Name: Black Sheep Yorkshire Square Ale
Bottled/ Draft: Bottled, not bottle conditioned.
Colour: Golden syrup
Head: Strong head; slightly over fizzed.
Mouthfeel: Nice, ‘beery’ body. Sorry, that’s the best description I can come up with!
Taste: Good bitterness which lingers; surprisingly light on the malt – from the look of it I had expected a deeper flavour.
Comment: I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the Black Sheep Brewery; founded in 1992 by one of the Theakston family it’s always produced tasty, easy drinking beers that I’ve been buying for just about as long as I’ve been drinking beer (although sadly almost always in bottles – it’s hard to find any Black Sheep on tap in the parts of the country I’ve lived in).
One of the features of their brewing is that they use Yorkshire Squares; traditional stone (and in this case, slate) brewing vessels which are square, rather than the more common round wooden or modern steel vats. Whether or not this makes as much of a difference to the beer, as some would tell you, is a matter of considerable debate – from experience of brewery tours, most brewers who don’t have them will tell you it doesn’t make nearly as much difference as the brewers who do!
This beer is named for these brewing vats, although it’s certainly not the only beer they produce in them.
As mentioned above, it’s a lighter tasting beer than I expected from the look (and the strength) but it’s tasty enough. It doesn’t, however, really hold a candle to their classic Black Sheep Ale.