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

1,244 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,244 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of bump8628
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold with a dense head forming from the tornado of carbonation.

Bland through and through with some soft bready malt, a touch of honey sweetness, and maybe...maaaybe a hint of herbal hops.

I remember this beer having a lot more going on for it the last time I tried it a few years ago. Honestly, I understand brewing lighter flavored beers, but this is going overboard. It's not poorly brewed, just very dull.

And what's with the amped up carbonation, It's English, is it not? Where is the gentle carbonation? Was it possibly stepped up for an American audience? This is the new 12oz bottle so maybe they are going for something different with this new format.

Tried again in 2012 - seems a bit more dialed in, light biscuit, honey, and lavender flavor. Carbonation is tamer. Still not great, but decent.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.17/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice amber color with no head and no lacing.

S-Sweet and floral; classic English Pale Ale nose. It smells slightly more malty than hoppy.

T-Nice balance between hops and malts. I picked up some caramel, toffee, and some butterscotch flavors. It has a great balance between sweet and bitter. Its very refreshing.

M-Pretty thick and syrupy, I think it could have used some more carbonation.

D-Very drinkable, even though it seems somewhat heavy. Its low abv. makes it a session beer all the way.

Overall, I really liked this beer and hope to drink more in the future. It seems to be more on par with Samuel Smith's Pale Ale than Bass Pale Ale, it just has a higher quality feel to it. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a good session beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.98/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 500ml bottle poured into a 'Corsendonk' badged stemmed tulip and a vase shaped 'Watzdorfer' pilsner glass.

The beer was a true amber colour, glistening in the sunlight (it was a rare warm and sunny afternoon today). The head an off-white foaming layer of bubbles, lacing produced as the beer flew down my throat.

Malts more than hops dominate the flavours both in the aroma and taste, although this is a well balanced beer, even if it does lean towards a maltier feel.

The 4.7% ABV sits well within the brew and I thought it very easy to drink and I'll be having more.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
2.82/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a golden honey yellow with a rather unimpressive head that subsided almost immediately.

The best part about this beer is it's aroma. As soon as I cracked it open, the fresh, sweet smell of malt and hops hit my nose.

The taste is certainly not impressive at all. It really taste like it's one step above a Macro. Not much stands out, IE the hops are weak and the malt is very plain.

Overall, the mouth feel is smooth and lightly carbonated, but because this brew leaves no challenge for the pallet at all, and stirs no excitement for me to buy it again, I had to give it a 2.5 for drinkability.

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
3.83/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A brilliant gold with hues of amber fill out the body of this Pale Ale from across the pond. Nice lacing is left behind where the might head once rested proudly. The gentle pour produced about a finger to a finger and a half.

The fact that the bottle had Monty Python on the label it was safe to assume it was from the UK or at least a British Style Pale Ale. That is exactly what I found in the nose. Fruit, bready yeast, maybe some butter...a splash of alcohol and a dash of hops (the Earthy spicy kind). The taste fit to what I had smelled and been preparing for...very English. Toffee, caramel, toasted bread. The finish leaves a sweet buttery coating on the tongue that quickly passes. The thin body and medium carbonation make the HOLY AIL an easy drinker. So go ahead and grab a sixer... the brew is quite good not just a gimmick.

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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 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 Gyle41386
2.61/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

*Insert random unfunny line from Monty Python here*

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Dark amber pour...maybe a finger of white foam quickly disappears, leaving only a faint halo behind. There is some surprisingly decent lacing left on the glass, though.

This beer smells oddly like a Bud Light. Sickly sweet, with mostly musty grains, and maybe some English hops?

Not a whole lot going on in the flavor department. Very bland. Pale malt and a spicy bitterness, with a weird kind of lightly sour fruitiness. Each flavor component is gone within mere seconds. No real lasting flavor. Not off-putting, but not good.

Body is light. Carbonation is fairly light, as well. Watery feel. Not much to get excited about here.

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Photo of JBogan
3.54/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A tall pour yields a small white head atop a medium gold body. Moderate lacing is left behind. A pretty average looking beer really.

The aroma is nice. Mostly malt but balanced nicely with a bit of apple.

The taste is similar to the smell. The malt and apple is joined by a hint of butter, however I get a slightly soapy finish. Surprisingly not as bad as it sounds, but nothing special either.

The mouthfeel is thin to medium, with an excellent amount of carbonation to give it a good crispness. The finish is dry.

Overall there's nothing exceptional about this beer, nor anything really awful either. It's relatively cheap, so probably worth a try if you come across it. Otherwise it's nothing to go out of your way for.

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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 damndirtyape
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle (no date I could decipher) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Light orange-amber color - very clear. White foam across the top with some lacing noted.

Smell: The smells are stronger when the beer is cold. A hint bready, mildy malty with some citrus/orange hints, but not a lot.

Taste: Tastes of apples, sweet malts, and a hint of orange. There is a cider-like taste towards the end that goes away and is replaced with a mild bitter finish. Interesting overall.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation for an English ale quite prickly on the tongue. Not too thick, not too watery.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could easily have another one. I think the beer is much better when cold and not as good as it warms up, which I think is odd for an English ale but I'm not complaining. For an ale it also has some lager-like qualities at times, but overall a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of GJ40
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

Golden with good clarity and a large white head. The aroma is crisp and fruity but a bit empty. My wife thought it smelled like a Bud. The flavor is pretty ordinary and bland with bread and a hint of fruit. It tasted pretty stale to me. It's got a moderate consistency and a low to moderate carbonation.

I regretted ordering this one. This beer doesn't do justice to the group it attempts to honor.

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Photo of zoso493
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (I thought this was English, why isn't it in an 11.2 oz. bottle?) into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a pleasantly-colored honey amber that is exceedingly translucent and has no haze to it whatsoever. Even a vigorous pour can only generate a slight half-finger head that dissipates quickly to a ring around the top of the beer.

Smell: There's not a whole lot to the nose. The most prominent scent is probably the buttery, bready malt. Behind that, there's a light scent of herbal and grassy hops, but this is not a hop-forward pale ale.

Taste: The taste pretty much follows the nose. The first thing you get is the buttery, toasted malt, followed by a slight but very pleasant finishing hop bitterness. There's not a whole lot of flavor here, but what else can you expect from an English pale ale?

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty par for the course. It's not too thick or too thin, but there seems to be a bit of a lack of carbonation.

Drinkability: I can't really claim that this is not a drinkable beer, but due to the lack of flavor and slight flatness to the mouthfeel, I can't imagine myself ever having more than just this one.

Overall, this is a decent example of an English pale ale, a style which I am not particularly a fan of. It's not hugely flavorful, but it is very smooth, which I suppose was the goal. All in all, it's an all right beer, but not one that I will drink again.

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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 Lolli1315
2.67/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- A yellow and copper mix that is easily seen through. Small head that leaves moderate lacing.

S- Small whiff of fruits and biscuit grains that merge with a slight smell of earthy hops.

T- An immediate taste of fruit esters and a malty sweetness that quickly disappears to a small amount of hop bitterness and a taste of roasted vegetables, maybe corn. Taste moves to bland generally quickly leaving little desire for another sip.

M- Thin to moderate body with moderate carbonation.

D- Did not feel myself wanting another sip of this beer very often other than to make sure that I was correct in my assessment of it. Maybe this was a bad batch of it, I will have to revisit.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber/orange color, not much head at all with no lacing.

Smell has an fruity aroma with biscuity malt, the burnt witches doesn't add much to the aroma.

Taste seems a bit watery, odd bitter aftertaste, carbonation seems decent though.

Just not much to say about this beer, cool bottle though (doesn't hurt that I'm a Monty Python fan), but this is a below average beer sullying the name of a funny comedy troupe.

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Photo of u2carew
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz long neck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head white in color with wispy foam. Quickly settles producing a semi-sticky lacing. Body is clear with upward carbonation. Gold in color with some reddish hues.
S) Sweet caramel with fruity notes. Apples. Raisins.
T) Sharp caramel malts upfront, remaining strong to the finish. Mild hops in the finish but not too powerful. Sweet, grainy note throughout. Subtle dark fruit lingers just below the surface.
M) Crisp. Light body. Slightly dry.
D) A nice brew. I'd have another.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer in a Cleveland hotel bar, it was this first time I had ever seen it on draft, so I decided to get it. The beer is as one would expect, golden in color with a head that easily dissipates. The smell is all malt with no hint of hops. The first sip is sweet with slight carbonation that never dominates. Overall this beer is average, for malt lovers theirs plenty of malt but nothing for the hop lover in me. This is a traditional English pale good but not great

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.68/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Special thanks to AKBelgianBeast for this gem. Yes I'm a loser at LNBA FF. I earned this beer dammit! Oh and to top it off Frank has been sitting on this for a few years. Yummy.

So I've seen this one around and have always wanted to try it. But I'm not a huge fan of English ales.

A- Caramel color with two inch frothy head. Nothing else standing out to me. Looks a bit dark for a pale ale IMO.

S- Berries, coffee, toffee, and a creamy smell.

T- Toffee and loads of something that isn't that cool tasting. You know, just something that is a bit off, like the actors in Monty Python. This is pretty uneventful and this strange bad taste is tough to get over. I require a shrubbery to get this bad taste out of my mouth.

M- Meh, feels like beer sort of medium to light bodied.

D- Not very good.

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Photo of Smixam
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium golden, slightly cloudy. Very little white head that disperses quickly, with little lacing.

S - Smells of elderberries. Seriously though, interesting for its lack of any single standout...a bit of grain, a bit of a fruitiness - melon? Certainly no hops make themselves known.

T - A bit of a letdown, to be honest. A basic grainy flavor that reminds me more of a wit than an EPA. No hop presence to offset the banana tones and light malt profile.

M - Light and without aftertaste, low carbonation and a smooth character are a staple of the class and are present here.

D - Certainly drinkable at 4.7%, though I think my taste buds would grow tired of the unfortunate blandness long before my liver gave up the quest. To this beer I say Ni! Ni! Ni!

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Photo of steve8robin
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Love the movie, let's see if the beer follows suit...

A: Light copper color with a small white head that quickly fades to nothing. Not bad.

S: Smells oaky and malty upfront. Candi sugars are in the middle with a nice dark fruit scent on the backend. Kind of smells like a JW Lees.

T: Definitely does not taste like a JW Lees. Watery and slight light pear flavors. Kind of a 1 dimensional brew. Not good.

M: Nothing special.

D: Goes down super easy like water. Eh.

All in all, this beer starts off good, but definitely does not deliver. Not worth hunting down, let this one go.

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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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Photo of EPseja
2.73/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Active, bright gold pour with orange highlights. Crystal clear. Large-bubbled off-white head rising to about an inch before quickly fading to a thin mat.

S - Only a hint of the biscuity maltiness I was hoping for. Perfumey hop dominance and a hint of alcohol.

T - Sweet in the front with an ambiguous graininess. A faint vinous character in the middle, leading to a moderatly dry finish with decent bittering.

M - Super watery and thin on the way in, with a rapid and short-lived effervescence. Swallow is also thin and and a bit lackluster.

D - Over all, this beer is simply... well... simple. But not in the way that keeps the best English PAs well-rounded but still pleasing. I think that this beer's saving grace would be that it would probably be decent to pair with most foods. A fair attempt at the style, buoyed mainly by the kitsch of the name.

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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 FreshHawk
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light amber color with a modest white head. About normal retention.

S - Slight floral and apple scents with bready scents also coming through.

T - Tradition bready English malts. The hops also provide light floral and herbal flavors. The malt and hops are pretty balanced. There is also a slight hint of fruit (mostly apple) and some spice.

M - Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

D - This is pretty easy to drink, and it doesn't have any offensive flavors. However, it also doesn't have anything that makes me want to come back for another one.

Notes: Well balanced but fairly subtle flavors. Kind of a middle of the road beer, but it's a decent British session beer. Other than the novelty factor, I probably wouldn't search for this specifically, but it may be worth a try.

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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
3.38 out of 5 based on 1,244 ratings.
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