As you may or may not know, we’ve declared April English Ale Month here at The Brew Club.
Our latest English Ale is from Black Sheep Brewery, and its a 4.7% ABV English Pale Ale called Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale. You may recall that we recently reviewed another Black Sheep beer, Riggwelter.
Being something of a Monty Python fan, (as well as a fan of British Ales) I found this pint bottle label to be so amusing I just had to get it! I mean, it says that the ale is “Tempered over burning witches” right on the front! Too funny! Apparently, this beer was created in 1999 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Pythons! How fitting! (I wonder if they’ll make something for their 40th considering its 2009?)
The Holy Grail Ale is a coppery amber color that creates a nice foamy head in my glass. Upon smelling this particular Black Sheep beer, you can really tell that burning witches were used to temper the ale. There is a nice fruity scent that come through in the aroma – but not too much, and there’s a bready kind of smell to this beer as well that I thought was interesting too. Really nice.
Quickly on to the taste, it is very similar to the smell, mild hops, fruity, some malt sweetness and that bready thing too with just enough bitterness to make the balance. On the bitter scale, this ale was less bitter than the London Pride or even the Bass Ale. To me, it had the slight taste of sour apples or something similar – still, this beer is super smooth, and highly drinkable. My bottle was not overly carbonated, and the amount of hops in the taste was just right I thought. This ale has a wonderful aftertaste that is also surprisingly…fruity and slightly bitter!
As I finished drinking this Ale, I’m was thinking how nice a change from the heavy, sweet stouts I’ve been enjoying as of late. The Holy Grail Ale is creamy very, very smooth, and like I mentioned there is hop flavor, but not much of a hop ‘bite’. Did I mention this beer is smooth? I guess that’s where the burning witches help in the brewing process! If you see it on the shelf someplace, do yourself a favor and check it out – particularly if you like English Pale Ales. I really enjoyed this one.