Friday, August 13, 2010

Beer Review: Black Sheep Ale

I have been focussing a little too much of late on American beers and so I thought that I should get back to sampling some of the ales from my nearest neighbours. Black Sheep Ale is brewed by The Black Sheep Brewery in North Yorkshire.

Black Sheep Ale, the more I
drank, the less I liked it.
It pours an amber colour with a small, loose white head that dissipates quickly. Floral hop aroma is very enticing with a perceptible malt background. Carbonation is a little high for my liking, but the beer has a nice complex flavour profile. The nice mouthfeel and flavour is let down by the high carbonation and the lack of any head retention. My initial thoughts were that, at only 4.4% and with a nice bitter fininsh that this could make the perfect summer session ale, however as I neared the middle of this bottle I found it to be actually quite heavy. Another part of this beer that I did not like is the fact that the taste of the Goldings hops starts to grate the more you drink. Used as bittering only, or as part of a combination of flavour and aroma hops I can take it, but when a beer is heavily influenced by late addition Goldings it leaves an aftertaste that I am not particularly fond of.

This beer started off really nice, however the more I drank the less I liked it. Maybe this is a good enough English ale and possibly it is just the hop profile I dislike, but this is not a beer I will be buying again.


Peter O'Connor said...

I absolutely agree with your assessment, it is a disappointing drink that gets no better as it goes on.

However, one of their other offerings, "Riggwelter" is an absolutely STUNNING rich, dark, complex flavoursome beer- that is absolutely addictive.

I wouldn't write off all their offerings, but this isn't even that good as a session beer in my opinion. The hop profile is a little off for my tastes as well, and the overall balance just doesn't sit right.

Mark (Halite) said...

Thanks for the recommendation Peter, I'll be sure to check out their Riggwelter, however I can't recall seeing it available here in Ireland.