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

Monty Python's Holy Grail AleMonty Python's Holy Grail Ale
1,248 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,248 |  Reviews: 608
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber to tan in color and clear, one finger head that slowly dissipated into a thick sheen, rising bubbles and thick sheets of lacing.

It's got a fruity malt smell, earthy with a touch of earthiness.

Taste is a buttery malt flavor, crisp hop profile, slight sweetness and a bit of a fruity backbone.

Feel is slick and light bodied, nicely carbonated.

Drinks pretty well. A very nice brew.

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Photo of Seanibus
2.33/5  rDev -29.8%
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 pilotgod
1.86/5  rDev -44%
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 vandemonian
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale has a light orange colour and a crappy head that dissipates very quickly. The smell is slightly bitter and yeasty/grainy. The taste is grainy with a clean, slightly musty finish. It's quite carbonated, so it has good presence in the mouth. This beer is decent and very drinkable, but nothing exceptional.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear slightly orange golden color with a tight, white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of some musty, herbal hops.

Tastes of a decent hop kick up front followed by a wave of not good. Hop spiciness leads things off which leads to a herbal, grassy note. Some fruit notes also come into play. But right after the hops, nothing but metallic and mineral notes that make it unpleasant. The finishing notes definitely linger and make what seemed like a good beer for a half second, become mediocre at best.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

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Photo of rudzud
3.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I remember having this years ago back in either 04 or 05 in a bomber. It was okay back then and bought strictly for the name. Last time I was at Julio's though I saw a massive display of this ale along with one ceramic grail. Well, after some inquiry I was able to purchase one single 12oz bottle of this and get the ceramic "Monty Python Holy Grail" grail for free!. Best $1.50 ever, even if the beer is just okay.

A - Pours a light copper/dark gold colour with slight bubbles raising from the bottom of the pint glass. Fizzy half finger head disappeared wuickly leaving minimal lacing.

S - Clean, almost grassy notes. Surprisingly fresh and sweet smelling thanks to the malts.

T - Much like the nose but a bit more muted. Sweet malts and that super light grassy hope notes move along the tongue. Its a good taste, but not enough of it.

M - Light, slightly crisp mouthfeel. Slightly thin but not watery with nice light crabonation.

D - Nice taste and a good mouthfeel and aroma results in a very sessionable brew. That being said, I feel I can do better.

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Photo of eerilychildish
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It looks like an English ale

S: It smells like an English ale

T: It tastes like an English ale

M: It has the mouthfeel of an English ale

D: This is an entirely unremarkable English ale, not bad by any means, but absolutely nothing about it really jumps out at me. The entire time I was drinking it, I was thinking "This tastes like beer". I almost want to buy another one to see if I notice anything that I missed the first time through.

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Photo of Wattsox
4.13/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, consumed Jan 2011, BBE Aug 2011.

A - Amber body with a decent head that hangs around, leaving a good amount of lacing and trails.

S - Grassy hop aroma with some sweet malts, good balance.

T - Malt sweetness with a good hop balance, nice bitterness that is not too severe but definitely present, leaving a pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Smooth with mild carbonation, medium body.

D - An extremely drinkable ale, would work well as a session beer.

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Photo of rjplumer
3.82/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a mild spicy bitter taste with hints of cinnamon. Has nice amber color with a moderate head that dissipates quickly. A lot better than I thought it would be. A nice drink on a cold winter night. I think the "Knights of Ni" would appreciate a pint of this

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.68/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, copper/amber color in a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. No freshness date or ABV on the label.
Two finger head that dissipated fairly quickly to a thin film.
Aroma is a mix of bread/yeast, malts and hints of fruity ester and spice, honey blend.
Taste is fruity, very fruity actually, and dominates the profile. Nothing much to write about other tastes/flavors as the fruity taste is all over the place. The ale has a dry finish.
Steady carbonation with very nice lacing along the inside of the glass.
This is actually a crisp, refreshing ale and with the low ABV makes for a good session beer.
Not a beer that I would go out of my way to have, but at the same time I wouldn't mind having if it were on offer at, let's say, a party or get-together.

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Photo of breadnerd
2.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I really try not to judge a beer by its cover, but come on- really? I'm expecting a gimmick. I have always seen this beer in the store a passed it by. My boss knows I'm a huge beer geek, and gave me a bottle for feedback, so here goes...
Appearance- poured from a bottle into an English pint glass. Pours a pale amber, with a white head, little to no lacing.
Aroma- Not bad, really. smells like English pale malt, a bit bready. some fruit.
Flavor- mark for mark, it's okay. Breadiness, a bit of fruit, modest hop character. Typical English Pale.
Mouthfeel- malty. Unfortunately, this seem to fall a bit too sweet- it sort of hangs onto the palate too long.
Drinkability- Obviously, this isn't my favorite style, but this beer is okay. I might drink it again, but it would have to be another free bottle.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.91/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is not my favorite style, so maybe I am not a great judge of this beer, but it works for me. Besides the cute name and packaging, it's a nice, lighter than usual, fruity ale.

I prefer more bitter ales, but this is tasty enough. The usual darkness is completely missing - not a hint of roasty.

I was looking for a nice tasty treat that doesn't knock your socks off and this was a good choice.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Basic yellow ale. Little foam with a bit more lacing. Decently carbonated. Holy Grail Ale looks like your average light ale or lager.

Smell: Biscuit malt and some faint citrus hops. Kind of metallic as well. I would rate this lower, but I do like the strong malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes just like the smell. The biscuit male seems a bit stale, but that might actually add to this with some more complexity. Pretty clean and dry finish, a lot of soda water.

Drinkability: Hits all the standard beer points so I can drink this.

Overall: I wasn't expecting too much, so I wasn't disappointed. This is ok.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a Monty Python fanatic, had to try this. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Showed A light amber yellow with frothhy white head, little retention and lacing. Smelled earthy with some sweet malts. Taste bready up front then some earthy hop bitterness to balance the sweet malts. Medium carbonation, light-medium body but still fairly tasty, good session brew.

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Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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 InebriatedJoker
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my favorite beer drinking glass.

Poured a nice dark golden color with a one finger head- little lace lots of bubbles.

Smell wasn't unpleasant - in fact almost non-existent.

Taste was very mild - Surprising since it was brewed with tempered burning witches.

An easily enjoyed brew, you'll want more than one.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.8/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

Pours a transparent paleish amber hue with a quarter-inch head. Almost reminds me of cream soda. Head dissipates rather quickly leaving not too much lacing at all. Smell is distinctly of pine, not the crazy pine bomb of IPAs but a subtle, subdued quality that mingles with the grains and malts to create an interesting aroma. Not bad.

Initial sip yields some malt and the nuance of pine, followed by an earthy breadiness that lingers into the finish. Bitterness is nonexistent, I can't detect any hoppiness whatsoever. Finish is clean with the malt and breadiness rounding out the aftertaste that doesn't stick around. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, minimal carbonation. I wasn't expecting a heavy feel, so it was just right for the style.

Drinkability is pretty darn good. Thanks to the low ABV which is nigh undetectable, nonexistent bitterness and pleasing, if fleeting, taste, I could easily knock back a few of these in a session. A solid brew with an interesting theme. It still didn't tell me what the airspeed of an unladen swallow is though. Might have to dock it a few points for that.

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Photo of pwoody11
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Run Away!" J/k

Although this beer would appear to be gimicky, actually I'd say it is, but it's a surprisingly good beer. I expected hamster and smelt of elderberry and got a decent brew instead.

Taste was earthy with a mostly dark fruit vibe. Nice hop profile going on.

True to style, good session beer. Looking forward to the Life of Brian to come out hopefully made with wolf nipple chips.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a very nice and clear copper color with a .5 inch white head that recedes very quickly. There is very active carbonation in the glass.

S - Aroma is of a malt backbone with some grain and freshly baked bread up front followed by some nice crisp and flowery hops. Nice flower bouquet is in there as well. that very particular English Pale malt aroma is very present and is nice and mellow. Seems to be a very drinkable beer if the flavor holds up.

T & M - Initial English Pale malt that is very clean and delicious. Bread, grain and some slight hop character at the back end. Its a bit musty and slightly citrusy. There is definitely and apple flavor to this beer and its very delicious and refreshing. Slight medicinal flavors. There is a nice bitter oily finish at the end of this beer. Very nice light body with great CO2 and nice bredy mouthfeel. However just a run of the mil EPA.

D - Refreshing and low in ABV.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip out of a 12 oz bottle.

A - Nice light golden color. Nice frothy head with sticky lacing.

S - Really light smell with some traces of fruit. Apple faintly detected.

T - This is a very smooth beer with just a bit of the apple taste. It has a nice bit of bitterness to it that is pretty appealing.

M - Nice mouthfeel with a lingering apple taste left on the tongue.

D - Definitely. I could see having a few of these. Nice English Ale.

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Photo of philosobeer
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Carried in by swallows (but don't ask me which sort) in a standard six pack of twelve ounce bottles.

Appearance - Looks like an english pale. Slightly copper but very clear with a two finger head which fell to a film before very long.

Smell - Also smells like an english ale. I think that's a good thing. Vaguely fruity notes, but mostly just a characterful malty smell. Nothing too much more than that.

Taste: You can taste the difference when an ale has been tempered over burning witches. The light diacetyl and full malt body is fantastic. Also there are the grassy notes of the english hops.

Mouthfeel - this is good and certainly lends to drinkability (see below) but I would really love to try this on cask (or nitro).

Drinkability - I could have several of these, and it was cheap, too. It seems highly sessionable.

Further notes: Unless you've already got one, the search for the holy grail ale is not a bad idea if you want something on the cheap side, english tasting, sessionable, and like Monty Python. I was impressed to find more than a cheap gimmick (albeit one I loved) to this beer. It's not a top notch pale, but it's still quite good.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.64/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Clear amber with a plenitude of bubbles which last a long time, feeding two fingers of head. Good lacing.

S: A beery/grainy scent. Something to sniff at.

T: Although it claims to be "tempered over burning witches," witch is not as noticeable as the thin malt which characterises this beer. It's not very good. The taste, as it were, is disappointingly brief, followed by a slightly bitter/sour aftertaste. I am unimpressed.

M: Some carbonation and sweetness. Nothing remarkable.

D: It's drinkable enough, but not a great beer. You drink this one for the label...nothing else. Not recommended, even to the Monty Python fans.

17 September 2012 EDIT: Two years later, I can confirm my initial review. I am altering nothing but the letter D to O (and the rating from 4 to 2.5). There is a light, English Ale fruitiness in the maintaste unmentioned in my initial review.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A peach/orange liquid with numerous streams of carbonation. The head was quick to rise and fall and leaves a thin splotch on the surface.

S- Caramel, apples, pears, and white bread. Decent smelling and aromatic. Rather simple.

T- Caramel, light fruit, white bread and a touch of nuttiness and butter. Nice.

M- Perfect amount of carbonation. A slight lasting bitterness at the end.

D- Drinks rather nicely on a hot summer night. A lot higher quality than I was expecting.

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Photo of jporf911
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. No freshness date provided, but there are amusing Terry Gilliam graphics on the bright yellow label.

Appearance- 3.5 out of 5. Pours light brown, gold around the edges, with a decent one-finger head. Medium lacing sticks to the sides. For something that's supposedly "tempered over burning witches", it's rather light.

Smell- 3 out of 5. Weak but pleasant. Grass, bread, and a bit of apple stand out.

Taste- 4 out of 5. Considering its low alcohol content, it holds up surprisingly well. Like the nose, the malt is rather light, as is the bitter taste of hops on the finish, but the overall effect is good. The apple from the scent is back, but stronger. Background tastes of rum, butterscotch from the diacetyl, and an aftertaste of sweet malt and moist bread crust.

Mouthfeel- Wet and wonderful. It starts off slightly sharp, yet it's very smooth overall. The carbonation isn't noticeable.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. I didn't expect a marketing gimmick like this to be so delicious. Considering its overall lightness and low ABV, it would be a victory for beer drinkers everywhere if Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale replaced the trashy light beers on tap around America. One could definitely make a session with this beer, as it's hard not to quaff.

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Photo of kkipple
2.7/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Some chap left a few of these in my fridge after another epic-if-I-may-say-so party at my home, so one found itself into my glass on the 4th of July.

A. Fizzy, very clear yellow-gold. Low head, only a tiny amount of lace. Fairly pedestrian. No freshness date on the bottle, alas. This could be 2 months or 2 years old for all I know.

S. Pale European-ish malt, a bit of hop, some honey, some... grain. Boring, sadly. Really not much going on here, maybe a bit of specialty malt, crystal...? But it's a reach.

T. Sigh. Holy Grail Ale simply HAS to be better at the source.
I have nothing against a quafffable English session ale, but this is not only boring, it is borderline bad. Thin with too much malt sweetness for what it is, has a slight red-apple sweetness on top of all that, and diacetyl (butter) that absolutely does not help. A little too much DMS (corn) puts this into insipid territory. HGA tries to be wet and quenchable and all that, but the hops have died (or were never there to begin with) and the entire experience is rather poor.

M / D. It's wet and sweet and frankly, stale tasting. I'm sure this is way past its prime, and this review would be patently unfair save for the fact that there is simply no way to tell how old the bottle is. Monty Python comedy is alright, but if you're going to use the name and logo on your beer, is it too much to ask that you make an effort to put your best product forward? Apparently it is. Disappointing, and left unfinished. Do not go out of your way to find this beer unless you have it on good authority that it is fresh. To this beer, I say "Ni".

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 3.32 out of 5 with 1,248 ratings
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