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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.

846 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 846
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: 846 | Reviews: 347 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WyethBednar


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 Brenden


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 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 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 Andrew041180


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 ryan1788a5


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
Photo of beerpirates


3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz can thx to Chris from the busy bee Raleigh !

The pour is mostly clear copper with a firm one inch off white head.
The aroma is caramel malt with a dry grassy hop. Pretty faint nose.
The taste is a dull caramel maltiness, along with the grassy earthy hops. The malt is more present than the hops. Palate is medium bodied, dull carbonation, dry finish.
This was OK

Serving type: can

11-09-2012 17:33:48 | More by beerpirates
Photo of AleWatcher


4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can into imperial nonic.

An orangey-golden toffee colored body with a small beige head.
Average retention. Virtually no lacing.

Smells biscuity, perhaps even slightly nutty? A pleasant citrusy hop profile compliments the malt quite well.
Mild bitterness.

Overall-- I actually rather enjoy this beer. It is quite sippable and sessionable. It isn't the most flavorful beer out there-- but it is certainly a quality beer. It would make a good crossover beer for a BMC drinker.

Serving type: can

10-05-2012 03:13:59 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a finger of fluffy foam and nice lacing. Aroma is English malts and a earthy, ruddy bitterness.

First sip is minerally, sweet, and lightly hopped. A malty-style pale ale. There is a definite mineral/earthy quality to this brew. Overall pretty unexciting, but no real flaws to speak of. Probably wouldn't get again, but I wouldn't complain if it was the only thing to drink at a party.

Serving type: can

09-24-2012 03:01:46 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a nonic tumbler- pours a clear, relatively dark copper color with two fingers plus of cream colored head, good retention and a little bit of lacing without much lasting power.

Smell is mild and appealing- citrusy hops and carmel sweetness (an American twist on an English style).

Taste is a little odd- strange tang on the backside of the palate. Citrus and minerals up front, followed by a hint of the caramel, back to lemony hops to finish semi-dry. Something just not quite right about it to me.

Mouthfeel is good- medium light body, moderate carbonation, but that weird tang kinda does something to the drinkability. Overall I'd say this is a decent pale ale but lacking direction.

Serving type: can

07-03-2012 23:20:37 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear copper in color. The beer has a three finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces into a very dense finger tall head that is slightly thicker at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts with moderate aromas of earthy and floral hops.

T: The taste of this beer follows the smell... The beer starts out with some pale and caramel malt flavors and then the hop flavors come in. The hop flavors contribute some earthiness and just a hint of floral notes. The beer is very well balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: This beer is very enjoyable and very easy to drink, I find it to be extremely well balanced. This would be a great summer beer for drinking at cookouts. I could easily pair this beer with lots of different foods. Definitely sessionable.

Serving type: can

05-17-2012 21:58:58 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Into a nonic:

A: copper colored body with a two finger thick off-white head that leaves a fair amount of foamy lacing in its wake, barely any carbonation is seen rising. No rings are left as the beer goes down.

S: balanced between the malts and the hops with a slight herbal aroma.

T: balanced between the malts and the hops. A good sweetness dominates the taste.

M: medium with a good smooth and creamy feel. It leaves a wet sweet finish. A medium carbonation is felt in the mouth. This is a pretty drinkable beer.

O: this is a pretty good brew that was balanced all around. Yet, it may be nothing to scream about, its still good. I would have this again.

Serving type: can

05-01-2012 00:20:03 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of slader

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tasty ale for the long term. Full disclosure: After my first sip I was ready to commit the unthinkable: chucking out the 12 pack into the trash. But this beer grew on me. By my fourth can in as many days, I was a respectful admirer. Tastes like the sun dried leather tethered to a harpoon after a day long Nantucket sleigh ride ;) Proof that change is constant and that if you open your mind your palate will follow. P.S. The color is amazing. Authentic copper with a bit of haze.

Serving type: can

04-13-2012 02:27:51 | More by slader
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a pretty good pale ale. pours a hazy copper color with a rather small off white head. smells crisp and refreshing, lemony hops and a healthy dose of english malts lends a nice light doughy smell. flavor is refreshing too, a nice pale ale for springtime. the english malts give it just enough body, but the hop profile is the star here. a little fruity without being sweet, and crisp without being at all bitter. excellent with a grilled veggie burger. full enough body to stand up to all kinds of food, i will buy this one again.

Serving type: can

03-26-2012 18:37:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Tartarus


4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A&S: Pours with about a fingers worth of head despite a delicate pour. Looks fantastic. Smell is citrus with a bit of malt, nothing stands out too much.

T&M: Taste is a balanced blend of malts, hops and citrus flavor in a very smooth mouthfeel. This is my third or fourth can of my 12 pack, and I've noticed that it seems a bit off-puttingly smooth when poured aggressively, so I've tried to take that into account during the pour. With a delicate pour there is a nice crisp hint of carbonation.

O: Very solid. Pretty tasty and not too pricey. A nice session ale that won't rip your taste buds off but that still has a good crisp taste.

Serving type: can

03-04-2012 03:22:27 | More by Tartarus
Photo of NoLeafClover44


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into standard pint.

A - Pours a deep, hazy, amber with a one finger head. Retention is good and the lacing is great.

S - Biscuity malt, toffee, sourdough, grain, and a sweet fruit background. The hops are not very prominent in the nose.

T - Follows the nose with an overwhelming buttered bread flavor. Mildly sweet in the beginning, with the hops making an appearance for the finish. The hops are slightly bitter, rounding out the flavors. Very enjoyable.

M - Slightly chewy feel with decent carbonation.

O - I support this brewery whenever I can because of the great times I have had at the brewery while visiting on Nantucket. This is a very respectable flagship beer from Cisco in what I consider to be an underrated style. I think it is a bit thicker than I would like from a beer that claims "perfectly suited for your next session" but I would definitely drink a few. The all-blue can stands out among the rest and I appreciate the simple artwork. Very well done from Cisco Brewers.

Serving type: can

03-01-2012 02:52:33 | More by NoLeafClover44
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 engagechad


4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single - pint pour

Pours a nice golden orange with big pillow head, took a while to come down. nice.

Smells fruity, really fruity, in a good way if that's your cup o tea. Taste follows, acidic and tart, pleasantly so.

Feels super smooth and drinkable, this went down fast.

Overall this is a solid pale - I DO plan on buying this again. This would be a great boat beer in the spring time.

Serving type: can

11-16-2011 16:20:49 | More by engagechad
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 tronester


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a creamy off-white head. Smells of sweet toffee. Taste is toffee up front, followed by some earthy floral bitterness. Sweet candy finish. Mouthfeel is rich. Overall quite good. It does seem to be missing something, perhaps the yeast from tasting just like an English bitter. A very good beer either way though.

Serving type: can

10-16-2011 23:43:54 | More by tronester
Photo of bfields4


4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice large tight white head. Golden amber hazy body.

English aroma toffee biscuty bit nutty and butterscotch. Light floral hop is vague, but there.

Slight yeast fruityness apricotish. Toffee and caramel are met just by a touch of bitterness.

Nice beer very balanced flavors meld nicely into a uniquely british pale ale. Very light mouthfeel. Would be very nice with a meal.

Serving type: can

09-27-2011 02:54:41 | More by bfields4
Photo of rsdaugherty


4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can into pint glass
A – 2 finger light tan head on top of a hazy amber with gold edges, lacing left all around and finished receding with a thin top layer 4.5
S – Leather, berries, grasses, caramel with a slight citris & pine 3.5
T – Very well balanced, light bread, slightly bitter hops with orange semi-sweet malts & caramel, yeasty floral bitterness. 4.5
M – Moderate body with ample carbonation provides lightness, has texture without being chewy 4
O – Makes my best of Pale Ale list, I really enjoyed this beer and will be picking this up in the future when available in Denver. Top notch drinkability. 4.5

Serving type: can

09-12-2011 23:16:32 | More by rsdaugherty
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours amoight yellow straw color with a decent head that recedes at a fairly quick pace. The smell is earthy hops with a bit of a malt backbone. The flavor follows suit with earthy bitter hops in the flavor and a good breadlike malt backbone. Tue mouthfeel is fairly light with good carbonation. The is a very drinkable beer on a hot day and a great example of an English pale.

Serving type: can

08-24-2011 12:02:44 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of ActonBrewer


3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: golden orange, decent head. Dissipated quickly, most likely due to serving from a can.

S: Great aroma of english hops. Definitely picked up the EKG

T: Well balanced flavors. Just enough malt to back up the strong flavors of english hops. Maybe a little citrus?

M: good carbonation, but maybe a little thin.

O: Decent English pale ale. Serving from a can effected the overall appearance of the beer. Much better appearance from a bottle. Definitely recommended.

poured from a can into a 4 oz tasting glass

Serving type: can

08-16-2011 02:48:22 | More by ActonBrewer
Photo of TJBurgess


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#33. Can into a Portsmouth pint.

A: Rusty orange, off white head that sticks around for about 30 seconds. Average for EIPA.

S: Good bit of English malts and a lift whiff of hops on the back end. Good smell to it.

T: Odd initial taste of some citrus, fighting it out with the malts, then finally the hops clean to the finish. Took a couple sips to get used to, but then really enjoyed.

M: Nice, smooth carbonation with a malts thickening the overall feel.

O: Nice English IPA, even though I'm not a huge fan of the style. I would keep a few cans around for the change of pace.

Serving type: can

08-07-2011 17:41:17 | More by TJBurgess
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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.