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Black Sheep Brewery


Susan in FL
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This was new to me. It's interesting, so I hope anybody familiar with HOLY GRAIL ALE will post impressions of it. (Anybody from UK know the brewery?) This beer was part of my much-talked-about husband's recent beer shopping (the recent beer shopping much talked about, not the husband).

We drank a bottle of this last night. I thought it had a nice pleasant taste -- more on the mild, clean side than most of the hoppy beers I adore. It's dry without a lot of bitterness in my opinion, refreshing. Apparently its ABV is 4.7. One could drink a few of these! I would love to taste it from tap in a pub.

Here's the website.

I am sorry to say I am ignorant about what is where, even after traveling to London in December. Where is Masham?

BTW, Russ found this in Atlantic Liquors in Rehoboth (DE), and after tasting it, bought more from either Weaver's or State Line in Maryland.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Great beers. I haven't had one in a few years because the store I used to get them from has stopped carrying them, but I looooved their Riggwelter! Look for that next time.

The brewery is in Yorkshire, in the northeast of England. You may notice a stylistic similarity with another famous Yorkshire brewery- Samuel Smiths. They use fermenting vessels known as 'Yorkshire Squares'- which are open tanks. The square shape makes it easier for a person to walk around it and manually rouse the yeast, which has a tendency to floculate out of suspension very quickly. High floculating yeasts are not very good diacetyl reducers (diacetyl is a byproduct of fermentation, and has a buttery flavor.) As a result these beers will have a telltale nutty/ butterscotch characteristic. This can be overbearing and unpleasant in high concentrations, but Samuel Smith's and Black Sheep are not guilty of that.

I have had three of their offerings and found them all to be winners.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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This was new to me.  It's interesting, so I hope anybody familiar with HOLY  GRAIL ALE will post impressions of it.

I haven't had that particular ale, although it is available here in Charlotte. I've tasted Black Sheep's Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale, which is a fine English Brown Ale. Here are my tasting notes:

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

The derivation of Riggwelter is interesting. From the website:

Riggwelter: from the Old Norse: rigg-back and velte – to overturn. When a sheep is on its back and cannot get up without help, local Yorkshire dialect says it is rigged or riggwelted.

I am sorry to say I am ignorant about what is where, even after traveling to London in December.  Where is Masham?

There is a link to a map from the website. Mouse over the word "Contact" on the top right side of the home page and click on the link that appears. Masham appears to be in between Leeds and Newcastle in the Yorkshire region of England.

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Great posts! I appreciate the info on the brewery's location, and the fermentation style, and the tasting note.

I'll be on the lookout for the Riggwelter. The predominant package store chain down here, ABC, claims they will order whatever the customer wants, so maybe they will try to get Black Sheep beers. If not here in Florida, perhaps in some of my travels elsewhere...

Cheers.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Great posts!  I appreciate the info on the brewery's location, and the fermentation style, and the tasting note.

I'll be on the lookout for the Riggwelter.  The predominant package store chain down here, ABC, claims they will order whatever the customer wants, so maybe they will try to get Black Sheep beers.  If not here in Florida, perhaps in some of my travels elsewhere...

Cheers.

Case and Keg Beer World has a good selection of beers if you make it as far south as Boca Raton. I know that is a hike for you but we in NC regularly drive 3 hours to buy the high gravity beers that are currently unavailable for sale in our state.

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Thank you!! Surely I will drive that far for a good beer shopping. It's a lot less than what my husband has been doing to shop for beers for us, 12 to 14 hours north. I love to drive around, exploring Florida, so that will be my plan when our current supply starts to dwindle.

The site is bookmarked, and the route is mapped. :smile:

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I do hope to return to England after our one brief stay there, and if so, will plan to visit that area now that I know about this. I'm not sure what it is, but something about Black Sheep Brewery is calling me! ...Could have something to do with drinking that bottle of beer. :biggrin:

Gary, it's good to hear that coming from you. I like your taste in beer!

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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This little corner of Yorkshire has been the location of an annual pilgrimage for me, my family and whichever friends I can harness into the trip. I have visited the brewery about 7 or 8 times and cannot say enough great things about their beer, or all the towns on the line between York-Masham-East Witton-Askrigg-Reeth.

On my first visit in 1997, they were closed for a "special event" and we weren't able to do the brewery tour. They did, however, give us free passes for a tour on a future visit. Somehow, those free passes were one reason we continued to travel to this part of the UK year after year.

You can read on their website the interesting brewery history and how Paul Theakston started Black Sheep, in fact, putting the brewery right next to the Theakston brewery that his family used to own. Theakston's gives tours also.

Both Theakston's and Black Sheep are found in the many pubs throughout the area. If you think they're wonderful in a bottle, drinking them cask conditioned in a cozy pub with a roaring fire and snow lightly falling is just about one of the finest experiences a beer lover can have in a lifetime.

Most of those pints have been downed at The Blue Lion in East Witton, about a ten minute drive away. Food at The Blue Lion is utterly superb, and is consistently so from year to year. (If someone can teach me how to post an image, I've got one of them pouring a pint of Black Sheep). Not only is Black Sheep Bitter found pretty regularly from the cask, but so is Riggwelter. One or two others can also be found, and all of them are hand pulled at the brewery.

If you're seriously considering visiting the area, don't hesitate to PM me for info. I'd be happy to share with you all sorts of things (food and drink are my specialities!) from my many visits to the area.

Edited by syzygy8 (log)
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This little corner of Yorkshire has been the location of an annual pilgrimage for me, my family and whichever friends I can harness into the trip.  I have visited the brewery about 7 or 8 times and cannot say enough great things about their beer, or all the towns on the line between York-Masham-East Witton-Askrigg-Reeth. 

On my first visit in 1997, they were closed for a "special event" and we weren't able to do the brewery tour.  They did, however, give us free passes for a tour on a future visit.  Somehow, those free passes were one reason we continued to travel to this part of the UK year after year. 

You can read on their website the interesting brewery history and how Paul Theakston started Black Sheep, in fact, putting the brewery right next to the Theakston brewery that his family used to own.  Theakston's gives tours also.

Both Theakston's and Black Sheep are found in the many pubs throughout the area.  If you think they're wonderful in a bottle, drinking them cask conditioned in a cozy pub with a roaring fire and snow lightly falling is just about one of the finest experiences a beer lover can have in a lifetime.

Most of those pints have been downed at The Blue Lion in East Witton, about a ten minute drive away.  Food at The Blue Lion is utterly superb, and is consistently so from year to year.  (If someone can teach me how to post an image, I've got one of them pouring a pint of Black Sheep).  Not only is Black Sheep Bitter found pretty regularly from the cask, but so is Riggwelter.  One or two others can also be found, and all of them are hand pulled at the brewery.

If you're seriously considering visiting the area, don't hesitate to PM me for info.  I'd be happy to share with you all sorts of things (food and drink are my specialities!) from my many visits to the area.

Wonderful post about the brewery and the area... Somehow, I've been imagining scenes such as that. Thanks. When my budget allows me to get more serious about my intentions to visit, I'll get in touch with you.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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This was new to me.  It's interesting, so I hope anybody familiar with HOLY  GRAIL ALE will post impressions of it. 

Thanks for the inspiration to give this one a try. It has a lot going on, but at the end of the day, I'm not too crazy about it. As I posted earlier, I really like this brewery's Riggwelter, so I will stick with that one in the future. Here are my tasting notes:

Appearance: Pours a nice clear light amber body with a fluffy head that lasts quite some time and leaves a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass

Smell: A fair amount going on - primarily grassy and herbacious with an undertone of caramel malt and a hint of diacetyl

Taste: This ale packs a fairly aggressive assault on the taste buds - starts out fairly bland, but that is followed quickly by a bitter hoppy punch that tastes of sour apples; dries out into the finish and is slightly phenolic but there is a touch of sweetness on the tip of the tongue that joins the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a bit slick and moderately carbonated

Drinkability: Perhaps it is the "burning witches" but this one just doesn't come together well for me; the flavors are schizophrenic and while I prefer an ale that is full of flavor, I just can't see returning to this one anytime soon

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Brent, thanks. You and the others who are so good at tasting notes have me wondering about whether membership would like to have separate, or additional, topics for tasting notes for beer. ..."Official" tasting notes. This really is another topic, so I am starting a new thread. Here it is.

Again, thanks for yours. I am learning a lot.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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