Tall Tale Pale Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

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Tall Tale Pale Ale
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very good

125 Ratings

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Ratings: 125
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 3
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by Zraly:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Copper hued. Creamy with a tiny bubbled white lace.

Smell: Spicy, floral, hop aroma. Grain sweetness is also detected.

Taste: Medium bodied, malty palate with bready grain and caramel falvours. A slightly citric hop bitterness puts it foot down at the end. Finishes sweet with a lingering grapefruit flavour.

Notes: Hop-o-licious and 5.9% abv. This is a big Pale Ale. Very malty and robust for the style.

Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is as big as some breweries IPAs. Deep orange copper colour with a thin off white lace. Solid medium body with a crisp and creamy mouth feel. Sweet bready maltiness with a stodgy citric hop bitterness and flavour. Big drying finish with undertones of citric hop and a cracker like grain. Certainly a classic in the area.

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into a pint glass at the brewery.

Appearance: A lighter ruby red color with an off-white head and fairly good lacing and retention.

Smell: Definite grapefruit rind going on here, though it's not as dominant as one might thing. Balanced it is, however. And as it warms, some strawberries and apples seem to be coming through as far as the fruit esters.

Taste: Hops are dominant here, with a good rind spiciness and citrus component, and lingering mild fruit esters.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation all the way through with a medium body and nice crisp feel.

Drinkability: Not pushing the boundaries, but solid and sessionable all around. Another winner from Cambridge.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice color, but was drawn in by the promise of hops. Was little disappointed. Did not have the "bite" I anticipated, but rather was a little too subtle. Not a bad beer all in all, just false advertising.

Photo of jamesclark
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is a nearly clear mber in my glass (minor cloudiness), there is a small head which reduces quickly.

There is a thick hops aroma, with some fruitiness (pear?), some malt, and a tiny acrid smell, but mostly hops. A mouth-watering smell.

The flavor is dominated by flowery hops and a hoppy bitterness, but it is also creamy and light. Carbonation is also light. There is some tanginess, some spiciness, and a little citrus. The finish is dry, with lingering hops and a malty sweetness.

This beer goes down easily, though there is some bitterness with which to contend.

Good enough for multiple pints, though I tend to prefer CBC's seasonal selection. For me, this one is a little on the thin side, and the finish is a little too dry, but I enjoy the flavor: the bold hops and spiciness, with the creamy character.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Downed several pints of this beer during a recnt outing to CBC. By far,IMO, the best beer on tap at the restaurant. Exceptionally hoppy for a pale ale, served at the appropriate temperature in the approriate glassware as well. Nice lacing throughout, hoppy nose with some pretty big florals going on. Malt blance was a little off.

I felt the beers "drinkability" was a bit weak, it just didn't seem to hold up as the night wore on- kind of like- the beer becoming watered-down....very strange. As far as pale ales goes this one is quite average.

Photo of Franchise
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark red-orange with a thin tan head. The aroma is sweet, honey, earthy, with an array of citrus hop profiles. The taste is fruity steady and smooth starting malty sweet candy, cooked caramel, and a light oily hop bitter feel without being overly "hopped up". This is one straight forward, session quality pale ale. If it was sold in bottles I'd have this in the fridge all year round.

Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap into pint glass @ Cambridge Commons near Boston.

Slightly hazy honey color with a one finger off-white head, which settles to a thin even cap.

Citrus hops in the foreground with a slight toasted grain aroma.

More toasty malts with a little caramel. The hops are somewhat subtle, a little grapefruit and apple. Butterscotch is in there, maybe Ringwood yeast?

Good and well balanced. A good amount of buttery flavors. Recommended. Also saw this on-tap at Cambridge Brewing Company (duh...).

Photo of PeatReek
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: brilliantly clear golden amber color, fine white head.

Aroma: fresh grassy hop aroma, slightly piny. Otherwise cool-smelling, not a lot of malt in the nose.

Taste & mouthfeel: chunky hop flavor kind of burns the tongue, exacerbated by the high carbonation level. Body is a bit thin, but in a refreshing way. The above-average alcohol content actually doesn't burn at all, which is nice.

Drinkability: the hop aftertaste is actually a bit sour, and would definitely hold me to a single quaff of this run-of-the-mill amber ale.

[From notes]

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pretty much a run of the mill pale ale. a little hoppier than most but that's about al that differentiates it from the rest. it pours a nice crisp orange colour with a realtively thin head. smell is of sweet floral hops with some malt mixed in. there are hints of bread and earth here and there as well. the flavour runs very close to the smell, starting sweet and floral then moving more into a dirty malt flavour and finally finishing with a nice balanced combo of both. this one is crisp and refreshing, but there's just nothing major that stands out about it. if going for a basic brew from the cbc, i'd be inclinded to choose the regatta golden and cambridge amber over this one, though i certainly wouldn't scoff at the notion of having to drink this one again.

Photo of StevieW
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice glowing golden color, white fluffy head. Big yummy hop bubbles pop through. Rich hop smell of cascades and florals. Do they sneek Heather in here too ? Not sure. Nice crisp hop kick. Big use of cascades.Medium to light bodied, very refreshing and super easy to drink. Another winning beer from Cambridge.

Photo of carln26
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a shaker pint this beer was a bright orange to copper color with a near perfect cream colored head that settled quickly as I studied the beer. A sheet of lace dangled on the side of the beer as I took the first sip. The nose has balance with mild citrus character from the hops and a depth from the malt. The taste displays the same balance. More fruit than I expected, and a little less hops than I hoped. This would be a great session beer as it is not over the top on any of the components. Very drinkable.

Photo of mullenite
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glassware - Imperial Pint Glass

Appearance - A beautiful red, amber in color with a firm one finger white head that leaves some of the most beautiful lacing I've ever seen before. The beer is very slightly hazy and just gorgeous to look at.

Nose - Big biscuit and caramel malt aromas and generous hops give the beer a unique smell. No one hop aroma sticks out it just adds a bit of a spicy note to the overall nose. Not the best I've ever had, but nice.

Taste - A little smokey biscuit flavor with the caramel in the background and finish. The hops are spicy and herbal and are balanced nicely with the malt flavors. Semi-dry finish, the caramel hangs around in the background.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body with good carbonation. Couldn't be any better in this category, this is how pale ales should be.

Overall - A really tasty beer, I don't think I'll have a problem finishing the growler of this. Really good stuff.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap in a big boy glass @ Atwoods

Clear gold with a thin white head. One hearty lace ring before the retention collared.

Light grain and a leafy, bubble gum citrus hop aroma.

Biscuity malt is dominated by a expansive bitter finish that grows after the swallow. If you wanted a weird image you could say it's like an alpha acid jellyfish expanding in my mouth.

Hoppier than some IPAs, it turned me off while I was looking for something more balanced. Even if in the mood, I'm not a fan of the more bitter than flavorful use of hops.

Photo of awall422
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light reddish gold, very clear with a nice 1 inch foamy head. Little if any lacing.

I didn't get a lot our of the aroma, thoughit was not unpleasant. A little malty, a little herbal.

Initial taste was unexpectedly bitter. Much more hop characteristics than I was expecting from an APA, more than lot of mediocre IPAs on the market. A very pleasant surprise.

Crisp dry finish. I could enjoy several of these at a sitting.

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

4/13/04 - back at CBC
This time brewed with Perle hops. Sweet fragrance. Amber, white head, the usual tiny mild bubbles. Toasty malt. A well-done bitter.

3/25/04 - had two wonderful pints on cask at Bukowski's Cambridge

The glass fresh-pulled is filled with bright lemony foam that settles to cloudy amber which is almost clear at the bottom. A luscious, while pillowy head lifts up a lovely floral scent, and gently dimples as the head dies down.

Dry-hopped with Amarillo, the cannibinoid hops buzz through crisp malt. When I close my eyes I see happy little leafy hops cones. As the resin fades from the palate, sweet malt rebounds yet again.


2/24 at CBC - described as a pale ale with orange peel.

The scent of oranges and sharp, piney hops wafts across the table. It's a reddish, orange, copper with a creamy dense head that dies down fairly quickly. Crisp taste, the malt lightened by resiny, clingy hops. Fine brilliant carbonation. Yummy.

Photo of kmo1030
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

copper with a good tan head. smells of plenty of aromatic hops, quite good. nice big taste of fresh hops, citrus and floral. some bready and caramel malts there too, to balance things out. medium bodied with delicate carbonation. this is a really good all around pale ale, i applied for a job waiting tables yesterday and ended up taking this growler home, i will defintely be returning employed there or not.

Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On-Tap 10/01/05 at the CBC in Cambridge, MA.

Solid golden color with a decent off-white head. Nice strong hoppy grapefruit aroma and flavor. Nicely balanced to the hoppy side without being overly bitter. Medium bodied, smooth, and sessionable. One of the better CBC beers of the day.

This one was really good and we ended up taking a growler of this one back to the hotel along with the Pumpkin Ale.

Per CBC website:
A combination of Cascade and Centennial hops, both in the kettle and dry-hopped.
OG: 1.058 FG: 1.013 ABV: 5.9%

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at CBC

Clear golden-orange pour, with a 1/2 inch or so of fizzy white head; minimal retention and lacing. Good balance of crackery malts and citrusy hops in the nose. Similar taste, with a good balance of malt and hop elements, citrus zest and pith bringing in some bitterness. No surprises here. Light-medium body and easily drinkable.

Photo of RixBeer
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber color with a thin layer of head. Sticks to the sides nicely.

S- Hoppy aroma for a pale ale.

T- Tastey hops and crisp but lingering maltiness

M- Medium body. A little thick for a pale ale but decent.

D- Very easy to drink on this another abnormally cool summer night. A decent Pale Ale but could use less hops. But it's not enough hops to be an IPA. I'll have 2 tonight and share the other 2 glasses from the growler with friends. Should've gotten 2 growlers!

Photo of jdhilt
2.3/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Minimum head, nice amber color but as expected the hops are in your face - the brewer says "a hop lover's delight". I had to try it anyway just to see how bad (good?) the hops are. The malts are hidden.

Photo of smcolw
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured in the CBC Beergarden during the 24th Anniversary.

Hazy gold color with strong starting head. A rim of bubbles lasts throughout the tasting. Plenty of ring lace that never fades.

Predominate bitter flower hop aroma with a sizable yeast kick.

Starts with a solid pale to mildly toasted Crystal malt base. Good hop kick midway. Pepper aftertaste that lasts a longtime. Full bodied with a low level of carbonation.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cambridge Brewing

A: The pour is a relatively clear golden color with a finger of white head on it.

S: Definitely has the nice citrusy aroma that I like in a pale ale. Heavy on the lemon and grapefruit (especially grapefruit zest) with a few floral notes mixed in. A nice bit of bready malt in there for substance.

T: Not much deviation on the palate. Plenty of lemon zest and grapefruit flavors. The bitterness is moderate and the malt flavor comes through nicely without being overly sweet.

M: On the lighter side of medium with a medium carbonation.

O: A well done pale ale. Nice hop character while retaining some malt flavor as well.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewpub and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a copper-gold coloring, with a filmy, clingy, off-white surface coating of head. Nose of piney and grassy hops forward, with a subtle, caramel backbone. Flavors of peppery spice and pine pitch hops forward, with hints of evergreen and pine tassel. Bicuity backbone supports the palate, but does not interfere. Solid, mid-bodied, with a great lacing left behind. Peppery and pine tassel aftertaste, with a dry, spicy finish. Hoppier than most pales, but still balanced and drinkable.

Photo of Gavage
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear orange in color sporting a 2" head. No lacing develops. Light carbonation levels.

Smell: caramel and orange citrus are easily detectable.

Taste: very basic and tasty APA here, as caramel, orange and grapefruit citrus are niclely balanced with a decent bitterness.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Aftertaste was brief with some bitterness and citrus tones. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: great session ale. This will not blow you away, but it will leave your tastebuds happy. Worth having if it is on tap.

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Tall Tale Pale Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.