Whale's Tale Pale Ale - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Whale's Tale Pale AleWhale's Tale Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,112 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,112
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 26
Gots: 163 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 12-07-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,112 | Reviews: 366
Reviews by RussBecker1:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slight hazed burnt orange with some chunks and floaties swirling about with a creamy-like slight off-white head.Fruity estures in the aroma along with some caramel/biscuit malt with a lighter herbal note.Very English hop profile quite fruity and herbal in its character with a big caramel base with that herbal note in the finish.Well if you like English style pales this is your thing,for me its quaffable but not my style,saying that its a decent beer to be had.

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body here is rich orange in color. The head was rather small but very clingy.

Smell – This nose is nicely balanced. The light, even hops are mostly citrus and supported well with a good toasted malt backbone.

Taste – Again, a very balanced Pale Ale. The toasty malts are a bit bigger at the taste and did a good job of holding up the fruity hops.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied with some light carbonation that keeps things interesting. I even picked up a light dryness at the finish. Nice.

Drinkability – This is a good, easy-sipping East Coast Pale Ale that I would definitely buy again.

Comments – I had the pleasure of tasting this one at the Anam Cara pre-party for the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. A pub full of great beer and great friends; what more could you ask for?

Photo of ExtraStout
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod.

Pours a rather murky amber-brown with almost no head. Mild, spotty lacing.

Aroma is caramel malty with some fruity tones and a fair amount of citrusy hops.

Slightly sweet and caramel malty upfront with a nice fruitiness. Leads into a medium bitterness and fair amount of citrusy hop flavors. Finishes a bit sweet and malty.

Medium body, low carbonation.

Overall, a rather tasty APA that shows some balance and doesn't eclipse the malt with hops - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Photo of steelerguy
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cloudy amber, a little too dark for pale ale. Nice 2 finger head, pretty sticky on the side, and almost 0 carbonation...disappointing, could have been much better.

S - Nice bready smell, would have loved to have some hop aroma in there too, but there wasn't much.

T - Nice light malt complimented by some floral hops. A bit delicate, but well balanced and smooth, with a touch of sweetness.

M - Silky and smooth, finishes a little too creamy with no carbonation to clean the palate.

D - This beer could be a good deal better than it ended up being. Some carbonation along with some hop aroma would really improve this brew.

Photo of DRBarnthouse
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pint Glass ...Dark Amber in color - one of the darkest Pale Ale's I've had. Great fruity aroma hits your nose well before the beer hits the mouth. The taste is thick on the tongue with a nice lingering hop taste. This is an EXCEPTIONAL Pale Ale.

Photo of JasonA
4.21/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy orange amber. Very surprised how opaque this amber is. Impressed.

Some citrus, not much hops. I dont get much from the smell. I do have alittle clogged nose, but not to this extent.

Very hoppy tasting for the little smell I got. Nice alcohol bite, didnt see the coming. Maybe biscuit, some citrus. Hops are overpowering flavor.

Dry. Very drying. Nice. Feels like a special beer (costs like one).

Overall this is one of the best APA's Ive ever had. Its not a style I would drink all the time. Very nice to have one once and a while. I would love to find this on draft. Highly recommended.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was copper colored with a medium-sized tan head. There was a bit of lacing. It had a fruity, sweet malt aroma. A fruity taste, mostly orange. A little bit of caramel, and the tiniest bit of hops that came in late. A nice, middle-of-the road APA.

Photo of Todd
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Bukowski's in Boston, MA. A very nice brew with a very bready character, smooth caramel and ample sweetness. Fruity sweetness rides along the beer's backbone. Hop bitterness is low, just enough to balance.

I'd definitely have this again on-tap, and in fact prefer it over the bottle.

Photo of sponberg
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint at Redbones. Deep golden/amber with a vanilla head. Citric hops, apple, and an almost honey like maltiness in the aroma lead to a very well balanced hoppy/biscuity/fruit malty flavor. The finish gets a touch more bitter, but it retains its character through the end. Almost dangerously drinkable as a summer brew.

The bottled version I had a week earlier was much more citric -almost tasted like a cross between the draft version and a Berlinerweisse - and was bottle conditioned with Cisco's typically explosive yeast. Maybe an old bottle? It was still eminently quaffable.

This brewery's beers all seem to be a half step off style - which, as someone who never colored inside the lines, I appreciate.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is amber and has a big head up front. The head dissipates and leaves a floating cloud in the middle.

The aroma is a mix of malts up front, pale base malts and crystal. The hops presents itself at the end.

The taste starts up sweet with a slight sour perhaps from an aciduated not doesn't seem like a hop sour. The carbonation comes in and dissipates quickly. The end a hop bitter comes in and finishes.

Photo of Billolick
1.55/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

cought an obvious off bottle this time. Cap came off with a loud blast. Beer poured very cloudy, super carbonated, huge head that stayed and stayed. off flavors of butterscotch and fusil(sp?) alcohol. Sounds good huh? To bad cuz I was looking foward to try this one. Oh well I will give another bottle a try someday hopefully soon

Photo of fdrich29
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked bottle with a retro, simply stated label.

Lots of thick, out of control, crazy head on this one with nice lacing. Smells of hops and malt and tastes of the same. Lots of carbination starting trouble in the mouth before it settles itself down and behaves. I'm glad I tried this one that called to me from the bottom shelf at Gordon's in Waltham, but I don't know if I would get it again if I had something hoppier to choose. According to their website it was intentionally brewed to be not so hoppy. Some people like less hops, some like more. I'm the later so please grab me a 90 Minute.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy one and a half finger head. Very nice retention, a big ring and a few big bubbles with a slight cap. Hazy golden color. Smells is quite different that the usual pale ale. Very bready, some woody quality, carmel, toffee. Tastes carmel, sweet, some toffee, carmelized almost burnt sugar flavor. Quite different in the finish bready, yeasty, doughy. I'm not sure if I like this but it not the usual earthy, bitter pale. Medium bodied, medium carbing, it leaves a slick oily finish. I could drink only one or two of these in a night. $1.80 a single.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark gold in color, clear, 1/4 inch head, minmal carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and light hops

Taste: tea, hops, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, minimal carb, light bodied

Drinkability: This is an above average pale ale. I like the balck tea taste. I think I could have three but not a six.

Photo of jondeelee
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nose that bears more than a passing resemblance to fresh-baked bread: heavy aromas of toasted grains, yeast, wheat, even a slightly burnt crust. Some nice fruit flavors lie just beneath, with emphases on apricots and berries.

On the tongue, the brew is a good mix of fruits and grains, being almost cereal-like in its mixture of toasted grains with apricots and berries. The hops quickly enter the scene, bringing a halt to the breakfast cereal comparison, but adding a nice light bitter layer of grapefruit and pine. The rest of the mouthful is slightly heavier on hops than grains, but some wheat flavors still come through. The aftertaste is largely hop-based. Subsequent sips lose almost all of the berry and fruit flavors, and the ale becomes hops and grains. Mouthfeel is very light--close to water--and carbonation is set at light to medium-light.

Overall, a decent ale, but I wish a few more handfuls of malt had been added to try and keep the flavors present throughout subsequent mouthfuls.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hazy gold with a finely bubbled 2” of white foam cap that dissipates to thin film. Smell: very bready, fresh baked white bread Taste: rich malty sweet fruit with a gentle hop accent and a slightly dfry finish. Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation.

Photo of Thrasher
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, not the 750. A kickass pale. Hazy muted copper with small head, full fruity aroma. Big bready malts swoop down right off the bat, creating a sweet, fruity malt profile. An extended, excellent hop finish takes over with strong grapefruit elements and some very light grasses all the way at the end of the finish. Overall this is an expertly balanced beer that keeps you coming back for more. Would be a fine session were it not so deceptively strong (6.78 abv). Pairs perfectly with roast chicken, and I'm sure it would treat other meats just as fine.

1/24/03 Currently drinking the 750mL version. Noticeably more carbonation, with a denser creamier head that works very well in smoothing out the beer. Also a more prominent yeast flavor, dare I say overabundant, which I have noticed in other Cisco beers. While this is still very good, I have to recommend the smaller bottle which will seem perverse to many seasoned beer drinkers. However, the smaller bottle has a truer pale ale flavor, with less yeast, sweeter malts and more prominent hops. It is also more bang for your buck: my 4pack of 12-ozers was 9.99, while I believe the 750 is typically 6.99 (although it some places it may be cheaper).

Photo of far333
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, orangey amber. Low beige head despite a good pour. Aroma of slightly sweet and bready malt, some lemony zest and tea.

Initial flavor of thick maltiness, somewhat doughey, morphing to hop spiciness, subtle lemon, some toffee and green tea.

Full, rich, creamy and satisfying mouthfeel. Very drinkable, good session beer.

Photo of BadBadger
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale is a nice amber color. There is a descent foamy head which lasts for some time. The smell is a mixture of sweet malt and hops. The taste is a pleasant blend of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is a beer worth giving a try. Enjoy!

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a decent white head that dissipates to a skin leaving nice lacing.

Smells of floral hops and light fruit with biscuit malt background.

Taste follows the nose with a slight metallic taste and stronger malt character and mild bitterness. The hops are more developed in the taste, with citrus, pine and floral characteristics.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium and watery with average carbonation for the style.

Nothing outstanding here, but a very good session ale.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again really English inspired ales coming out of New England, pours a deep slightly hazed copper hue with a bright thicket of light khaki foam arising with large bubbles. Aroma is floral and earthy more so than aggressive and citric. This is really nice a fruity/earthy subtle experience versus the average American pale that borders as an IPA. Nice breadiness from the yeast and malts utilized here, definitely a beer that can be drank in number wouldn't mind the 12 pack of cans for tailgating. I'm sure this one is meant to be consumed fresh. Still has a fair amount of bitterness but it's completely different kind of hop flavor more earthy/floral notes coming out rather than the high alpha acid hops that our beers typically are brewed with. There's almost a layer of brine that brings the sweet malts, floral/fruity notes all together along with the thick crusted artisan bread like notes that I get with each sip from the yeast. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied what a great drinking session ale it really packs in the flavor I'm glad I tried this beer after seeing it in BA mag ads for the past few years, it's about time I scored a few bottles. I paid high end pricing on this but it was well worth it.

Photo of WyethBednar
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've had this beer on tap and in a can, and while it's considerably better on tap the can is a good alternative if there's nowhere around you that has it. My one complaint would be the price. I paid $18 for a 12-pack, and while it's a pretty solid pale ale, there's nothing about it that should warrant such a steep price point in my opinion.

Appearance - Really inviting orangey-amber color, very transparent. Pretty weak head though, dissipated quickly and there was very little lacing.

Smell - Refreshing, hoppy aroma. Notes of citrus are present.

Taste - A little maltier than I prefer, but that's to be expected in an English-style I guess. You can still feel the hop presence though, and the citrus is there, especially in the aftertaste. This beer pairs well with most foods though and functions really well as a session-type ale.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with a great carbonation to it. Sort of a dry finish which I wasn't expecting but it was nice regardless.

If you can find this beer on tap, I highly recommend it. If not though, the can still keeps the elements in balance and is a perfectly good session beer as long as you don't mind the price.

Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This medium orange-colored brew is bright and completely clear. It forms a sort of frothy little 1/2 finger-tall head with a yellow tint to it. The retention is fair, and eventually just a firm layer is left. Lacing is moderate in both quantity and heaviness.
This comes off very clearly as an English version, and I think it's important to pick that up from the beginning. The character is all there the whole time. It starts off and, all things coming together all the way through, ends with toast, some caramel, herb and tea-like leaf, earth, mineral, and some fruity esters all thew way through. The hops and malts are at pretty even levels, enough of each for plenty of flavor (& aroma), depth and complexity, leaf and earth marrying steel, caramel and toast in particular very nicely.
This beer has a big, crisp bite and a certain brightness, though it gets a little too heavy in the prickle at times and could be somewhat cleaner. It certainly is bright, and there's a layer added with some dryness easing in lightly, but smoothness is affected.

Photo of LeoPanna
2.84/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cisco Brewers Whale’s Tale Pale Ale.. 12oz glass... best before Apr 2012
purchased at a convenient store in Astoria, Queens... they had a few others from Cisco....

A: Beautiful pour... the head formed in a strange rumbling way... deceptively clear reddish-brown color.. one finger white head... lacing is sticky as glue, doesn’t want to leave the sides...i can already tell the carbonation is going to be unique from the way it bubbles up

S: Very subtle hops... almost a fall leaf/twig essence. Not smelling much, might just be the turkish food i have sitting around... 3.0

T: Hard to taste at first because of the heavy carbonation at first. Quickly evolves into a very light hops/cherry taste which quickly turns back into a carbonated club soda feel... Not getting the apricot, orange that people are mentioning...It’s a refreshing beer, I’ll give it that, taste like lightly flavored sparkling water though... 2.5

MF: The carbonation feels like club soda. Not my favorite feel here. Beer doesn’t stick to my lips, the taste is muffled in the bubbles...2.5

O: Overall it’s an average ale with very little to it...Not too impressed, but it goes well with my food. 3.0

Photo of racer2k
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz. can into my favorite pint glass

A - Nice creamy foam pour into my glass from the can. Color resembles an amber color that is a bit darker than a traditional Pale Ale. The two finger head quickly dissipates into a clean looking beer.

S - Nice malt and hop tone that appears to be balanced at the nose. The hop presence is not overpowering but more balanced.

T - Taste starts sweet and slightly hoppy with a distinctive toasted malt finish. Nice balance to this beer.

M - Medium body with good carbonation on board. The carbonation appears to smooth out as you get deeper into the beer. I love the flexible packaging concept with this beer offered in 12-pack cans.

Overall, very nice session beer from Cisco. Well done! I will add this to the lineup especially in cans!

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,112 ratings.