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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.

368 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 368
Hads: 1,143
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 23.58%
Wants: 27
Gots: 201 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whale's Tale Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 368 | Hads: 1,143
Photo of illpass78
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
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~

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Photo of schoolboy
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.66/5  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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of Hesperus
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of FLima
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of MrMister
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of fx20736
4.21/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of Mullen2525
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
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

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Photo of Act25
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | 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, spice and a little 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)

Came back to enjoy this in 12 pack of cans at WFM - very enjoyable. upped my rating.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of ckollias
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark golden-amber hue with a thick, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates, leaves a nice trail, and ends in a solid lace.

S: Malty and bready aroma with hints of hops.

T: Similar to the smell there is a malty and bready flavor that is an equal mix of sweet and bitter and finishes slightly hoppy.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just a so-so pale ale. Nothing I would grab again.

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Photo of jera1350
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Absolutely love the label on this. The simplicity of the whale tail and cool looking script.

Crystal clear copper body with a very thin layer of soft looking sandy colored foam that leaves some fair lace.

The nose is pretty light and one dimensional with biscuity/cereal english malt. There is a touch of fruity hops in the background.

Very pleasant flavor of biscuit and cracker with a lighter sweetness from the malt. The hops add a mild fruit and citrus flavor with light bitterness.

Light-medium body with crisp and clean feel.

I put the drinkability on this very high. A very flavorful pale ale that I could easily drink several of. Solid brew.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with a fluffy off-white head and streaming carbonation within a pilsner glass.

Light, clean grains and malt with a light fruitiness, perhaps orange.

Flavors follow the nose quite closely, with light bitterness and a light finish.

Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, no alcohol, and cleansing.

Easily a go-to day-to-day beer which I enjoyed several times during a relaxing weekend while on Nantucket.

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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.