeared to nothing at all within a minute. As much lacing as a glass of water.

S: Very yeasty, almost off putting on the nose. No other hints of anything can fight their way past the yeast, assuming there is anything else in there.

T: This was an English Ale that tasted like it didn't know what it wanted to be when it grew up. There were some notes of hops, but the overall effect was to create a badly flavored, slightly bitter, wash-out of the English Pale Ale style. I honestly wonder if when confronted with flavor, the brewers had beaten a hasty withdrawal yelling "Run away, run away" and that is where the name came from. Truly unremarkable in anyway.

M: Light and about as complex as a glass of club soda. The only thing noticeable was a faint hint that it had once been carbonated, but the bubbles decided they were better off somewhere in Kent.

D: I have never drain poured a beer as I always try to find something redeeming. I know just because I don't particularly care for something doesn't mean it is bad. But this was close. Honestly, if someone handed me one I would drink it, but if they asked before hand if I wanted them to get me one, I would turn it down. There is nothing overly wrong with this beer, but it is a constant disappointment at every turn. Honestly, I would save the $$$ for something else.

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Photo of DevilDogBeer
2/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer presented itself as an American macro brew, CMB. I had to reread the label to make sure it wasn't from one of the jumbo 3! This beer poured a yellow color with very little head. What head did form faded quickly into almost nothing. The taste was slightly bitter and was very average for a typical pale brew. The mouth feel was watery and the earthy aftertaste makes this beer not very drinkable. The name and the label are witty, but unfortunately the beer inside is rather uninspired.

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Photo of mptorpey
2.01/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Coper with light carbionation, very little head

S: very yeasty/musty carmal and malty.

T: The smell carries over to the tast of the beer. Not a well balanced beer, some what off putting.

O: A beer that is some what out of balance and has a large amounts of yeast/musty smell and tast that over takes the rest of the flavors in the beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.03/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint.

A: Pours a clear honey-amber with a fuzzy, lively, bright white head that quickly faded into a thin fizzy film.
S: Salty soy sauce dominates with notes of wood, nuts, caramel malt and light spicy hops.
T: Honey, caramel malt, nuts, dry grains and tea. Tastes like a brown ale, along the same (bad) lines as Newcastle, but with a lot more honey sweetness. The soy sauce scent I smelled shows itself near the finish of the swallow, and the aftertaste is full of residual sweetness. Hard to pick out any hops. I only detect a slight peppery bitterness.
M: Carbonation is low, body is medium, and feel is very slick and syrupy. Finish is a tad watery. The sweet flavors in this beer get more synthetic and syrupy tasting as it warms.
D: Tried this one for the bottle. It tastes far too much like a bad brown ale for me to want to drink it again. Much too sweet and slick for my tastes.

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Photo of NJbeerman
2.05/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I recently tried this product on draft at a reputable place. I was very surprised to find it cloudy - never seen a none cast bitter to be cloudy. It had very little head which quickly disappeared.

The smell was a sour sweetness - made me think of ringwood yeast at first. Being an English pale ale, I expected some bitterness but there was none to be found. All I got was a sweet, sourness that made the drink quite undrinkable.

I will not be ordering this again and I would be very hesitant to try any of their other products. I comes across as more of a gimick beer then anything else - before finding it here, I thought it was a bud product.

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Photo of thehenbarris
2.05/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Coppery, tinge of red.

S- Almost none. Faint malty/grainy.

T- Again, almost none, and that kills it for me. I felt like I was drinking an adjunct lager. (I said to one of the people who was with me that I'd rather drink a Labatt's Blue.)

M- The only place this beer didn't disappoint. Light with nice carbonation.

I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this if I were you. And I don't plan on having it again.

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Photo of shamus
2.09/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Seeing the label I'm expecting that the novelty of being a Monty Python beer is the major selling point. it pours average and looks average and smells like...poo. Yeah poo. A distinct poo smell wafted up and out of the glass and to the best of my knowledge the glass I am using has never been anywhere near poo. Do I like this beer. No. No I do not like poo smelling beer. If you do then maybe you will like it.

Still the poo element is not overpowering and something like skunky Corona is much worse. I should emphasize that it doesn't have a poo taste (I guess?!) but does have a waft of toilet smell.Will i buy it again? Sure, but not for my own consumption.

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Photo of bobhits
2.11/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aight this beer looks like it's got potential. Then you smell's like smelling a bud. Then you taste it and you get that same awful flavor.

If you want an American macro you can get one for a lot less. My friend and I both had to force this down as we didn't want to waste a beer. Looking back we should have just put this in the sink (had it last night).

It's a fuzzy yellow NOT waste your time or money. The only reason to have this beer would be to display the bottle if you've got a collection of beer bottles. The name is pretty cool.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.2/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A clear, relaxed amber color with very little life after only a short time in the glass.

The aroma has some black-pepper and tangy metallic malt. The malt is sweet but sour-tinged.

The flavor has a peppery-zippy bite but it quickly becomes metallic and tangy with a slick, oddly sweet malt that rides in. The yeast seems stale and bitter to a certain degree with a wild, balance and flavor's that are going in several different directions. The zippy feel quickly becomes a bit lifeless. This one has not traveled well. The aftertaste has a bitter metal edge that makes it almost impossible to continue.

I'm not exactly going to be running back for more.

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Photo of walleye
2.27/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

had this on tap at the Berkley Front earlier this summer. poured a nice amber with a nice sizes light tan head that left some nice lacing. aroma got some caramelized malts with some hops, a bit of fruitiness and that is all folks. flavor, not much going on here did get some malt and hops, has a bitter finish which would be the only thing going for it.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.29/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

this bottle must have been old...obviously it was bought for the name/label. poured a light hazy straw/apricot color. off aromas-fishy, funky. also some vegetal and petrol notes. taste was dry, thin, and sour. light and spritzy mouthfeel. drinkability would be fine at this abv but this one had gone bad. i don't imagine they intended to make beer that smelled/tasted like this.

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Photo of cdizinno
2.32/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: Clear, dark orange-ammber with a small white head that quickly fades to nothing. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells oaky and malty. Almost a spoiled grain smell. Musty.

T&M: Medium bodied up front with a soapy carbonation. Some malts and hops, but nothing definitive. Watery finish.

This is definitely one of the worst craft brews I've ever tasted. I've had it on tap and in the bottle before, but nothing's changed.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.33/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Meh. Good thing they have a cute marketing gimmick, 'cause that's about all this beer has going for it.

Pours clear orange with a very fast-falling head. The aroma is sharp and cheap, smelling faintly of corn with a shiver of bitter, indeterminate hops. The flavor is that of cheap malt, all in the front of the mouth, with hardly anything going on in the back end. The hops are mild, but lacking in character or bitterness. The finish is mostly sour, like a mass produced adjunct-based lager. The mouthfeel is thin and watery and the beer leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.

This is not a terrible beer, but it is far from good. Or even adequate.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.34/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a honey orange color with a thin white head. Nose was honey-like sweetness. Taste was a grainy with English malts mixed with some honey and a little bit of hops. It was pretty bland and not that good overall. I would not drink again. Many b etter English Pales out there.

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Photo of SetarconeX
2.36/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Burning witches...ha ha!

Looks like your basic pale ale on this one. Quite the thick foam on top. Smells a bit corn husky, and maybe a tad old. No date on the bottle, so no idea how long this has been sitting on a shelf.

Tastes really weirdly bitter. We're not talking normal hop bitter, but something more akin to cornmeal.

When the side of the bottle says serve cool, listen to it on this one. This is an ale that would benefit from some severe icing down.

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Photo of nortmand
2.38/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours amber, with a frothy, lace producing head.

Rich, yeasty aromas dominate the nose, with an accompaniment of skunk. A bit of butter as well.

Flavor is all over the place. It starts as a seemingly malt and pleasantly bitter. This turns into an extremely unpleasant sulfur, skunky bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Either there is absolutely no balance, or there is something besides hops causing this unpleasant bitterness. Leaves a skanky sour aftertaste.

Medium bodied and astringintley sticky, I think this batch has an unfortunate amount of tannins or something. Not a pleasant drinking experience.

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Photo of Afterburner
2.4/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark gold. Huge foamy, rocky head. Looks a little thin for a pale ale.

Smell: Apples, pears, and the yeast bite that will be familiar to any homebrewer. Malt also present. Mild clove spiciness.

Taste: Initial taste is largely of apples. Not much transformation mid-palate. Finish is dry, bitter, and cracker-like.

Mouthfeel: Light, spritzy

Drinkability: You probably COULD drink a lot of these, if you were so inclined. But I'd be chasing after a better beer.

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Photo of oracle
2.41/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Beer poured very light amber (not yellow), with medium head that disappated quickly.

Nose was very unusual to say the least, having more of a wine quality to it than beer. Very fruity and wine-like

First few sips had me thinking along the lines of a wine as well, very fruity and a sourness I typically associate with wine. About a third of the way through the glass, the oaky malts started coming through a little more, lending a little more balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel was not good, way to much carbonation.

Overall, interesting to try (just for the Monty Python connection if nothing else) but there are lots better things to spend your money on.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.41/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I found this in Saskatoon, and maybe it was simply the excitement of coming across this right before going to see the Pixies concert there that made this seem like a good find at the time. Or maybe it was the fact that I came across a beer I've yet to try that piqued my interest. Let's not forget the wonders of nostalgia either, which tempted me to try the 3 Stooges beer last year (one of the first that I reviewed on this site). Whatever it was, I put down good hard currency for this, an action that I have to live with.

Packaging is great, not only is the label clever ("Tempered over burning witches" is a nice touch), but I also really like the sturdy 500 ml brown bottle it comes in with the embossed hops around the base of the neck. A quick check of the best before date says I am right in the best before cusp, where it will soon become "after".

This pours out nice enough, a hazed marmalade hue with a big creamy head with some impressive retention. It eventually fades to a thin foamy cap, and leaves a wall of lacing in its wake. And then it all falls apart....

The nose is somewhat faint, sweet almost sugery malt with a backdrop of floral hops (Saaz?). For the flavour the malt is almost immediately over-run by astringent herbal hops which pretty much take the money and run. Strong herbal aftertaste, not a very appealing hop presence, perhaps this has passed its prime. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery, no body to it whatsoever.

Won't be making the drive out again for any of this stuff, that's for sure. But all is not lost, the Pixies were amazing, and I now have a fine bottle for my own home brew. Always look on the bright side of life! (oops, wrong Monty Python film).

 1,710 characters

Photo of KajII
2.45/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured a clear light brown with a large frothy white head that dissapated quickly and had fair lacing. The aroma was pleasant with the scent of caramel malts, a sweet yeast and a mild grassy hop. It tasted mildly sweet in the beginning and finished about the same with a hint of caramel and hops with the flavor being very light and fading quickly at the finish. Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a soft carbonation. Overall a very, very mild tasting brew. I think I like the name better than the beer.

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Photo of cyrock1
2.45/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Deep gold with a bright white bubbly 1/2 inch head.

Smell: Mild maltiness with a bit of biscuit and grain.

Taste: Mild malt sweetness with a bitter orange peel in the background and maybe a hint of apple. Possibly flawed in someway - Acetaldehyde.

Mouthfeel: Tart and astringent. for sure a bad beer.

Overall: Had this before with better luck but this one is flawed.

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Photo of climax
2.48/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The holy grail of sorts poured a bronze/honey color with a moderate head which had pretty good retention. The clarity was very good.

The nose had about as much presence as a mute man at a yelling tournament. Some euro lager tones, lighter diacetyl, and cereal grains rounded it out.

The flavor was very controversial IMO. Buttery flavors clashed with an almost berry like strangeness. It tasted a lot like alcohol tastes, without feeling like alcohol feels. I don't think that's how things were meant to be.... Watered down whiskey was the verdict.

The body was the highlight of the beer, not that that's saying much, but the sharp creamy body was nice. Other than that.... I'm not impressed. It's probably safe to say my quest for the Holy Grail ended in disappointment.

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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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