Black Cat by England’s Moorhouse’s Brewery is something of an oddball beer style here in the States. It’s considered to be an English Dark Mild Ale and apparently there’s only a handful of the variety that are exported here from England. Moorehouse’s Black Cat is one of them!
Reading up a bit about the brewery and their beers, I’ve learned from the seductive women-laden Moorhouse’s website that Black Cat has earned several prestigious awards including GBBF Champion Beer of Britain in 2000. Black Cat also scored Gold in 1998 as Overall Champion in the Dark Milds Stouts & Porters category. But that’s so last decade! I’ve also learned that they’ve significantly changed the look of the bottle and the label since I bought my sample for The Brew Club!
At a relatively tame 3.4% ABV, Black Cat would make a good choice for a session beer, (which is typically what English ‘Milds’ are considered to be) – but is it really good enough to want more than one? Let’s see!
The pour is lightly carbonated, and while it creates a smallish off white foamy head, it dies out rather quickly, leaving a flat-looking solid black beer in my glass. This stuff is dark, and much like a black hole, even direct halogen light can not penetrate it!
The aroma is pleasant enough with malts dominating and hardly any hops to speak of. Characteristic of many English ales is that bready or toasty aroma which is nice.
Taste is predictably malt oriented with hardly a trace of hops. Malt, malt malt, toasty bread, malt. Got the idea? There was a touch of a metallic bite in the finish but it’s not something that was unpleasant or made me recoil in horror.
This dark mild English Ale did have a decent body to it, and I found the beer to be creamy in texture and with its low carbonation and low alcohol content a smooth drinker.
Overall, I thought the Moorehouse’s Black Cat was OK. That said, I wouldn’t get it again and I can see why the style hasn’t become as popular as Lady Ga Ga in the States. It’s got a nice British beer quality to it, but its just about the blandest beer I’ve had this side of Blandville. (That’s the next town over.)
I’m not sure if its the low ABV, the single-minded flavor profile and the hardly noticeable hops, or that semi-odd metallic twang that turns me off, but its likely a combination of everything. Perhaps tastes in beer have changed a bit since it won all those awards in the late 1990’s?
Sure, its a good session beer at 3.4% ABV, but I would rather have a few less beers and have something with more flavor. My 2 cents…
…and generous 2 stars. Rating: