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 Treyliff
3.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a clear dark golden color with. White foamy head with good retention and lace.

S- some mineral-like well water, cereal grain, copper, with just a bit of hop

T- earthy, sulphur-like water, grainy, a bit of malt and hop

M- light bodied, medium-light carbonation, slightly foamy finish

O- this one was a 'meh' for me. It's not ad but nothing about it makes it beyond average

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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 lwillitz
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - 2-finger off-white head over crystal clear amber body, moderate carbonation bubbles

S - apple cider; not much else going on

T - apple, touch of hop spice, nice malty backbone, dry finish; simple, but pleasant

M - light/medium body, high carbonation (gives it a bite)

O - a decent English Pale Ale

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Photo of tvv375ia
2.53/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-a little darker gold than I was thinking for a pale ale

S-somewhat floral without anything dominant

T-mostly imported green bottle stuff skunky type flavor for me

M-ok but a little thin

O-not something that I want to try again

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Photo of Poppleton
3.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma - winy with tones of rose water suggesting an estery aroma (8/12)
App - beautiful, clear golden with white laced head. (3/3)
Flav - nutty, bready taste but not very strong in any direction (10/20)
MF - smooth and low on carbonation. A very clean taste overall. (3/5)
Overall - solid but not really very distinctive or complex (6/10)

Total 30/50

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale poured a darker golden color, with not much head. The aroma was weak, and had hints of floral notes. The taste was had a profound malty backbone, with hints of a floral hoppy flavor. Easy to drink, and a little lite in flavor. Overall this is a solid average beer, has a stronger malt flavor then other pale ales; enjoyable but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of dhannes
2.84/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle given to me from my sister-in-law that I think she got at Cost Plus World Market. No expiration date on the bottle, but this was a 12 oz. version brewed by "Black Sheep Brewery" in Rochester, NY...obviously contracted out (someone said Genesee). Also, the URL on the bottle, "," listed several European brands that they imported.

A=A weird lighter brownish copper color...looks watered down. Foam head was pleasant in color, but did not last very long.

S=Nice aroma of pretzels and baked bread.

T=Very faint, reminiscent of a session beer. A tang is present...sort of reminds me of sourdough pretzels. I'm not familiar with the style, but this is less robust than I anticipated.

M=Very light body...close to water. Similar to an American light beer.

O=Not what I expected, but somewhat enjoyable. This would be worth trying again with a meal ...I could see this being consumed in quantities before a football game while grilling out.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours clear gold with a two finger white head. Pretty classic looking.

S- Pilsner malts, light grains, wheat. Smells like a lager.

T- A good pilsner malt flavor. A light oat flavor, some wheat. There's a slight lemon grass. Some floral hops. Fairly plain tasting.

M- Really smooth. Quite drinkable. High carbonation. Body is light but compliments the ABV.

O- No complaints here. This obviously isn't one to seek out but its a better alternative then adjunct lagers.

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Photo of Josiah2729
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass...

Appearance: Copper color with 2 finger head, decent lacing.

Smell: Malt and some grassy english hops.

Taste: Light malty sweetness with a mellow hop bitterness. I am not getting the off flavors that some others have suggested. The flavor profile is pleasing throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, smooth finish.

Overall: I stayed away from this one for a while because of the negative reviews. I finally broke down and purchased it in a mixed six. I am glad I did.

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

Ahhh, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, entertains to this very day with classic lines like "Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you. If I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away". Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale however seems like some sort of an odd product crossover, not that the Python boy's don't deserve a bit of extra merchandising on the side, still I don't grasp the relationship between 'ale' and their classic film. Perhaps if it was a Medieval style brewed in Camelot that would make more sense.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Cloudy amber body with a chalk white 0.5cm head.

S: Floral hop aromas upfront, with a pine/herbal fragrance, caramel malt base and hint of sugar to be expected in the taste itself. Pretty standard EPA characters.

T: As expected; caramel malt upfront, pine/floral/herbal hops in the mid palate and follow through to finish with a slight bitterness and a light astringency. Reasonably balanced with the flavour, but pretty average overall and not as good as several other EPA's out there (Spitfire, Pride of Oxford, Bitter & Twisted).

M: Light carbonation, fairly slick bodied.

D: Final verdict: Meh. Needs more hops is my (not!) expert opinion. Otherwise easy drinking, and apparently "tempered over burning witches", which is always good.

Food match: Roasted killer rabbit... if you can catch one (tip: you'll need the holy hand grenade of Antioch). Also African Swallow carried coconuts go well with this beer for some reason.

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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 ZeroSignal
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint

A - Dark golden pour with a scant, thin white head; decent retention, minimal loose lace.

S - Grainy malt in the nose with a light, somewhat grassy hop scent.

T&M - Very grainy, and maybe a bit harsh on the palate. Relatively smooth otherwise with a rather gentle hand used in the hopping; with a slight grassy edge. Hint of a fruity sweetness malt in the finish.

O - Overall a decent brew that offers sessionability and a decent depth of flavor.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured in a shaker glass.

A: Pours a golden to orange absolutely clear color. Forms a big white head with good retention and many lacings left

S: Very grainy. Caramel and hops. A British Ale

T: Follows the nose. Simple beer. Caramel, malts and hops. Slightly sweet upfront and mild hoppy aftertaste

M: Light watery body. Medium carbonation. Mild bitter aftertaste

O: High drinkability. A British session beer. Not good as Monty Phyton

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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 aranheaney
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 3 Heads Brewing Pint Glass

A-Golden without too much head, little to no lace

S-not really much here, maybe a little citrus

T-Very Bland and Ordinary, officially nothing awesome here

M-again, not much going on

O-very disappointing, gimmicky, won't seek out again...

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Photo of drabmuh
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip. Beer is yellow and mildly hazy with a big white head, small bubbles, some medium bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is like a cream ale, yeasty, fine, nice, smells fine.

Beer is thin, very thin, a little grainy, creamy, yeasty, mild biscuit, it tastes OK but it is a boring little beer. Not a repeat.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After seeing Spamalot,there was little doubt this nectar would be in my future. Poured into a snifter as the Knights of Nee stood watch in the distance.

A: "What is your favorite color?" Clear amber with a white half finger head that leaves foamy bubbles. Careful with those coconuts, horseman!

S: "What is your quest?" Verily, I detect a citrus sword fight clashing with light malts. Not a whiff of rabbit, yet it peers from its hole, teeth bared and hungry.

T: Ah, smooth , citrus and malty. Methinks this doth drink like a lager. 'tis more like a summer ale. This is the ale that drinks like this.

M:"What is the air speed velocity of an unladen African Sparrow?" Light to medium with medium carbonation. Great bubbling, like a witch's cauldron, without all the rancid heat and eyes of newt.

O: Crisp, sessionable, yet more like a sequel than the real deal. It's just a flesh wound. If I'm going to drink like the Knights of the Round Table, quench my thirst with a brew that slaps me from my horse and dances silly jigs while farting in my general direction.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.55/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

let me blow the dust of this here keyboard. Back in the saddle, kemosabe. Enjoying this beer with some reheated pizza- a meal fit for a king.

A- Clarity is king- see right through this one. A burned orange color, a bit darker than I expected, 1 finger head that settles quickly. Middle of the road- no knocks on it but nothing impressive either.

S- I get some sweet bready malt, it's a fairly pleasing nose. I like it. Simple, but hey, it works.

T- The pale malts come through again, slightly fruity, floral, sweet and simple. Not much else, though. In fact, this beer feels lacking... I see some other reviewers mention hops but I taste none. No freshness date, but this one's gotta have a bit o' time on it I think.

M- Light, fleeting, flavor vanishes. I don't care for it terribly.

O- One and done- it was a freebie, and went well with the pie- but the label is more appealing than the beer. Oh well, not bad.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from 4/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an nice orange amber. Thin white head with no lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and with a buttery element. Taste is not quite as nice as the aroma, but pleasant. Sweet malt, slight grain and a hint of hops. A somewhat abrupt, dry finish. A pleasant, but not outstanding ale. Not bad really for a gimmick ale.

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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 chimaylvr
3.15/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in pint glass at The Banshee in Dorchester Mass.

App: Like other reviews, clear, copper-red. light lacing even in a clean glass.

Smell: Hop-less, biscuity, fruity esters

Taste: Ever have a Magic Hat #9? Reminiscent. Different. Since Magic Hat #9 is considered a "vegetable beer" I can't say I disagree with that classification. Malty, slightly fruity having a kinda cran-nut tang

Mouthfeel: A little underwhelming. Carbonation is low leaving a flat taste-feel

Overall: It wasn't bad. I like it better than the aforementioned in taste. Not high on it though.

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Photo of korguy123
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into tulip, no date on the bottle.

A- Clear pale copper pour with thin white cap. Lacing is decent.

S- Slight caramel and toffee. Slight floral hops.

T- Toffee and slight biscuit. Very subtle hop presence. Subtle mineral notes.

M- Light bodied, decent carbonation.

O- Tempered witches? Nah. Decent beer? Yup.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a clear, pale, copper coloring with a thin, white, frothy film covering the surface of the brew. Aromas of toffee and roasted nut sweetness, with a hint of hops. Flavors are rich and tangy sweet, with toffee and hazelnut characteristics cleaned up by a peppery hopping at the end of the palate. Very light bodied and a steady carbonation feel throughout, with a thinning effect on the flavors. The aftertaste is light and short-lived, with some of the toffee and roasted characteristics shining through. The finish is quick and clean, leaving a clear palate behind.

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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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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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