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Whale's Tale Pale Ale - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Whale's Tale Pale AleWhale's Tale Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

844 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 844
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Quaffer on 12-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whale's Tale Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 844 | Reviews: 347 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, coppery color with a decently sized, off-white head. Retention isn't great, settling to a thick film in just a minute or so. Some scattered lacing remains.
Smell is a bit heavy with the scent of sourdough bread with malt, wheat and floral notes behind. Balance is off but it's still an enticing nose.
Taste is more traditional with notes of malt, yeast, wheat, crackers, floral and evergreen. Balance is better and it's a very drinkable and tasty brew.
The body is medium but finishes lighter, while the carbonation level is spot on middle for the style. A slight warming well after the swallow leads to a bready, thistle flavored aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 20:16:45 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With British influence in mind, the brewers of Cisco chase the taste of English Pale Ale that gets us back to our ale-making roots. And that seldom-seen taste is as refreshing to the spirit as it is the palate.

Whale's Tale kicks off with a bright chestnut hue. With no obvious haze, the light ribbons through the beer's body with amber and honey. Its vastly forming off-cream colored head promptly caps the the beer and easily withstands the session. Trickling with broken rings, the beer lacing is organic and random.

With a light toffee and biscuit scent at its core, Whale's Tale opens with juicy malt aromatics of fruit, herb and toast. Its culmination is somewhat of marmalade, fresh-hung tobacco and cake.

Its early sweetness wraps around the tongue and evokes the nutty taste of cashew and brittle while a savory toasted note butts up with caramel and toffee. Herbal teas offer up a pleasant grassiness to balance the apple, fig and orange in the middle. A late charge of bitterness is broad and woody as it pangs against the gullet in refreshing and spicy fashion.

Moderate in body, the texture is creamy-sweet up front but makes up a lot of distance in short order as it finishes spicy and dry. Its creamy carbonation keeps the beer feeling full until the hops set in and dry the beer with the help of medium-warm alcohol.

Though the classic and understated complexity of classic British versions, it quite accurately portrays the shell of what proper English Pale Ale does so well- just a glimpse, but a glimpse will do!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 04:14:00 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of WyethBednar
WyethBednar

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: can

02-03-2014 21:44:41 | More by WyethBednar
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grape juice, and slight herbal aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, fruit, and some charcoal like flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with an odd charcoal quality that reminds me of burnt steak.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 06:48:44 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of illpass78
illpass78

Maine

3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: It's a clear orangey color. If I didn't know better I'd guess it was an orange wheat ale or something similar. Lacing is very minimal. Head starts out strong and then settles down to about a third of an inch that holds on throughout.

Aroma: There's some fruity maltiness in the nose. Doesn't have an off-putting smell but doesn't scream "Drink me!" either.

Taste: Smooth, refreshing, mildly fruity. It's a solid session pale ale. This is another one of those crafty pale/amber ales that are good starters for folks just getting into craft beer. If a friend came over to watch the game and was looking to get faced on Keystone Light I'd probably be like, "Let's just have a couple of these and chill out. We're in our 30s now."

Mouthfeel: Very easy drinking and pleasant on the palate.

Overall: Solid pale ale. Not remarkable, but it's not trying to be either. This would pair well with most food and is a perfect choice for a backyard party or cookout. I got this in a mixed six and probably wouldn't run out to get a whole six pack unless I was having people over and wanted a likely-to-please craft ale. But I'd certainly throw it in a thematic "American Pale Ales That Aren't Wacky-flavored Or Mondo Alcohol And Are Pretty Decent" mix.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 13:31:45 | More by illpass78
Photo of BrewUSA
BrewUSA

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cisco Whales Tail Pale Ale

Look 8/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 34/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 83/100

Nice Pale Ale with solid Hop presence. Has a real nice smooth and refreshing taste. I would suggest it to a friend, I don't see myself bragging about it though. Not enough complexity. Would session very well~

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 03:59:14 | More by BrewUSA
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm getting kind of tired tonight, so an easy one now ... a nice simple pale.

It comes out a little dark and tastes the same, but only slightly so It has a nice hoppy aroma. The taste is a clean, crisp pale ale taste. Correct for the style

The aftertaste is clean as well, and it lingers long and nice. Overall, a competent pale and a refreshing drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 01:55:50 | More by schoolboy
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: can

12-08-2013 20:48:22 | More by Brenden
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy (some slight chill haze, goes away a bit as it warms up) medium to dark amber beer. Thick light tan head which lasted for awhile and eventually died down to a good thin skin of foam across the top. Persistent lacing in sheets and occasional strands.

Smell: Fruity hops with some sweetness to it - hints of cider and honey.

Taste: Reminds me more of an English bitter, but definitely English in style. Fruity notes, honey, apples, cider, tea-like bitterness at the finish. The bitterness is strong, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but on the high side for an English pale ale, sticky on the teeth and little bit creamy underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Tasty beer. Not sure I'd want another one right away, but I wouldn't mind having it again, or having a full pint vs. a 12oz glass. Went well with food (parsnip soup, grilled cheese sandwiches) and I think it might go well with other food as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 23:48:58 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper color, with a moderate head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Earthy, fruity hop notes
Taste-Subtle toasted malt, white grapefruit-rind bitterness-nicely balanced, flavorfull and sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 17:38:16 | More by hosehead83
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish orange with tiny white head. Floral and malt aroma with hints of sweet fruits (cherries?). Taste follows with big floral flavor on top of some cherries and bland malt flavor (malt extract?). Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Not a bad beer, but not one to seek out. Tastes very much like my first homebrew.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 23:53:17 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Hesperus
Hesperus

Virginia

3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Soft, clear amber with short-lasting thin, white head.

Smell: Caramel-like maltiness, earthy hops, fruity yeast notes, barely detectable citrus notes.

Taste: Caramel matliness and earthy, piney hops. Some fruity esters. Very dry.

Mouthfeel: Thin and dry with moderate carbonation, refreshing.

Overall: A good pale ale that drifts away from the standard ultra-piney hop aroma/flavor that one expects from more American styled pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 20:06:56 | More by Hesperus
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle lured into a pilsner glass

Copper russet liquid with faint carbonation. Two finger white foam cap settles down with a beautiful history of lacings.

Aroma of malts with a hint of citrus , fruit and pine.

Gentle malt with a rush of hops, slight bitterness, lingers on the tongue. Mild bitter aftertaste. Light mouthfeel .

Nice , enjoyable beer. Not one that I am rushing out to fill up my fridge but would drink it again if offered on tap.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 03:09:44 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with an off-white thin head with short retention.
Light malty aroma with English hops and hints of earthy hops and caramel.
Flavor is much more intense than aroma. Taste of slightly toasted and nutty malts with lots of English hops. Earthy and caramel notes. Hints of citrus peel and fruits. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with good carbonation.
This is a beef up English Pale Ale. Less sweet and more hoppy than its inspiration. I did like this American interpretation. Very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 02:07:17 | More by FLima
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: A beautiful dark clear amber, finger high white head dissipated to sparse patches of surface foam and a little lacing.

s: Mild malt and pine.

t: Fairly well balanced malt/resiny hops, leaving a rather bitter finish on the sides of the tongue. Tasty malt becomes more evident over time.

m: Moderate with lingering bitterness.

o: A good, hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 04:07:40 | More by scotorum
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I guess this beer came across as really underwhelming. The fact that I paid a good bit for this led to high expectations.
Poured rather nicely with a nice head and ample lacing.
Golden amber in color.
Smelled rather malty...leaned way towards the less hopped up side which is what I didnt expect.
Tasted mimicked. more of a malt backing than hops. I am guessing English style pale ale.

Serving type: can

07-15-2013 14:52:26 | More by dmamiano
Photo of MrMister
MrMister

New York

3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I bought just one bottle at Brooklyn supermarket. It looked interesting so I thought to give it a try.

A-Dark caramel appearance with a bit of fizz, it's nice looking and light shines through quite easily. My beer poured with an almost non-existent white head.

S- Whale's Tale Pale Ale smells great. Very citrusy/fruity with a tiny bit of hop thrown in at the end. Smells a little sweater than most APAs maybe.

T-The taste is clean and crisp, notes of citrus are at the front end followed by a light hoppiness and malt.

M-Pleseant. The amount of carbonation for this beer is spot on. It's very smooth and crisp.

O-I liked the beer enough but I don't think I'll buy it again soon; though I'm always glad to try new beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 18:09:42 | More by MrMister
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 12 pack from the Wegmans in Northborough, MA on 7/6/13 for $ 13.99.

poured from a 12 oz can into a glass tumbler, served at fridge temp.

coppery amber with a 1 finger manila head. nice lacing.

aroma: nutty malt and apricots.

mouthfeel: full and nice.

taste: bunch o malt with fruity notes like apricots or sultanas.

notes: awesome beer, love it!

Serving type: can

07-07-2013 18:33:48 | More by fx20736
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance 3.5: Pours out a very attractive deep, golden brown. Lots of little CO2 bubbles, but very little head.

Smell 3.5: Nice bouquet. light and nuanced hints of malt, yeast and hops. Everything is mid-level and not overpowering.

Taste 3.25: Front is slightly sour, but only slightly. Middle is where the hops and barley seep in, but they are very slight and somewhat dry. Finish is where more of the grains and hops pop up, but again, very subdued and more dryness present. Aftertaste is short and dry.

Mouthfeel: 3.25: Carbonation level is good for this style of beer.

Overall 3.5: Good beer, but nothing that extraordinary. What really sets it apart for me is its dryness. This is a pervasive dryness that is felt at every level of the taste. While this beer is not suited (IMHO) to a good session, it is excellent with food. I imagine it would also be great with seafood, particularly heavy, fried foods.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 04:37:36 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of Mullen2525
Mullen2525

Massachusetts

3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a Wachusett Octoberfest glass with a very thin head, very little retention and no lacing. Clean and clear, with a burnt orange tinge.

S- Earthy with a bit of citrus peel, presumably from the hops.

T- Tastes like it smells earthy with a hint of citrus on the back end that balances the overall bready taste.

M- Smooth to start, dry on the back end.

O- Solid Pale. Great alternative to over citrus peeled summer beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 23:21:34 | More by Mullen2525
Photo of Andrew041180
Andrew041180

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Note: I poured two cans after dinner this evening. The two pours showed different qualities in the appearance. I did a better job with the first pour and will rate the beer based on the better pour.

A - Two fingers of head that showed well-above-average retention. Really thick creamy head that maintained all the way to the bottom. Really nice lacing on the glass throughout. I would call the color a deep copper, someone also mentioned mahogany notes, which I agree with.

S - I rarely pick up strong scents from pale ales and don't give them much thought. I don't remember anything special here.

T - Initial hop bitterness that mellows quickly into a smooth malty medley. I think the main thing I picked up was a toffee flavor. Malt breadiness is definitely prevalent here and works well.

M - Nice light to medium bodied pale. I would have found it odd had it been lighter or heavier.

O - Just a quality beer. Nothing that blows me away, but something that I would enjoy drinking pretty much any time.

Serving type: can

06-02-2013 01:14:04 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2013 01:57:47 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours honey colored with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, not much else

T: Follows the nose, plus a touch of breadyness, some woody hops as well. More pears, plus caramel & dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry with a touch of caramel

MF: Light/medium bodied, firm carbonation, alright balance

This is a passable EPA, but nothing to get excited about

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 02:11:08 | More by russpowell
Photo of Act25
Act25

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a .5l glass.

A: Amber-orange in color with mahogany hues. clear with white head that is foamy, creamy, and rocky. OK head retention, excellent lacing. Good appearance.

S: Mild. Bready. Toast w/ hints of caramel and toffee. balanced by hops, lemon and citrus. Complex includes grass and oil and richness.

T: Initial caramel and toffee. Fresh bread and coffee. Earthy, grassy hops in background. Modest bitterness, tea-like. Semi-dry finish with soothing caramel, fresh bread, and bitter hops.

M: Medium bodied, creamy. Moderately low carbonation.

O: The malt is balanced by the hops. It's a good beer. I found it sessionable. Good first beer of evening or with pub fare and comfort foods. *(grilled burger on pretzel roll, heirloom tomato, grilled peppers, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms)

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 00:19:09 | More by Act25
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber-orange in color with red hues. Excellent clarity. The towering white head is foamy, creamy, and rocky all at once. Superb head retention. Clumps of foamy lacing become a permanent fixture. Great appearance.

S: Bready. Toast and crust. Hints of caramel and toffee. Hoppy zing of spritzy lemon and citrus, grassy and oily as well.

T: Big wave of caramel and toffee. Lots of toast and some crust. It almost flirts with a little bit of roasted coffee. Earthy and grassy hops hold their own. Modest bitterness, slight puckering lemony hop twang. A bit of a tea-like aspect. Semi-dry finish with lingering caramel, toffee, crust, and bitter lemony hops.

M: Medium bodied, but it comes across as a bit husky. Very creamy. Moderately low carbonation.

O: This pale ale lands toward the larger end of today's spectrum. The sturdy malt backbone is balanced well by a confidently assertive hop profile. It's a good beer, but it's size and substance make it more of a one-and-done type of brew than a sessionable option. Perhaps not quite as approachable to the neophyte as you'd want a flagship beer to be, but it certainly has its place. It's a good pairing option for pub fare and comfort foods.

Serving type: can

03-22-2013 23:01:19 | More by ryan1788a5
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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 844 ratings.