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 UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, biscuit, earth, and slight caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and slight fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with solid but simple malt and caramel qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

i really didn't care for this one, and after finally trying it, I see why ive overlooked it for so long. it pours a standard golden color, clear, with an oatmeal looking head without much retention. the nose is sweet English malts, a little on the stale side, and a slight skunky aroma. the flavor is about the same, with the sweetness being quite intense in the end. its got a tin body without nearly enough carbonation, and has a sort of spoiled aftertaste. its grainy and light, for those who get off on that sort of thing, but its a far cry from the best English ales. maybe its better from the bottle, but im not sure ill invest in another one of these anytime soon. average in every sense of the word.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had been a fan of the Monty Python since I was in 7th grade, so when I came across this I had to try it. The beer poured out as a typical golden color with soapy white head on top. The smell of the beer smell like an ESB, lots of malts and grains on the nose. The taste of the beer has a solid bitterness to it with a semi-sweet flavor in the mix too. The mouthfeel was nice, had a pretty good amount of carbonation to it and was just a bit lighter than medium bodied. Overall I found this ale to be enjoyable and would probably have it again one day.

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Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but dark mahogany in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface, a thick collar around the edge of the glass, and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of apples, toffee and lemon citrus are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of fruity yeast and toffee along with some hints of chocolate malts. Bits of sweetness are also perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of dryness is noticeable towards the finish.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and can be considered sessionable. It's rather complex for a light-bodied beer.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.82/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on a whim because of the odd looking bottle and name.

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thin wisp of head. Has a faint hop smell. Taste is very crisp and there's a definite apple taste to it. Each sip is very refreshing and the apple flavoring adds a nice little touch.. a pretty solid english pale ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

It's what you'd expect from an English Pale Ale. Pours a golden-to-copper color, with some haze. Nice carbonation and retention. Soft barley grain aromas, lightly bready, yeasty, and modestly spicy. Flavors are similar with emphasis on grain flavor from barley. Lower body than normal brings out more hop flavor, leading to grassy or herbal flavors. Body starts off medium, but becomes watery durring the finish. Easily drinkable. A nice beer, but not one I'll be craving soon.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.9/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit, amongst the plethora of English ales available here, the marketing shtick on this one won my "I Fart in Your General Direction"-addled brain over.

This beer poured an attractive clear golden-brown hue, with a substantial head. The nose on this beer was more queer than Michael Palin's sense of humour. It's fruity, to be sure, of the fermented variety, but the type is hard to pin down. It is reminiscent of perry, so I'll say pears. It actually smells quite good. The taste is quite a divergence - malty, but bitter, and not in a good hoppy manner. It's thin, with a funky vegetal flavour, and a bland cereal character. The carbonation is also on the high side. The finish is moderately astringent, not particularly pleasant.

There are too many weird, non-complementary things going on in this brew, which may work for its label namesakes, but not for the stuff in the bottle.

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Photo of brentk56
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice clear light amber body with a fluffy head that lasts quite some time and leaves a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass

Smell: A fair amount going on - primarily grassy and herbacious with an undertone of caramel malt and a hint of diacetyl

Taste: This ale packs a fairly aggressive assault on the taste buds - starts out fairly bland, but that is followed quickly by a bitter hoppy punch that tastes of sour apples; dries out into the finish and is slightly phenolic but there is a touch of sweetness on the tip of the tongue that joins the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a bit slick and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Perhaps it is the "burning witches" but this one just doesn't come together well for me; the flavors are schizophrenic and while I prefer an ale that is full of flavor, I just can't see returning to this one anytime soon

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Photo of kojevergas
3.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on-draught into a mason jar at Villain's bar in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. I'd had this before from the bottle.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream and thickness, but bad retention. Colour is a nontransparent copper-gold.

Sm: Biscuity light nuts and some malts. Maybe some toasted malt. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Less hoppy than expected, with some light nut hints alongside tropical fruit esters. Strange but enjoyable. Balanced and experimental, but pleasant. It's nice all around.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thick, especially for the style.

Dr: Drinkable but strange - not that that's a problem. I wouldn't get it again at this price, but it's nice for what it is. No holy grail here, though.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle - Amber colour brew with a nice generous head that stayed on for a while. This is a standard english ale with the usual bitter aftertaste and good hops taste. It is a good brew but nothing out of the usual or to distinguish himself from the pack.

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Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, dark orange color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin wisps of foam on the glass.

S - It smelled grassy and earthy. What'd you smells like all English Pale Ales that make it across the pond.

T - It was malty with some sweet caramel. It had a mild grassy hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is an okay ale. Fairly typical to the style. Not amazing but tastes good.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy bright orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, honey, toasted biscuit, light caramel, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, honey, toasted biscuit, light caramel, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Slight earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange zest, pear, apple, honey, toasted biscuit, light caramel, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. very nice robustness and balance of bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.7%. Overall this is a very good English pale ale. All around good robustness and balance of bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking an English ale on inpedendance day how ironic,anways pours a golden color with a little orange tint with a pretty nice frothy head that settles pretty well into a soapy-like consistancy.Aroma is a little herbal with some toffee notes,taste is pretty mild and restrained but good with some light brown sugar and mint intertwining nicely.A respectable ale very easy to drink and pretty good even in the heat,I passed this beer up alot thinking it was just a gimmick but I actually liked it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light to deep copper in color throughout the length of an Imperial Pint glass - let's just call it tawny. It has a light cream colored, massive, rocky head which dies down but holds a very good collar and whisp across the glass. Immense lace at the top of the glass, although it receeds as it lowers in the glass. The aroma is herbal (and I mean Ganja), somewhat metallic, grassy, with some light caramel malt at the back (and possibly some very light diacetyl butterscotch). There are surely some Fuggles in here. Quite an interesting and complex aroma, but not necessarily more than pleasing. The body is light-medium, but with a gentle creaminess. The flavor is quite metallic in nature, but has more of a mineral-like quality as opposed the the "bloodiness" of Bateman's XXX for example. This beer needs to be served at cellar temperature to be enjoyed, otherwise this becomes the leading note of the beer. Combined with a slight fruity character (that reveals itself quite readily on the lips but not so well in the mouth), there is also a dryish, woody maltiness that is quite enjoyable as it lays itself across the mouth and tongue. This is the flavor that represents the beer in the finish, along with a nice dose of bitterness and a dull, lightly tart note. Extremely English. So much so that I believe it will be misinterpereted by most. I don't think alot of tasters will be able to find the complexity here.

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Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a Belgian snifter. Label indicates this was brewed in Saratoga Springs NY.
Clear copper body topped by a decent head. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.
Aroma: caramel malts with English hops; the malts dominate.
Flavor follows.

Semi-dry finish with a medium body and lively, prickly carbonation.

O: more of an ESB than a English Pale Ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.87/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Color is slightly hazy, deep amber. It starts with a large, white head, but it fades a bit quickly and doesn't leave very much lace.

S: Honey is the first thing you smell. Some caramel, malt & wheat follow.

T: The taste is a lot sweeter that I expected. Malty, honey & caramel as was in the smell. As the sweetness fades, you start to get a little bit of hops flavor mixed, but not a heck of a lot.

M: Very smooth, medium/heavy body. I would compare the texture to the APWA's that I've had. Medium/heavy carbonation, someone had told me that the carbonation was too much, but while I agree it's a bit above average, I think the carbonation is just right for this particular beer.

D: Although the beer is smooth and flavorful, it is a little bit more filling than most other beers, which might not make it as drinkable. However, since it goes down easy and it's not very strong, it might take a while before you notice that you're full.

It was the "Monty Python" name that made me try the beer and I'm sure that's what the company was going for. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was certainly a pleasant surprise, especially since I got the bottles on a "buy one, get one free" special. I think this beer may be more conducive to being consumed with a meal rather than by itself, but I think this is a very good beer.

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.06/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dusty orange-gold with an abundance of fine, suspended bits. The pastel orange tinted, cream colored head is sticky enough to lay down a better than average amount of lace in chunky, concentric rings. A good look.

The nose, unfortunately, isn't so good. It smells like lightly musty grain with a subtle whiff of English hops. I'm not sure that I want it to be more aromatic because what's appreciated isn't all that wonderful.

Things start out promisingly enough on the palate with a fruity, spicy hoppiness. Because of undermalting, the flavor deteriorates quickly to become harsh and mineral-like with a ragged, unsupported bitterness. The beer doesn't feel flat in terms of carbonation, but flat in terms of flavor. There's an echo of reasonable hop flavor on the finish, but it's too little, too late.

While not exactly a joke beer without any redeeming qualities, Black Sheep Brewery could have made a better effort to put quality inside this classically (for fans) named and labeled bottle. The other Black Sheep offerings that I've had have been solid, but Holy Grail Ale is anything but. Buy it for the bottle, not the beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber with a 3 fingers+ rocky head. Good head retention and lacing

Smell: Light toast malt & frutiness as the ale warms

Taste: Slight dryness and tartness gives way to some frutiness. A dryness and slight grainyness

MF: A tad thin. Good carbonation

Okay drinakbility, just doesn't come together a s sum of it parts. Will try again if I can some warm fuzzies about freshness or maybe it was the burnt witches?

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear nice amber with a huge white head, very slow fade to leave a nice half inch lace filled head. Lots of carbonation. No real gooey glass clinging lace on this. Left a clean glass. Not a whole lot of smell here, what is there is a bready, yeasty smell from the malts, but again not real strong. Pretty typical for the style. Taste fared the same, not strong, not bad at all, pretty average. Some bready and grain tastes, but that was about it, nothing to make it stand out in a crowd. It did have a nice smooth feel, crisp, light, dare I say refreshing, and excellent session beer. All and all this was a typical sessionable english brown ale, more notable for the name then whats in the bottle. A good one off try for the novelity if nothing else.

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Photo of smcolw
3.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and light amber in color. Excellent retention on the head leaving very good lace. Superior.

Quite neutral aroma. Some graininess, mostly sweet, little hop.

Caramel flavors start up front; the beer melds into light hop bitterness. The aftertaste reflects this bitterness as well although it doesn't stay long. Very good body, proper carbonation.

This is easy to drink. Very predictable as an English Ale.

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Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16.9 oz brown bottle with some humor on the label. No freshness date. Awesome head, looks like the top of a meringue pie and sticks all over the place. Mildly hazed pale copper colour.

Grassy herbal hop aroma with some malt sweetness in the back that is breadier than anything else. Faint diacetyl and fruitiness in the nose also.

Impeccably smooth with a slick and flowing mouth feel. Big tea-like hop character is herbal and lemony with a ghost like tobacco flavour. Bitterness is modest but stern. Touch of musty diacetyl and some vague fruitiness also. Grain with a bread crust like flavour, malt sweetness provides a good base yet is seldom seen. Finishes slightly with lingering aleish flavours.

Ohh yeah, this is a beauty. I love English ales like this, pack with flavour and complexities yet very quaffable at the same time. This was worth every penny of the $3.50 I spent.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Now why aren't more beers tempered over burning witches?? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, dry grass, light honey, light flowers, and a touch of cedar. The taste holds notes of caramel, light biscuit, grass, and a pinch of vanilla and powdered sugar for the sake of it. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice EPA, one that's mild without being boring, and one that lends itself to a high degree of drinkability.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is copper to amber in color with a tiny, fleeting head that leaves virtually no lacing on the pint glass. The aroma is weak, with faint scents of malt, biscuits, a hint of citrus. The flavor is unassertive and fairly bland. Hints of malt, bread. A bit of astringency in the finish. Overall, this was mediocre. Monty Python is hilarious, but this beer is unremarkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber hue nice sized cream colored head leaves nicely spread fine formed lacing. Aroma: Sweet grains with a touch of fruity malt characteristics some hop nose is also present painfully English balance going on. Taste: Rolling malt sweetness with a weird twang of tartness seems a bit off almost acidic there's a nutty edge here as well not too uniform flavor finishes with a blunt bittereness. Mouthfeel: Thin bodied watery texture light carbonation. Drinkability: Next time I will pass on this novelty beer, it was a decent English ale but somewhat mediocre for me I was hoping for something great from an ale based off of one of my favorite movies.

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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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