Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

very good
317 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 317 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Riggwelter's color is brown with a strong red hue. Head is light brown and quite large. Retention is great. The aroma is a little bland, just a light nuttiness. Taste is sweet and nutty, with a touch of roasted coffee. Drinkability is great, I could hang with this one all night and stay entertained, while not getting full.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Creamy coffee colored head (like a milkshake) with pretty good retention. Condensed lacing with average strength. Semi-opaque, dark cranberry in color.

Coffee syrup; moderately sweet caramel and cherry. Creamy, chocolate-like maltiness. Noticeable alcohol aroma as well.

Nice coffee/espresso sweetness that's followed by an abrasive and almost artificial bitterness. A pretty hefty alcohol presence at mid-sip, with a lot of carbonation. A chocolate and nut-filled aftertaste, that is again filled with sweetness: a little too sweet for the style.

Medium bodied; heavier on the palate than what I would expect from an English Brown.

Flavorful but too sweet for my taste. The sweetness really gets to my tastebuds and prevents me from having another.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mohagany color with many very small bubbles of carbonation. Has a half of an inch of head that's there until you're down to the bottom. You don't see better head on a beer than this. Ah, smell those roasted malts with a touch of hops. The flavor stays on your tongue for awhile and you're left with a sensation of hops and your palate that's not too strong. Not as carbonated as you'd think based on so many carbonation bubbles you see. Drinkability is high and I recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys a good ale.

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Photo of malty
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a fancy hopleaf embossed 16.9 oz. bottle - no freshness date.

Brilliantly clear orange-copper color with a rocky off-white head which stayed for a good long time.

Scent of coffee with cream and cocoa. Dark fruit (molasses) also.

Taste follows suite of the scent: creamed coffee, roasted malts with a mineral water flavor in there as well. For such a malty backbone, the 'woody' dryness is a much welcomed addition component.

Mouthfeel is quite english; low-med. carbonation with that clean, dry finish.

Drinkability is very high due to it's lower than avg. carbonation and overall light-med. body.

This beer really surprised me. I absolutely loved the creamed coffee flavor of this english ale. A bit lighter in body and flavor than Old Pecular, but just a flavorful - in it's own unique way. A little pricey @ $3.59 ea. - but a nice treat nonetheless.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa! Packed with flavour! Poured a nice ruby colour with a decent, sticky head. Initially smell is a good balance of malt and hops; as it warms, it takens on a grainy malt smell. Taste is like a very rich version of their Black Sheep ale, with a bit more emphasis on the malts A bit more bitter than some of their other ales.

Tastes good; fairly dinkable in my opionion.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear chestnut brown body with a nice head and plenty of lacing

Smell: Caramel malt with a touch of bananas and raisins

Taste: Lots of coffee flavor; starts out sweet but that is quickly overwhelmed by bitterness - some sweetness on the finish as the bitterness fades

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fair bit of carbonation

Drinkability: This is a nice brown ale, but it is quite filling

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Photo of deBeers
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly, I enjoyed this bottle more than the cask-conditioned counterpart. The cask-conditioned seemed smoother, almost healthier for me, while the bottle surprisingly had a little more to offer. This was drunken out of a half yard glass. It opened up more as is warmed up.

Decent, initial head with moderate carbonation. Mahogany colored ale with a clear body. Initial notes of caramel malts turning into a strong notes of toffe/coffee. Tastes very strongly of coffee liquor.

First, I taste the alcohol, yet it's not overpowering, but balanced just right. The longer it sits on the palette, the more mellow it becomes. Still getting strong notes of coffee or kahlua. Very smooth beer, very dark for an ale. Excellent, and very quaffable!

I'll come back and edit this and explain what the name and label means soon.

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Photo of Luigi
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a .5 liter mug from a 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a reddish-brown color with a big light brown head. Smells sweet, very fruit like. Roasted malt, mineral water, coffee, fruity hop come out in the flavor. I can taste some licorice too. This is one tasty Englsih ale.

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

Pours a deep translucent chestnut with copper edges. Develops a few fingers of creamy tan head which quickly resolve themselves into a creamy film and sticky lacing. Smells of toasted bread crusts over fragrant hops, with resinous notes and a slight diacetyl (butterscotch) background. The flavors starts with sweet caramel malts and strong butterscotch, slowly developing toasty and yeasty qualities, and finishing with good hop dryness and lingering woody, smoky, and almost port-like notes. Medium to medium-heavy, very creamy and moderately carbonated in the mouth. A tasty, solid, interpretation of the style.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like Black Sheep beers, all the ones Ive tried have great hop flavor and are also impeccably balanced. This Brown Ale is true to form. It also has a wimsical label that I like a lot.

It pours a deep mahogany with a frothy cappucino head that lasts forever. Lacing is copious and chunky. The aroma is equal parts grassy, floral hops and chocolatey, roasty malts. The taste is complex with loads of Chocolate malts, husky grainyness and a subtle tea like astringency. Im sure this is a hop characteristic.

The hops are prevelant throughout. They are cedary, pithy and floral, with only a slight bitterness in the finish. This is not as hoppy as Sam Smith's Nut Brown, but the amount of hops provides a satisfactory compliment to the wall of malt flavors. Theres a dry slightly fruity yeasty flavor and some peaty notes in the background.

The mouthfeel is lighter than expected with toned down carbonation. The Black Sheep Brewery has down in again with this brew. Its an excellent Brown Ale that is dangerously quaffable.

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Photo of shapudding
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Georgeous dark amber brown with an amazingly thick and creamy bubblebath of khaki head sitting on top. Caramelly chocolate, vanilla, and warm alcohol scents. This is very smooth and just flows so easily over your tongue. The carbination is not so much, which makes this very drinkable. I like the feel of this one. Body is not so thin, but not really medium... maybe somewhere in between. Alot of vanilla bean flavor, black coffee, and maybe some whiskey. Very good drinkability , good flavors and mouthfeel to it.

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Photo of merlin48
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

According to the label, a riggwelter is a sheep that has fallen and can't get back up. Guess that explains the distressed sheep on the label. This English Brown pours a clear, copper mahogany body with a two finger beige head that is creamy, with good retention. Lots of patch lace gets left on the glass.
Aroma has a note of mild chocolate malt, but is mostly creamy caramel with earthy hops.
Mouthfeel has a medium body and moderate carbonation.
Taste mirrors the aroma, with chocolate and caramel maltiness balanced by a nutty and earthy hops bitterness. Slightly on the sweet side, overall, but quite tasty.
This is a tasty and satisfying English Brown Ale. Very solid.

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Photo of mschofield
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark mahogany, topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves puffy rings of lacing connected with webbing.
Fruity, cherry aroma, sharp and leafy, wet bread, and earthy.
Cherry and bitter apple taste, brown sugar, coffee flavored candy, hot cocoa note. Coffee aftertaste. Smells higher in alcohol than it is. Just too sweet for me.
Medium bodied.

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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 claytri
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dark cordovan with a gorgeous tan head. The aroma was heady of alcohol and cherry over a toasted malt base causing great anticipation. The taste didn't quite live up to it. It started off with a slight fruit malt taste and followed up with a nice little bitterness. The feel was medium bodied and slightly dry. This beer for me was too middle of the road. I was looking for something sweet and or tart and would have been happy with something sharp and bitter. What Riggwelter did was promise both and delivered neither. Don't get me wrong it's a solid beer, just not one I would say was in the range of brown ales I'd be looking for.

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Photo of Skidz
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out light orange-borwn and sits crimson red in the glasss with a large foamy tan head.

Smells lightly malty with notes of caramel. Some fruity esters, apples, and a nice spicy tone.

Tastes bitter up front with big loads of spice. Light and fruity esters (apple) attack and smooth out with a touch of caramel.

Smooth in the mouth, medium body with small tingling carbonation. Nicely bittered.

A decent ale with interesting spices. Well built as a sipper or to pair with light past or Asian dishes.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again, the beer guru at my local Whole Foods suggested I might like this one. And once again, he was dead on.

The label, a black and crème motif on a brown bottle with a raised leaf design, hints at the color of the ale. It pours a deep red-brown and has a nice, frothy cream-colored head…a real beauty.

The smell was much hoppier than I expected. There were also hints of chocolate, coffee and fruit (raisins? grapes), but what really struck me was an undertone of what smelled like barley wine, which was off-putting for me at first because I’m not a barley wine fan.

The carbonation and texture makes for a refreshing mouthfeel. Very pleasant on the palate. And the taste…also much hoppier than I expected, again ever so slightly reminiscent of a barley wine, but not cloying, sweet or syrupy.

Very, very drinkable.

This is a damn fine ale.

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Photo of oggg
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown/amber color. Quite dark. Very clear still. Large head with big bubbles, but good staying power. The aroma is malty with some alcohol. It's malty and I can see it's in the English style. Lots o blackberry. It doesn't really have much in the way of roasted or burnt flavor, but there is a mild astringency. Also a wineyness, which is strange for this abv. The beer is light to medium bodied with a dry finish. Overall, the wineyness and astringency aren't strong, but enough for me to beer hunt elsewhere.

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Photo of freed
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I would probably buy these beers even if they weren't any good simply because of the packaging. Elegant typesetting, imagery and folklore that fits the beer well.

Poured, however, its equally attractive. A ruby cola color, relatively transparent, and an authentic unpredictable head with a variety of bubble sizes and thickness.

The aroma is old - like farmhouse or thatched roof old. Milled, tart malt with a slight spice to it. A slight brown malt addition.

The taste is understated but endearing. Its a thick, dense dull malt that drinks rather easily, and has just the slightest spice kick to it, and a twinge of sour, either from the malt itself, or the yeast. There's even a nice cidery aftertaste that adds to the overall appeal of the ale.

However, since this pours to nearly a full imperial pint, one is gladly enough. And a slow drinking of it really give it a chance to warm - both physically and its charm on the drinker.

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Photo of Beersignal
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Attractive maroon coloured liquid with burgundy highlights whose clarity shows off the elegant bead rising from its depths. The head is somewhat thin however and ghostlike, leaving no trace of its presence.

I found the nose to be not so typical of english ales. Soft fruitiness was highlighted by a very evident vinous character that was followed by a slightly burned malt accent. A noticeable alcoholic signature manifested itself in the end.

A medum bodied brew expressed itself and displayed an oily/alkaline texture. Soft maltiness and slightly burnt caramel were buttressed by equally soft fruit flavours of apple and apricot (maybe a little pear?) The finish was mildly bitter and dry as the alkaline character of the brew made its last stand.

If it were available more readily in this region, Riggwelter would surely become a more regular session ale for me

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Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1.9oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.79.

Poured a very dark reddish-brown. Big, off-white head that dropped quickly, though things remained foamy throughout it's duration in my glass. Moderate lacing.

Smell was rather complex. There's a sweet chocolate scent, but this is kept from being too cloying by a dark, fruity, almost wine-like scent.

Taste was like the aroma - complex and yummy! The sweet chocolaty and bitter dark fruit flavors hit simultaneously. This is remarkably balanced. There's a very slight dry note at the finish.

Mouthfeel is the only criticism I have of this. It feels just a tad bit thinner than it should. I think there's a little bit too much carbonation to this. There's a tiny effervescence to this that is slightly off-putting, but it's still a very tasty beer.

This is a very drinkable beer. If I could find this in 12oz bottles (I imagine it'd be cheaper then) I'd have several. This only recently showed up here in Spokane, so I hope it doesn't leave just as quickly.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Titian with amber highlights capped by a frothystiff ecru head that initially fills half of my pint glass. Foam clings in tattered sheets that fade piecemeal to become interconnected scraps as the sturdy head hangs around at one finger for the duration.

The nose is a bit shy, but is enjoyable. It consists of gently roasted malt with hints of cocoa powder and nuts. The flavor makes up for any deficiencies in the aroma and is bolder by half. Riggwelter is different from the majority of brown ales that I've had lately. In particular, it's less assertive while being deeper and more complex.

There's a lot going on in the flavor profile, including bittersweet chocolate, overripe fruit, tobacco, unsweetened tea and pecans. I find myself taking a sip and then rolling it around on my tongue to pick out each of the individual flavors time and time again. This is a beer to be contemplative over. The light-medium, yet sturdy, body holds up well throughout each mouthful and over time.

Black Sheep brews delicious, interesting beer. Although this one is on the lighter end of the brown ale spectrum, it has character and depth to burn. Who says that beer has to saturate one's taste buds with big, bold flavor to be enjoyable? Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale puts the lie to that notion after the first sip.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(500 ml bottle, bought in Denmark). Beautiful dark reddish brown colour, large head. Fine aroma of oak, toffee, dark chocolate and Colombian coffee beans. Full malty flavour with a little alcoholic bite, but not too much. Roasted notes, hints of English liquorice, bitter dark chocolate and smoke. The long aftertaste has strong black coffee notes with a hoppy bite. This is a first class beer! You’ll need more than one to make you a "ryggvelter", though. Baaah!

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Photo of Cwrw
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle has a great label, detailing the word "riggwelter," which is really rather comical. This Yorkshire ale looks heaven-sent sitting in the glass: thick, almost unmoveable cream-with-brown patches head; creamy, puffy, and everything a head should be on a good strong ale. As solid and smooth looking as thick caramel icing on a cake. Deep hues of coppery red, amber/maple syrup, rust, with the solid look of a glittering precious stone. I cannot imagine many other beers that fit the word "ale" in appearance so exceptionally. The aroma at first smote me with spicy nuttiness, creamy coffee, bitter baker's chocolate, raisins and dates and even cinammon. Behind the frontal aroma there is a noticeable aged leather smell, or meat, with chemical-like pungency. Also some saltiness, and a sweeter pepper, perhaps cayenne. The aroma is similar to some good British stouts, but not as a strongly burnt or chocolate/coffee-filled, which pleases me personally. This manages to combine a hearty, robust and spicy stout aroma with the milder, more fruity sweet brown ales. Throughout two or more glasses of Riggwelter, you will never bore of the aroma, that is certain. The taste is nicely grainy at first, with some caramel and/or crystal malt giving some sweetness, but quickly the darker malt and strong hop bitterness assert themselves, leaving a pleasantly dry palate. Very well balanced, with the malt only subtlely more powerful. Syrup, oats, molasses, some alcohol, raisins, rich coffee--but all these less bold than in a stout, and it constitutes this beer far more drinkable. Leather tastes, salt, and a hop character felt more by its dryness than its taste. Smoked and meaty sometimes. Mouthfeel is full, though not so heavy, with low carbonation, leaving little gaseous feel. Though strong and filling, it passes through the mouth quite easily: nicely drinkable on a colder autumn or winter night.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany brown brew.

Smell is exceedingly fruity with hints of chocolate sugar and vanilla ice cream. A very good smelling brew indeed.

Taste is dry with the fruitiness from the smell coming through in the taste too. Medium bitterness to this and a bit sweeter after the first few sips. Bitterness and sweetness get stronger as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty all round good brew well balanced flavors, a beer that would go well for most every purpose.

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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
3.85 out of 5 based on 317 ratings.
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