Ale
Black Sheep Brewery PLC

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From:
Black Sheep Brewery PLC
 
England, United Kingdom
Style:
Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #68
ABV:
4.4%
Score:
84
Ranked #24,117
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 13.24%
Ratings:
589
Status:
Active
Rated:
Aug 15, 2021
Added:
Jul 13, 2002
Wants:
  25
Gots:
  68
SCORE
84
Good
AleAle
Notes: Black Sheep Ale is a full flavoured premium bitter with a rich, fruity aroma. Brewed using generous handfuls of choice Golding hops, it has a perfectly balanced bittersweet, malty taste with a long, dry and bitter finish.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by dnrobert24:
Photo of dnrobert24
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by dnrobert24 from Alabama

The food: Shepherd's Pie. The drink: Black Sheep.

This was purchased for me by my in-laws while they were in England (shhh, don't tell them I can get it in Georgia) and brought back just for me. It poured a nice amber with a decent head that stuck with the beer as I drank it. It had less chunks that the Hen's Tooth I had from England (but chunks are okay). Perhaps this was because I gave this one more time to sit. Anyway, the cool thing about this beer is that I tasted and smelled flavors I've never tasted or smelled in beer before. The smell was like an English garden--lemongrass, cut grass, lemon thyme, orange blossom, and something floral like lavender, honeysuckle, or heather. The beer tasted great! It was well balanced between the carmelly and slightly buttery malts, the bitter and citrusy hops, and then, coming through toward the end of the glass, lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines. Also toward the end of the glass, a new garden smell came through--Mint. Really! My wife commented that it smelled more like clover, but I swear it was mint and could almost start to tast it. This beer started out so-so, but finished grand. All in all, it did very well with the somewhat greasy shepherd's pie that had cheddar cheese, onions, tabasco, and herbed mashed potatos. Nothing like pairing traditional English pub food with traditional English pub ale. High marks all around!

Mar 01, 2006
More User Ratings:
 
3.89 by bad_poetry from England on Aug 15, 2021
 
3.54 by Daneve76 from Australia on Jun 16, 2021
Photo of Ushouldbeworkinh
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Ushouldbeworkinh from France

20210611

Jun 11, 2021
 
3.55 by NightINgale from Russian Federation on Feb 04, 2021
Photo of MarkCairns99
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by MarkCairns99 from Northern Ireland

A wonderful deep golden colour, treacle and liquorice taste though not overly sweet. This beer also has a slight malt taste though not overpowering. A very good beer which I certainly would buy again.

Apr 30, 2020
Photo of James94
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by James94 from England

L: Clear dark orange golden in its colour, initial two fingers of head, lasting lacing
S: Spices, dough, orange, toffee, ripe banana
T: Biscuit, bread, grapes, pear, butteriness
F: Decent, but a little sharp at the end

O: 4

Feb 03, 2020
Photo of Mclusal
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
by Mclusal from Colombia

N37

Jun 15, 2019
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by JonnoWillsteed from England

L- Mid chestnut, pours with 3mm white head reducing very slowly and leaving lacing.
S- Quite woody/leathery.
T- They lable it as a 'premium ale' but to me it's more a typical trad bitter profile, that goes into quite a dry/hoppy finish.
F- Zingy, slightly bitter, refreshing.
O- Very nice, quite trad to me, whilst leaning towards to dry/hoppy side favoured by younger folk.
A surprise find (a new beer to me!) in Waitrose, London this afternoon. BB: printed on neck 18/Mar/2020.

ps. The lable has been redesigned in matt cream/black/copper etc., centred on a large rams head, and is now waaay more striking...

Apr 23, 2019
 
3.72 by socon67 from New York on Apr 09, 2019
Photo of Snowcrash000
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Snowcrash000 from Germany

Pours a deep amber, coppery coloration with a small, fizzy head. Smells of biscuity, slightly grainy malt and grassy, slighty floral hops. Taste follows the nose, with a good balance of biscuity, slightly grainy and toasted malt and grassy/floral hops, with just a hint of toffee and peppery spice coming through as well. Finishes quite crisp, with a medium bitterness and some grainy malts and grassy hops lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

Nothing spectacular, but a rather pleasant and very nicely balanced Pale Ale that is quaffable and satisfying.

Mar 14, 2019
 
3.75 by -Andrew- from Michigan on Sep 27, 2018
 
4.06 by Neilos from England on Aug 22, 2018
 
3.75 by paulish from New York on Jun 23, 2018
 
3.94 by ParkbrauFan from Iowa on May 27, 2018
 
2.02 by ironmark666 from Scotland on May 14, 2018
 
3.74 by lhwjanssen from Netherlands on May 02, 2018
Photo of digboy
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by digboy from New Hampshire

Pours a dark copper color, clear with a thin film of a head.

The aroma has strong caramel malt notes, a nice mellow sweetness.

The taste follows the smell with a mellow, sweet caramel malt base. It finishes with a solid tart bitterness ans a lingering sweetness.

The feel is crisp and clean. Very nice.

A classic British pale ale done very well.

Jan 27, 2018
 
3.25 by t2grogan from Arizona on Oct 28, 2017
 
3.25 by Mattias from Sweden on Sep 16, 2017
 
3.46 by Momon from Philippines on Aug 21, 2017
 
3.25 by ADTaber from South Carolina on Jul 14, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

It pours copper with a small head but great lacing. Thea aroma is malty and very "british" in some ways. The flavor is definitely more bitter than sweet but without throwing off the balance too much. Not very carbonated.

Jul 12, 2017
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

(16.9 oz bottle, code LB6069... poured (and fit perfectly) into a nonic)

L: dull, mildly hazy, medium amber-colored liquid... lovely, cottony, rocky-sudsy foam that jiggles and stays put - oooh yeah!

S: fairly standard stewed apple and pear-like esters, maybe a touch of grassy, lightly-flowery hops still lingering... hints of lightly-toasted, biscuity grain and light caramel... nothing really distinct about the overall aromas, but they're moderately potent and suggest a bit of depth

T: dense, dry, crackery/crusty malt, with a subtle flash of dried fruit and caramel in the finish, and a latent wave of earthy dried grass and a mildly woody, tannic bitterness that swells in intensity and boldness, and a tiny touch of black pepper in the aftertaste... not as sweet as some other BPAs available, decent balance

F: marginal roundness to the body up front but, while a relatively dense but languidly viscous thread of malt body courses through, it drinks fairly light and quite dry on the back end... subtle sudsy sizzle tickles the back of the palate in the aftertaste...

O: not bad, nothing unique, but probably a good bit past its prime... would definitely get again considering it scratches and itch and is one of the relatively few bottled British pale ales readily available to me that actually perfectly fill the large nonic that normally dwarfs the usual 12oz'ers I pour in

Jun 15, 2017
 
3.63 by brewnme from Maine on Mar 19, 2017
 
3.27 by AleSan from Italy on Feb 11, 2017
 
3.85 by SaisonRichBiere from Michigan on Feb 01, 2017
 
4.38 by Rymish from Colorado on Jan 21, 2017
 
2.97 by MathieuTheard from Haiti on Nov 18, 2016
Photo of Ant777uk
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3
by Ant777uk from England

Malty and choclatey...

Quite refreshing and light for a dark beer/ale, though does not really have a strong and deep depth of flavour...

Well balanced though

Nov 10, 2016
Photo of Spike
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by Spike from England

From a 500ml bottle.
L: Dark amber with an orange hue when held to the light. Clear, with a few streams of bubbles. One-finger, off-white head leaves a wall of lace.
S: Very understated malt.
T: Sweet malt and leafy, woody, gently spicy, English hops.
F: Medium/light body with light carbonation. Subtle bitterness that becomes increasingly dry over time and eventually leaves a furry layer on the tongue.
O: Good looking beer with a distinct hop character but, ultimately, a run-of-the-mill English bitter.

Nov 05, 2016
Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by ArchimedesSox from Georgia

A: Light copper color, pillowy off white head, dissipates rather quickly, really good lacing

S: Malty, yeast, get an alcohol fragrance, light hop

T: Malty sweetness, cracker, bitterness

M: Light to medium, a little watery

O: Good beer, I wanted to try some English brews and I picked this one up along with a few others. Not bad but definitely not setting any records.

Oct 06, 2016
 
4 by andyjeigh from Oklahoma on Oct 03, 2016
 
3 by AlexAfonin from Russian Federation on Sep 10, 2016
 
3.75 by a77cj7 from South Dakota on Sep 06, 2016
 
3.75 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON) on Aug 21, 2016
 
3.82 by Captain68 from Russian Federation on Jul 06, 2016
 
4.77 by igl from Russian Federation on Jun 24, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Beginner2 from Illinois

This ale is near the top of its style. To be specific, probably in the top handful.
Not only does it look nice with a full head (despite its travels across the pond), but its aromas of yeastiness and maltiness only gets stronger as the ale warms.
Its Taste and after-taste are balanced, no effort from the hops trying to keep down the malts. Round and finishes smooth.
Overall... Is it those Yorkshire Squares (like the ones Samuel Smith uses) that meld all this together ?

Apr 28, 2016
 
3.71 by Martine from England on Apr 22, 2016
Ale from Black Sheep Brewery PLC
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 589 ratings