Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

very good
248 Reviews
Riggwelter Yorkshire AleRiggwelter Yorkshire Ale

Brewed by:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2002

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Reviews: 248 | Ratings: 316
Photo of bark
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The colour is deep copper. The foam is yellowish, firm but quite small.

The smell is fresh with a burned touch of malt (Goldings?)

The carbon dioxide is balanced and medium strong.

This beer got a full-bodied burned flavour with a bitterness that disappears quickly. The aftertaste is a little bit sourish and bitter with a burned taste that somewhat resembles of a dry stout.

A nice session ale if you want something dryer and more robust than a pale ale, but not as dark and dry as a stout. It is OK, but not one of my favourites.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a brown bottle - Pours dark brown with almost no head or carbonation. Smells of sweet caramelized malts with lust a tad of light hops. First sip is very sweet with caramel notes and very little hops. Finishes with a welcome bitterness. Well under carbonated. Not much happening here. Worth skipping this one!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark chocolate brown with good clarity. Stout like nose, some burnt malty notes with a slightly hard edge. Quite light bodied in the mouth, seems like a true cross between a stout and an ale. Very nice feel although the malt does drop off a little. Just lacks a bit of excitement. Not sur ehow or why this thng is rated so well..

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Photo of Jeffo
2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1 finger medium thick off-white head that quickly fades into a thin film. Colour is brown or russet and is pretty clear. Film quickly disappears and leaves zero lacing. Looks quite flat by the halfway point. Very average for the style.

SMELL: A pretty weak nose, even weaker than the norm for the style. Some sweet caramel malt and a faint biscuit touch as well. A faint hint of hops in the background as well. Pleasant but too weak to really be noticeable, which seems to be the norm for the style.

TASTE: A caramel malt start with some toasted grainy malt as well. Biscuits in the middle with some hop bitterness through the end. A very long lasting hop bitter aftertaste dominates for quite a while, while a bit of sweet wood competes for space as well. The aftertaste is a bit too much, but some might like this degree of forcefulness.

PALATE: Thinner body and higher end carbonation with slightly prickly carbonation. Goes down just a tad rough and finishes with a touch of stickiness. Wasn't all that impressed.

OVERALL: Not the most drinkable brew I've every had. The strong and dominating hop bitter aftertaste is slightly offensive and would make it hard to drink this in great quantities. I didn't look forward to the next sip. I could see someone who loves strong dominating bitter hop aftertastes really enjoying this, but I prefer a bit more malt ballance in my beer.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured a nice reddish copper in color and with very little to no foam or lace. The smell and taste was just like a Scotish Ale and I'm not overly impressed with Scotish Ale. So the taste was below average. I thought I could taste a sort of vinyl flavor to this brew. I'll pass on this style of beer!

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.99/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: dark brown color, clear, thick head that settles to very nice 2 fingers deep, lots of lacing
s: burnt malts overpower bits of hops spiciness
t: malty taste quickly gives way to the long-finishing dry coffee taste
m: medium body, surprising amount of carbonation at the end that mitigate the overpowing coffee flavor
d: a great-looking beer with overpowering coffee flavor that just didn't do it for me

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Photo of prosper
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with a tan head that receded quickly.

Smells slightly toasty with some hints of tangerine and pine hops.

The first thing you notice about the taste is the roasty bitterness. There's a ton of roast and dark malt character to this beer. Coffee, dark chocolate, and the like. There's a faint hoppy bitterness, but it's overshadowed by the dark malt bitterness. Some hints of caramel. As it finishes, banana-like esters become apparent.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with low-ish carbonation. Slightly cloying.

Not too drinkeable, I'd say, between the bitter roastiness and slightly sweet finish, I'm just not dying for the next sip.

Average right down the line. No major faults, but no charm or likeability, either. Forgettable.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

According to the label, Riggwelter is an Old Norse term for a sheep that is on its' back and cannot get up without help, I'll get back to that in a moment....

Poured a light, almost clear brown with slight chestnut hue, a hint of cherry hardwood floors gleam. Light brown head, thin, covered the surface with large and small bubbles, nicely carbonated with lacing. The smell of fresh figs and dates predominates, a touch of leather. There is a warm, alcohol taste and mouthfeel, buttery, burnt toffee, I find it harsh. As well, there is a sharp sourness at the roof of the mouth that clobbers your tastebuds and almost provokes a pucker. The aftertaste is not very pronounced, a short finish.

My impression is of an excess amount of malt that throws the brew off balance, so it's unbalanced like the Riggwelter that it's named after. The beer was certainly crafted this way and likely a good example of the style but I find it unpleasant for the most part so I reflected that in my scores. I didn't like this nearly as much as the Black Sheep Ale I enjoyed recently from the same brewery, usually in good supply at the LCBO.

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Photo of fosterific
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pour brown, dark walnut even. There was a fair dollop of head that left trails all over the sides of the glass. The smell is sharp and pointed with the inviting scent of caramel and toffee. The taste is refreshing, something new for me. The roasted malt and bitter hops scream England in my mouth. A good representative I think. Finishes quite dry, would have been a little higher had it not been so dry in the aftertaste.
Had a good nice feel in the mouth, just the right amount of carbonation.
I loved the color of this beer, sometimes there is a lot of reddish hues in brown ales, but this one has none of that...just brown and beautiful.

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Photo of jimbotrost
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 06/11/05. Pours a beautiful ruby hue with a tightly compacted head of medium thickness. Carbonation appears to be full, maybe a touch more than this style commands. Nose is full of malt, crystal malt comes through in a big way. Mouthfeel starts off dry, not too dry, very nice. Flavor runs from malty dryness to malty sweetness, interesting. Some diacetyl and mid flavor cloying sweetness. Finish dries out and then the sweetness returns, may be an old sample and lacking the hop influence for balance.

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Photo of bobsy
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This past Friday night I did a blind tasting of brown ales with my wife, because I figured it was time for me to re-evaluate a style I don't think much of. We each poured samples for the other, noted what was what and then brought out the beers, so while we couldn't taste the same beer at the same time, we were both able to taste without bringing any bias to the table.

Riggwelter is a seasonal beer that turns up at the LCBO every once in a while. I've had it before and never understood the fuss about it.

Fairly standard brown ale appearance. The brown is exactly in the middle of all the shades I see, and it produces a cream coloured head which gradually fades to a film. The aroma is subdued but pleasant enough, runnning the malty gamut, with hints of bread, caramel and nut. It would be good, but its too subdued, even at warmer temperatures. I also found the flavours to be tame, although they did gradually improve as the beer warmed. There's a fair bit of toast, along with caramel and faint coffee notes. The palate is fine, smooth and medium-bodied, with a lightly bitter finish.

When I discovered that this was the Riggwelter I wasn't surprised - its pretty average both as a beer and a representative of its style. There's just too little of interest going on to justify purchasing it again.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish-brown pour with a fair-sized off-white head. Roasted malt, caramel, and banana in the nose, with some straw. Taste was a ton of straw, popcorn, and bitter, bitter malt. The straw is nearly overwhelming when you get to the bottom. Strange beer.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a murky brown hue with ruby highlights, topped by two fingers of off-white head that works its way down slowly, leaving a trail of lacing in its wake.

S: Malty aroma that is sweet, yet light, and smells rather tasty. This is complemented by a noticeable hop presence that also doesn't overpower, but smells great with the beer's bready notes.

T: Malt base is smooth and sweet, yet smaller than expected in the introduction. Seems just below adequate in terms of balancing the bittering hops that rush in through the middle and carry into the finish. Mostly a light hop bitterness in the aftertaste, with some sweetness from the introduction sticking around.

M: Bubbly and silky mouthfeel, carbonation is agreeable and there is a smooth character to this beer.

D: Easy flavors make for easy drinking, but something about the hop profile doesn't seem to mesh well with the sweet malt. It seems as though the question isn't whether or not there are too much hops, but rather the flavor presence not complementing the malt well enough. Still, a mild ale worthy of a sip.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear ruby red with a copious creamy head.

S - Slightly cheesy, some coffee and tangerines. Light touches of honey and grass

T - Slightly boozy, fairly malty, and with an assertive hop bitterness. aftertaste is really long lasting. A touch of astringency up front, and a very dry fruity middle.

M - feels very light on the tongue with a spritzy carbonation

D - Not terribly impressed with this one. Feels overly boozy and somewhat one dimensional.

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Photo of battlekow
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really an attractive clear mahogany color, like real maple syrup. Has nice lacing. Smells roasty and alcoholic. Tastes burnt and bitter, with an astringent alcoholic bite. Some banana if you hold it in your mouth. The lingering bitterness after the alcohol fades away is the best part. This beer falls into the category of overrated, predominantly alcohol-flavored brown ales, along with Samuel Smith's Nut Brown and Tommyknocker's Imperial Nut Brown. At least this one was slighty roasty and nutty.

Thanks to nsmit17 for sending this to me.

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Photo of DypsoBubble
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stout is very dry and lacking in sweetness. As it is so dry, the flavours do not seem to be drawn out. It does not have that rich fruity pudding taste about it that many stouts do and the mouthfeel just comes to a grinding halt on the tongue with the bitterness. Nothing creamy. Nothing rich, Fine if you like that sort of thing.

Maybe it is not a stout but more like a porter.

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Photo of sstackho
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500mL bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto. Pours a clear dark brown. The aroma is lemony - perhaps a bit metallic. Flavour is a balanced maltiness and of a decent strength. It's all decent stuff, I suppose, but I'm finding it a bit boring really. I suppose it's just not my style.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice, rich bownish-orange. Small head.
Smell is malty, sour, yeast, apple and grape.
Taste is malt, hops and oak. Not exactly what I was promised by the scent. Would have liked it a lot better if those notes had transferred over to the taste.
Medium body and effervescence with a hoppy finish.
Overall a solid English ale bt nothing special.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, dark brown, mimics the colour of the bottle. Decent creamy looking head. Spotty'ish lacings.

Caramel, coffee beans, slightly burnt aroma. Malt and alcohol combination gives a whiskey tinge to it.

This beer's a little rough. Burnt bitterness throughout. Dark fruit, dates and raisins put it on the sweeter side of things. Coffee bean bitterness, like chewing on one. Butterscotch and slight buttery feel to it.

Mouthfeel, a little on the thin side for me, kind of slippery. Doesn't do a fantastic job of blending the alcohol, it tastes stronger than it's 5.7%. An okay beer, pretty rough around the edges.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: chestnut brown, great clarity, thick spongey layer of tan foam forms on hard pour, good head retention, lacey

Aroma: chocolate, oats, coffee, wisp of alcohol, malt, woodsy hops, burnt sugar

Flavor: thick malt base, any sweetness is quickly swept aside by a roasty bitterness and a hearty rye-bread tang, finishes dry as a bone with a long-lingering hop/roast bitterness, aftertaste of dark malts and burnt caramel

Mouthfeel: full body, creamy texture, fine carbonation, slightly astringent

Other comments: Antoerh somewhat popular one at the Norwich Beer Festival. One of the best ones I've tried from Black Sheep Brewery. I do like the Old Norse name, Riggwelter: rygg = back, velte = fall over (very similar to the same words in modern Danish!).

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Photo of sfprint
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had in the UK in Nov 2011

A: Reddish cola, with a cola head and cola bubbles lining the glass, soda like lacing and soda like rising carbonation.
S: Wood and smoke which is thick like motor oil, coffee ice cream.
T: Very smokey, under that is an unsweet coldish soda between mild and moderately bitter. Similar to German smoked beer.
M: Moderate sting, slightly astringent.
O: Decent, smokey, Ok.

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Photo of AltBock
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle with a black label of a sheep on its back. The label explains that Riggwelter is an old Norse word for overturn. The locals then used the term to describe a sheep on its back and can't back up on its legs. Behind the sheep is an old map to the brewery and some of the surrounding towns. No date anywhere on the label or bottle itself.

When poured into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, this black sheep is a dark mahogany brown with a small tint of cherry red. Sitting on top of this beer was a thick and foamy 1/2 an inch head of white foam. This head of foam had great retention that left behind a thick white film and plenty of white sticky streaks of lace around the glass. I just loved the color of the beer and the head of foam wasn't bad either.

The aroma loved the bubblegum. When I popped the cap, I got a small whiff of the beer and said "Bazooka Joe." This heavy bubble gum aroma also featured a hint of toasted malts, some juicy fruits, a small touch of malted tea leaves, a dash of pepper, subtle sweet caramel, and ended with dried herbal hops. Sometimes the caramel really came through and changed the bubblegum aroma to a caramel popcorn aroma. Great unique aroma!

After the strong aroma and the great appearance, the taste was a let down. There wasn't much in the taste. The taste was light, dry, and slightly hoppy with a hint of yeast, a small touch of juicy fruits, toasted malts, malted tea leaves, a hint of sweet caramel, and a few crispy floral hops at the finish. Every flavor was small in size and had some water backing every flavor up. Not too watery, but I still noticed it.

The mouthfeel was light too, but the aftertaste was slightly hoppy and dry with crispy floral hops, sweet caramel, toasted malts, and a small touch of yeast.

I honestly don't know what to think of this one. I loved the aroma and appearance, but I didn't care for the most important part of the beer, the taste. I'd might buy it again for the aroma and appearance, but not the taste of it. It's worth a shot.

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Photo of hungryghost
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany brown color, dark but not opaque. Decent fluffy tan head yet only minimal lacing.
Not a strong aroma, mainly of malt that is beyond roasted, but not yet burnt.
Malt is the primary flavor as well, a hard roasted flavor with a hint of coffee. French roast with maybe a tad of hop in the finish. The taste is not overpowering by any means. Usually expect more nuttiness in a brown ale but that may just be my personal expectations.
Mouthfeel is fine, sort of thin.
Easy to drink, not too heavy for a darker beer.

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Photo of charlatan
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle has freshness date almost a year away and lists the following ingredients: water, malted barley, wheat, sugar, hops. The beer pours a chestnut brown colour with a sizable head.

The nose is somewhere between molasses and coffee with a hint of grain. This has a bigger taste than I was expecting. It tastes slightly smoky but with just enough of a minty bite from the hops to prevent it from becoming cloying. Fortunately for me it doesn't really taste of coffee, but has more of a standard roasted malt flavour. This brew is well carbonated and relatively easy to knock back for such a full flavoured beer: pretty good stuff.

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Photo of froghop
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

beer three of day two in hong kong.

pours a dark brown with a small biege head, and limited lacing.

smell is of wheat, some fruits and berries, and some roasted malts.

taste is of cocoa, wheat, a touch of coffee, malt, some spice in the back, and dark fruits.

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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
3.85 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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