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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.

845 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 845
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
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Ratings: 845 | Reviews: 347 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of palma

New York

1.5/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The cap came off like a rocket and the head was the biggest i've ever seen. Stong hop flavor though still seemed a little watered down. Extremely high carbonation. I did not like this beer at all. I'd like to give this brew another chance but because it doesn't have a born-on or exp date Im not gonna get suckered into picking one of these again. I'll try it when Cisco Brewers gets smart enough to date their beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2004 04:18:56 | More by palma
Photo of Billolick

New York

1.53/5  rDev -58.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2004 00:20:56 | More by Billolick
Photo of leif86


2.25/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Squealing Pig in Boston.

Pours a cloudy coppery brew with little off-white head. A very floral aroma from this particular beer backed by the smell of hops. Tastes much the same as it smells. Too flowery and sweet and not bitter enough for either an APA (as it is listed here) or an IPA (as it was listed at the bar). This taste vanishes quickly and leaves you with a slight malt and slightly lemon like taste. I couldn't even drink one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2008 05:28:35 | More by leif86
Photo of tapman


2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. can. Best by : Feb 2012

Thin tan head that levels quickly with a light webby lacing. Medium-dark brown body. Nose fresh cardboard with a little musty peach, like when home brewers use cheaper dried yeast. Taste is similar, though with more of the peach character and a white wine tartness. Bitterness is very sour and doesn't balance well. A little dry. I am not a fan, though I'll give the other brews a try.

Serving type: can

11-10-2011 01:26:11 | More by tapman
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Glad to have gotten a 12oz single, as opposed to a six pack or the larger bottle.

Dark amber pour. Much darker than I expected. No head, just a halo of foam. Practically no lacing. We're not off to a good start.

Sweet, musty, somewhat vegetal aroma. Not terribly appealing. Not picking up on the fruity hops that the label boasts.

Flavor pretty much follows. Sweet, with a dissatisfying bitter finish. No real lasting flavor. No flavor at all, really.

Medium-bodied. Not sure what's up with the carbonation here...it's very aggressive and tingly on the tongue. Like Pop Rocks or something. Wasn't expecting that. Kind of thin. This just isn't a good beer. Not enjoyable at all, and the first drainpour I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 03:45:33 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of B967ierhunter177


2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer's appearance was a copper/amber color & poured with no lace. The aroma was mainly plums with butterscotch & brandy notes. Flavor began as plums moving to vanilla & warm raisin pie. Whale's Tale has a medium mouthfeel smooth over the entire palate. Low drinkability due to being filling & it's alcohol warmth. Try it.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 13:00:32 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of greenengineer


2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 Oz can into my Pretty Things pint glass, while watching the Pats.

A - deep bronze color, full head, fades quickly, persitant lacings
S - not much there
T - less flavor than I might expect. Little hop bitterness. Tangy.
M - fairly watery, decent fizz sticks around
O - drinkable Pale Ale. I like that it is local, and in a can. Nothing special, but nothing bad either.

Serving type: can

12-18-2011 23:52:21 | More by greenengineer
Photo of BDIMike


2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy copper color. Very thin white head immediately dissipates.
Smell is very malty for pale ale. Not much else to the smell.
Taste is very bland. Not much hops at all.
Mouthfeel is okay. Good thickness, but I like more punch in a pale ale.
Drinkability is very good, because of lack of hops, but not good because this beer is way too boring to have more than one.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 01:25:44 | More by BDIMike
Photo of MrWinky


2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I lived up in RI for a while was hoping for a bit more from this brewery...The distillery produces some great vodka but the brewery leaves something to be desired...I think its called flavor. Disappointing.

A. Very light amber with little to no head at all.

S. Basically a thin wiff of lemon...was hoping for a bit more hop and at least some malt aroma.

T. A very mild hop/malt flavor. Very much one-note and lacking anything substantial.

M. Weak. Thin. Little carbonation at all.

D. Very easy to drink if the alternative is a ML or the like but definitely not preferred.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 15:14:11 | More by MrWinky
Photo of Sporkus

District of Columbia

2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cool, simplistic bottle. Looks great in a glass. Sort of dark for a pale ale--brownish red-orange.

Smell: Whiff of dark sweetness. Molasses? Not very hoppy, kind of a dull malt scent. Can't find the fruit everyone's talking about. Maybe ... figs? Burnt honey, yes; oranges, no. I like it.

Taste: Herbal and earthy, with a bitter bite. Tastes a little like Flying Dog's Golden Ale. Not fruity, and the sweetness is overpowered by carbonation and watery bitterness. I'm a little let down after a promising start. If I had to rate the taste with an emoticon, well ... :/

Mouthfeel: On the thicker side of medium-bodied. Carbonation's pretty high. Smooth and bubbly at the same time.

Drinkability: Probably not a session beer. I feel like it'd sit heavy and make me burp a lot.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 00:19:02 | More by Sporkus
Photo of Quaffer


2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I like the bottle for this beer. Like the other Cisco beer that I had, it is very minimalist, with just basic graphics and a small amount of text.

Appearance: What is it about Cisco beers and carbonation? Both beers that I have had from this brewery have been mostly foam when poured into the glass. Granted, this one didn't erupt out of the bottle like the Moor Porter did, but it easily filled half the glass with head with a gentle, down-the-side-of-the-glass pour. Like I said, the head rose up huge, but it dissipated very quickly. As it did so, I noticed its strange consistency. It was very coarse and spider-web like. there was no solid body to it at all and, therefore, no staying power. Very strange looking. The beer itself was a deep, hazy amber with a fine sediment floating about.

Smell: Right after the pour, this beer had a great pale alse smell. There was some roasted malt, combined with hints of sweetness. The hops presence was just enough to balance out the malt and was citrusy in nature. As the beer sat, though, the aroma became more generic and flat. It lost all the depth that it previously had.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and very rough, probably due to the excessive carbonation.

Taste: This beer started with a tart fruit flavor that seemed out of place to me. This finally developed into a strange citrus hops flavor on the finish, but I found it pretty distracting until it did so. The hops didn't contribute hardly any bitterness to the brew, just their flavor. There was also some sweet and roasted malt on the finish.

Not very impressed by this one. I will avoid it in the future.

A big thanks to noclueaboutbeer for hauling this one out to Kansas all the way from Connecticut.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2004 01:57:25 | More by Quaffer
Photo of LeoPanna

New York

2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 02:34:10 | More by LeoPanna
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured golden yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, spicy hop, and subtle milk chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, fruit, earth hop, and skunky hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly average brew. Out of the pale ales that I had in this sampler flight this was my least favorite of the bunch. The skunky note I picked up on in this one really wasn’t that pleasant at all and really took me back at first. As it warmed this became a little more sharp. Also the milk chocolate note on the nose felt a little out of place as well. I think this brew might have had an identity crisis if I am honest and didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up. Worth trying, but I doubt I will be having it again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2012 12:09:30 | More by thagr81us
Photo of areich6


2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours very dark copper/amber color. After looking into English Pale Ales that isn't unusual.

S: Lots of malt and bite from something. Maybe hops?

T: Very odd. Don't really know how to describe this. I can taste some amber malt characteristics along with a tiny, tiny amount of hoppiness, and a bit grapefruit at the very end. However, even if this common for the style, I don't particulary like it.

M: A lot of biting carbonation.

O: My experience with "English" pale ales is very limited. In fact this might be the only one I have had. However, even if this beer does in fact stay true to this particular genre of beer, I still must say that I disliked it based on the taste alone. But since it is getting some high reviews, Im going to give it a few points based on the fact that I must be somewhat ignorant to this style and therefore cannot completely accurately rate it.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 04:25:13 | More by areich6
Photo of davewlfpckfan29


2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell is the first thing I paid attention too here. It wasn't that pleasant, there was a fruitful smell, but the lemony smell was not that impressive, not appealing.

Unfiltered, nice appearance, has that light amber look. A lot of head, (I had the beginning of the keg.)

There was definetly a citrus taste that I would campare to Sam Adams Summer. I was not in paticularly please with it though.

The mouthfeel was nothing special either.

Maybe I had a bad batch, or maybe this just isn't my type, but I really did not like this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 23:24:46 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Photo of pschul4


2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Shared with areich6

A- Pours very dark but after looking in to EPA's it's not out of catagory.

S- Smells like your basic Pale ale (citrus/malts) with something else there.. something not so great... molassis?

T- That molassis-ish flavor from the scent is back. And it's the only thing you get out of this taste. Ugh this is gonna get chugged...

M- Best part of the beer (a very low bar) nice and light with some great carbonation

O- If this tasted better it would be an awesome beer... Didn't mean to state the obvious

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 04:19:25 | More by pschul4
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce can poured into a Duvel tulip. Orange-amber body with a modest off-white head but decent retention. A spot of lacing here and there.

An odd beer to rate to style, as it seems to be miscategorized as an APA here. The label indicates its English, and indeed it certainly smells and tastes like one. The hops are earthy and herbal, the malts are buttery and toasty with a bit of tanginess and mildly sweet toffee. A fairly strong metallic flavor puts a bit of a damper on the fun, but it's a decent-drinking brew.

Overall impression: Pretty decent English Pale Ale, quite forgettable as an APA.

Serving type: can

10-19-2010 22:49:19 | More by PDXHops
Photo of micromaniac129


3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber with a light head on top, more like surface slush. It also has a murky and hazy clarity. Aroma is also malts with very little in the way of hops. Taste is malts and sweet at that. I wasn’t very impressed with this one. Made in the English tradition, I’ve try to take that into account but I think it lacks depth of flavor and in fact think it quite borish

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 00:13:27 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Large bubbly head that goes quick. Cloudy amber color - traces of yeast - and faint nose of malt and hops. For a pale it isn't loaded with hops like most are. Starts with a malt/hop mix and finishes with a mild hoppy flavor, it is better after warming some. Look for a black bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2003 18:35:18 | More by jdhilt
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Painted label...nice!

Pours with a really crisp "snap krackle pop" to the head. Always nice to hear your beer.

A extremely clear red-amber body, with fine carbonation, topped by a rapidly declining bone-colored tabletop, which is heading toward oil skid.

A very subdued nose is accented by some herbal hops.

Taste begins with a quick light malt surge, and a wash of herbal, earthy hops, which is all that remains as it quickly fades away. It's quick, it's clean, it's all too easy.

The mouthfeel is light. It's easy to drink, because there is no resistance to anything.

The bottle is nice. Overall the beer is a rather average pale/amber ale. If I find myself on Nantucket I'll give it another shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2004 06:29:04 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of taez555


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured an opaque orange body with a small white head.

Nose has a very biscuit, cracker, vegetable sort of malt smell. Simple classic american micro/craft pale ale smell.

Taste is medium bodied but surprisingly light. A nice mix of flavors; apricots, fresh grain, vegetable, brown rice, yeast, crackers, biscuits and even some mild mild mild milk chocolate. Hops character is nicely subdued and peaks out at the right time giving just enough balance while giving just enough taste. Citrus flavors with lots of natural earth notes. Finishes with a lingering earth, biscuit and yeast flavors.

A nice simple british style/americanized pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 17:54:42 | More by taez555
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this beer had a copper color and a cloudy consistency. Not a whole lot of head, but some good lacing.

S: A mild aroma of malt and grains, but not a whole lot else.

T: Had a slightly toasted malt taste up front, but that turned watery very quickly. Very thin.

M: An average amount of carbonation and a slick finish. medium-bodied.

D: This is a wholly uninteresting beer, lacking character. It never grabbed hold of me and the taste was simply too thin.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 12:42:00 | More by avalon07
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered at joe's in boston on tap. Came in a pint. Had a nice orange with a thin yeasty head. Subtle hops on the nose. A bit watery in the nose even. Very earthy on the tongue. Reminds me new belgium. Almost a bit too grassy. Extremely earthy. Mouth is somewhat watery but has a bift of a kick. Good session for the fans of earthy, not my style.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2010 00:30:35 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of KickbacksSteve


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Best buy November, 2012. Hazy copper body, off white head, moderate retention. Clear lacing, sticky. Aroma includes earthy bitterness, some caramel sweetness. Taste is slightly bitter with slight sweetness on the back end. Really not a bad pale ale, just nothing too memorable.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 08:38:02 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of packetknife


3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Over time I've grown fonder of the pales but this was a dissapointment. Not ~bad~ just not as good as I had hoped given the barmaids spectacular recommendation. Dark orange with some reddness, no discernable head but laces lightly regardless. Good hops and sourdough bread on the nose, some citrus, nice complexity and pleasant tone. Really bland, blah, bland bland. Some hoppiness, yes.. some breadiness, yes. Not much zap to it though. The feel was very good if not ideal but the moutfeel has to combine with the taste and it doesn't here. Drinkable but nothing special.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2005 16:57:15 | More by packetknife
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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.