Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale | Black Sheep Brewery PLC

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Riggwelter Yorkshire AleRiggwelter Yorkshire Ale
Very Good
324 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 324 |  Reviews: 249
Photo of freed
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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%
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 +9.9%
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 +6.8%
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 +11.5%
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 +8.1%
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 +9.4%
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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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500ml bottle all the way from my Masham (pronounced mass-ham) deep in the heart of the county of Yorkshire in the North of England. Arrives in a heavy 1 Pint 9 fl.oz. thick dark brown glass bottle embossed with hop leaves on the bottles shoulder. Listed as 5.7% ABV. The name Riggwelter refers to a helpless sheep that is stuck on its back – don’t ask!!.

Appearance: Dark tawny chestnut body that had a perfectly clear presentation. Atop the cylinder of ale is a fine looking light tan colored head

Nose: Sweet milk chocolate toffee, caramel, Devonian toffee chews.

Taste: Thick nutty malts, chocolate, dark fruits and a yeasty middle with a bitter ending. A classic Brown cum Bitter Ale, this one defies description but it shares the benefits of both styles. Smooth carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Above average feel but with an incredibly smooth body, like a well shaved Brazilian princess this olive skinned beauty begs to be licked all over and drunk in vast quantities. I love this one!!

Drinkability: This is a damn fine brew that really sinks easily. A dark tasty premium Bitter that benefits from a firm middle and a bitter fruity ending.

Overall: What a great Yorkshire beer to be drinking on August 1st, Yorkshire Day! The idea of a special day called 'Yorkshire Day' was to provide a focus for highlighting Yorkshire pride in the English County. August 1st was chosen as it has special significance in the county's history. On August 1st, 1759, soldiers, including some from Yorkshire regiments, who had fought in the battle of Minden, in Germany, picked white roses from nearby fields as a tribute to their fallen comrades. Today, all Battalions of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) wear White Roses in their Caps.

What better day to sup a Yorkshire Brew that has a fiery independent background and that is also brewed in traditional ‘Slate Yorkshire Squares’. Ey, Lad!.

I’m raising this Yorkshire Brew to my dearly beloved ‘Yorkshire Wife’, and all my Yorkshire Mates and Yorkshire folk worldwide. “Sup up Wazzacks!!!”

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Photo of Goldorak
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled 21JUL2004

Deep ruby red, with good tan head.
Has a very nice grape smell, kinda like an oud bruin/grand cru, with a slight grain alcohol smell.
I was expecting more punch on my palate but this Beer is surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. The mouthfeel was a bit like mineral water, it left some kind of effervescence I havn't felt very often with Beer. Strange but good.
I'd certainly give this one another shot.

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

Clear burnt ruby with a mound of creamed suds on top.
Nose of roast malt and buttered grapes.
Begins with a mild roast coffee essence that calms and heads towards bitter chocolate. Toffee-coated raisins are next, then it gallops towards diacetyl-induced butter. This is quelled and offset by the lingering roastedness and the vaporous, fleeting molasses and anise. The roast fades towards carob as caramel-bathed black grapes surge in the later half, alongside traces of rye-like smoky, bready spice. Ends assertively Goldings bittered with perks of herb and a strong, lingering black tea finish.
Tempered carbonation and an unruffled medium build. This is a good short-distance quaffer. However, It seems a bit high in butter for sessions of long duration. It's a minor gripe. Fresh off cask or tap, and this could be an all-nighter...and perhaps into the next day.
An impressive creation. Like a hoppier Brown Ale / Old Ale cross.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a stout 16.9 oz bottle, it's a nice brown with a fairly thick off-white head that leaves lace. The smell is toffee sweetness with enough hop bitterness to make things interesting. Toffee sweetness is also pronounced in the taste, with jus a trace of spiciness and even a hint of mint. Again, the hops make their presence known in the taste. It's quite drinkable and a nice find. Thanks to LBB for advising me to pick this one up in an off-the-cuff call to his office from the beer shop. Cheers.

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Photo of kiya
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pouring this into a glass the first thing you'll notice is how creamy the head is and how quickly it forms. Building to an inch tall creamy tan head, the initial aroma is an almost sweet stone fruit scent that mellows out with time and forming more into a slight yeast scent with roasted hops in the backdrop.

This beer definitely works better served at a slightly higher than cellar temperature, the aromas really start to work their magic as the beer warms up and reduces a bit of the slightly astringent aftertaste that you'll get if enjoyed straight out of a refrigerator.

Being a big fan of bitter ales, i was excited to taste something so bold and not afraid to have it's bitterness so upfront with flavors of burnt caramel and a strong hop flavor. As i said before, the flavors really start to come out as the beer warms up, with short bursts of a nutty flavor giving away to some of the more dark hoppy tones that i initially noticed.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light considering the flavor and aroma of this brew, and the carbonation really plays a strong role here, making itself known at first contact. Due to it's accessible mouthfeel this would make a great session beer and something that can be enjoyed every day of the week.

All in all, i am very impressed by this beer, a bold dark flavor that goes places most don't.

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Photo of maxpower
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep clear light brown color, beautiful off white creamy head that leaves good lacing in my glass. Light malty caramel smokey aroma, sweet nutty and smokey flavors. Medium bodied with a nice rounded soft mouthfeel, some dryness in the lasting finish, I like this one.

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Photo of cbl2
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


After a hard pour, this is a beautiful clear brown with hints of ruby as it captures the light. A nice creamy tan head of 1-2 inches adorns the top, and lingers for a while.


Not overly odorous, there are hints of bitter hops and a touch of yeast.


This is a nice pint of bitter. There is a sharpness to it at first that is somewhat unpleasant, but it mellows by midsip, letting its malt backbone expose itself ever so briefly, before the hops return for a finishing powerful blow.

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Photo of scottum
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ale ambber color with a nice fluffy off-white head. English in flavor with a suprising hop bite back on my own nose and lips. Not quite as smooth as I'd like this one to be. I bet on cask this is a knockout though. Solidly drinkable despite severial obvious faults!

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: This one is a reddish-brown color. There was a bit of a tight tan head (small bubbles) to it also. A fair amount of lacing down the glass. Roasted aroma with some fruit notes to it. Maybe even a bit yeasty. Roastiness to the taste, with a bit of a sweetness. Hints of coffee and fruits. Very Nice!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear and deep brown amber. The head was off-white and compact, but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was very fruity when first poured. Slight cidery aroma. No hop aroma, but a slight caramel aroma was in the background.

The flavor was crisp and bitter, but with a toasted caramel flavor. The bitterness in this beer is huge and pleasant.

The finish was dry and slightly bitter and the toasted caramel lasts for a long time in the aftertaste. The body was medium.

16.9 ounce bottle.

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Photo of bark
2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
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 JohnnyDuvel
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After warming a bit, this beer reminded me more and more of a Samuel Smith (porter, stout). Similar, almost cherry-like flavor. Very much in the English ale style, somewhat dry and subtle. Quite dark, seemed a bit carbonated at first. Settled into a very smooth, creamy ale. Nice head and significant lace. The only drawback is the price (I paid over $4 for a pint). Good enough to have again.

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice and dark, almost molasses in color. Vanilla and saddle leather nose. Frothy head which leaves tightly knit lacing. Lovely malt character, smooth and toasty,,, nice mellow and balancing hops, finishing with a dry hoppy glow. Good, classy brew I'm quaffing here, worth seeking out and trying.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick creamy off-white head. The aroma is good. It smells like a bitter brown ale. It has a bitter smell with the addition of crystal and roasted malts. The taste is decent. It is extremely bitter with a dark malt palate. It has a dry, but creamy finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine ale. It drinks well; a good sessions beer.

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Photo of edchicma
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely a brew that improved as it warmed. Had a very nice amber appearance with a decent head. Smell initially was faint on the malt, but as it warmed it had a rich malty nose that was very nice. Taste had a hint of apple?. Initially sweet in taste it had a decent bitter hop finish. Not an overly crisp mouthfeel, but interesting enough to be pleasant on the palate. Could have been a bit bit smoother on the drinkability side, but still improved with warming.

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Photo of sitbooboosit
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Why does the smell of this beer remind me of doing hot knives in somebody's basement? regardless, it's a good memory and a good smell too. One that felt like it was rolling around in my nose. The head poures well and when tipped the beer leaves nice lacing 'round the glass. For me the beer started malty with a nice round flavour that even hinted at a plummy/dark fruit taste that i quite enjoyed. As is the case with most strong english ales i''ve tried it finished with a hoppy bite that i've always described as metallic. I would certainly drink this beer again and maybe accompany it with a hot knife just to prove my nose right.

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Photo of Suds
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a copper color, tending toward brown, this beer is clear with a creamy off-white head. Settles into considerable and very pretty lace, with a thin stable, wispy head. Roasted and toasted barley. Earth-like aroma mixes with faint floral hop smells. Occasional ester aromas as well. Taste is grainy and faintly resinous. Hints of apples and vanilla. Dry and mildly bitter finish. Medium body and a tad astringent. English character throughout. This is a very tasty beer…enjoyable, moderately complex, and easy to drink..….I’d certainly have it again.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Seems to be a porter to me. It looks great with a nice head, dark red color, and lacing that travels all the way down the glass. There is a hint of vanilla in the taste that is usually good but can be irritating at times. Overall, it is a smooth and well-balanced beer. It is easy to drink, but I don't think I would have more than one or maybe two in one night.

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Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 324 ratings
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