Monty Python’s Holy Grail: It’s An Unladen Swallow

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Sat, Dec 3 - 1:07 am EDT | 2 years ago by
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Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale

Get it? Because you swallow beer. And it’s…unladen?

For record, the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is 11 meters per second, or 24 miles per hour. What it may be when “laden,” with perhaps a coconut husk, I cannot say. I’m not an ornithologist. Or a bird law specialist for those who prefer It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia references.

BOOM, two comedic references in one paragraph. I was born for this. But onto the beer.

What we have before us is a brilliantly branded beer from Black Sheep Brewing. An English pub ale (from as far as I can tell) it’s pretty much a standard, straightforward ale that while possessing notes of the English noble hops and British barley that I’d expect, actually has a bit more to it than some others I’ve encountered in the past.

In this, I find an ale that embodies not only all of the wonderful reference inspiring jokes for article writing that I love and make a living upon, but also the nuttier, sweeter malt aspects of good U.K. brews that I really enjoy. In this, I find myself enjoying notes that are almost oaky and definitively English in a way I find difficult to explain. If I was to take an honest stab at it, I’d say I like it as it reminds of so many good Scottish ales I’ve had in the past. But that’s a cheap jab.

Honestly, taking this from the eyes on, there is a fine and honest amber-brown hue that inspires a sense of trust in it. To the nose, a nutty and gentle malt profile emerges, validating just about everything I’ve said thus far. At a sip, the beer proves to be very smooth while rich in the pub ale flavors that, while disserved in many cans by the addition of nitrogen, is served up beautifully in its raw and naked true nature.

I cannot believe, for my part, that I have overlooked reviewing this beer as long as I have. For two years now I have sold it, chuckled at it as it sat on my shelf and inspired memories of the hundreds times I’d seen the film itself. Yet in all that time, not only had I never reviewed it, but I had never even tried it, much to my lamentation in this article, as it is an exceptionally smooth and tasty British sip.

I have tweeted to Eric Idle and John Cleese repeatedly about this beer and now feel ashamed for having never put the shameless promotion of this column into line with such attempts to crack jokes via social media. All in all, this review is starting to make me feel bad. Like a failure. Like a knight who after questing for an entire film, ends up arrested by local police for something which happened ridiculously early.

But hey, I’ve made it. Done it. It’s done now.

So to Black Sheep Brewing, to the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and of course now, at last, to you, I say as always…


While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.

Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.

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