03 March 2009

Riggwelter Black Sheep

When we first looked at this bottle with a black sheep on its back prominently displayed on the label, my cousin exclaimed, "Look! A Scottish roofie!". As it turns out, this was the most exciting part of this particular ale. Riggwelter Black Sheep is labeled as a 'strong Yorkshire ale' with a 5.7% abv. When poured, the thick, black malt promises a full flavoured beverage. However like most English ale it is rather bland and unremarkable - much like English weather. The back of bottle explains the name Riggwelter:

From Old Norse: rygg - back and velte - to overturn. When a sheep is on its back and cannot get up without help, local dialect says it is rigged or riggewelted.

Not a great example of a strong, dark ale but it is definately brewed in the English tradition. Perhaps with the 5.7 abv and rather mild flavour profile, English lads feed this stuff to their girlfriends in the hopes that they may become hopelessly riggewelted themselves!

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