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Whale's Tale Pale Ale - Cisco Brewers Inc.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,013 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,013
Reviews: 356
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 89 | FT: 0
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whale's Tale Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,013 | Reviews: 356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a can as it was all that was available. Love the can art.

Poured a golden yellow with a frothy white head. Head is solid, a good 2 fingers, and retention and lacing are good.

Smells of sharp dry hops and fresh water.

Taste is smooth, with the sharp sweetness of the hop on the finish.

Mouthfeel is fresh and clean. Body is on the light side.

Drinkability is good. I feel bad that I got this in the fall otherwise this would have easily been my summer pick for a pale. Easy to drink a few in a row.

LumpyGuitar, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a can of this at Chevy Chase a couple of days back.

A beautiful amber with a dense white head with excellent retention and lacing, this is especially gorgeous. The nose has a nice herbal and minty hop character. Specifically, this almost has a little peppermint oil.As it warms, a pleasant malt character appears, the Marris Otter and mild sweetness. The MO character is actually really low. The palate opens herbal and light citrus, along with some light sugar and caramel sweetness. The malt base isn't particularly complex here, this doesn't has the depth I'd expect from a MO-forward beer. Light in body with high carbonation, providing a crisp finish. There's a light bitterness, along with some light hop flavor with citrus and light herbal character. Decent stuff.

DefenCorps, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
3/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

PDXHops, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

ThreeDimesDown, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: yellowish brown ale; very prominent head and excellent lacing
S: slightly sweet aroma
T: classic English-style ale; not sweet; a bit of tinny overtones; slightly hoppy; not complex, but very good body
M: average mouthfeel
D: definitely worth repeated visits

Arithmeticus, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey, this isn't an "American Pale Ale" despite how it's listed here. On the label, they describe it as their "English-style" pale offering, and I couldn't agree more. In a blind tasting, I'd totally pin this as an English import. In fact, I gotta say, this is the closest any American beer has come to nailing the nuances of an English ale, in my experience. Thoroughly impressed with the effort.

Where they nail it first is in the appearance. Cloudy, unfiltered/sedimental, rose-orange tinted in the liquid. Cloud-like/mashed-potato-like texture to the head - quite a bottle-conditioned/cask appearance.

Fruity tangelo notes in the nose, hopped maybe a little more aggressively than needed. The yeast and malt factors are pretty spot on. I don't know how they've treated the water, either, but I'm guessing that that played a big part in the success of the imitation.

The taste and, to a marginally-lesser extent, the feel are remarkably accurate. Moderately bitter-hoppy and malty upfront with the estery fruitiness following. The bitterness would classify this as a bitter or best bitter in my estimation. Noticeably bitey on the after, and long after.

Domestic English Pale that captures the style? Hell yeah - I've been looking for something like this for long time. Price is right (relatively cheaper). Cheers!

Bouleboubier, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of cpanossian
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious copper honey colored ale. Sweet candy aroma and taste. Pours with a half inch head that quickly settles. Seems too sweet to be an English pale ale. But I still think this is a fantastic and thirst quenching beer. Gets better as it rests too.

cpanossian, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 1 ½ fingers of foamy bright-white head. This retains with some creamy froth around the edges, leaving a moderate amount of patchy lacing behind. The aroma is earthy, citric, and spicy, with the thick doughy sweetness of the Maris Otter malts really giving this a deep smelling tanginess in the nose.

The taste is bitter with earth, citrus peel, and fruit but is well balanced by some softer tropical fruit character and the sweet and tight feeling biscuit flavors of the malts. The finish is dry and spicy, lingering with some leftover earthy tones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp, yet there is a touch of slickness that keeps pretty smooth in the mouth.

This was interesting. This tasted English but had a boldness to the flavors that reminded me much more of American take on the Pale Ale style. The deep earth and tanginess of the profile hindered the drinkibility a bit for me but this was still pretty solid overall. Bonus points for the portability of the container. It's good to see Cisco getting on board with this.

Kegatron, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of mooseisloose
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A selection that arrived from the BOTMC, lets give it a whirl. This brew has a great bottle smell of red licorice and malt. Pours to a cloudy bronze amber color with a creamy multi-size bubble head that laces nicely on receding. Taste of this brew continues the licorice flavor. Nice hopping with a bite expected for a pale ale. Sweet for a pale ale with notes of licorice and butterscotch. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. For a pale ale, not really on the mark, but a very tasty brew. Not really a sessioner with the sweetness but would pair great with a salmon or tuna.

mooseisloose, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of lstokes
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a cute blue can, didn't pour it because I enjoy drinking craft beer out of cans just that much. It has a relatively weak but pleasant nose--toasty with citrus hops--and tastes like that too, but very bright and effervescent, with really nice grapefruit, citrus, tangerine against a sweet biscuit malt. All pale ales should be this well-hopped! Carbonation is also perfect, and I would love to reach for this one on a hot summer's day.

lstokes, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark amber not much head.

S-A little fruity a little flowery a slight zip of hop and a bunch of malt.

T-Like the nose. Begins quite sweet. Bready, toasty etc. mild hop bitterness and unfortunately the taste leaves a long lasting metallic aftertaste.

M-Light/medium. Carbonated.

D-Wouldn't want more than two or three but worth a try.

VelvetExtract, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Ezone024
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out of a very attractive blue can, a nice clear amber with orange hue and nice carbonation. 1 inch sea foam head, has a semi sweet candy aroma mixed with a little citrus hop. leaving nice lacing in the glass.

medium bodied brew, well balanced between sweet malts and fresh hop flavors. if this brew had a malt to hop meter it would be directly in the middle. Easy going in and Easy going down, good sessions brew. pick up a 6'er while you CAN

Ezone024, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of MeisterBurger
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice caramel amber topped by a thin film of head. Spots of lace are present.

The aroma...what aroma. It's very muted with only remote grains and citrus to be found if you're part bloodhound.

Taste is a bready biscuit malt with a residual powder sugar in the middle followed by a clean bitter finish and a light herbal chalkiness in the aftertaste. It's listed as an APA here but it's more akin to an English Pale Ale with a greater sweetness and hint of citrus. If that makes sense.

Mouthfeel is medium with a good amount of carbonation. No complaints here.

Overall it seems like the only time I rave about pale ales is when they creep in to IPA territory, but if you're looking for something a little more pedestrian you could do a lot worse than this. Because, yeah. I like it. But it's kind of like that plain girl next door with the great personality that you would date, but who you wouldn't exactly go bragging to your friends about.

MeisterBurger, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.58/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

B967ierhunter177, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is poured from a 12 ounce can into a tulip glass. Beer is bright orange and completely clear. Forms a huge head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate. Looks great!

Aroma is weak, kind of sweet, kind of fruit, eh.

Beer is medium to light in body, easy drinking nice refreshing beer but its pretty fruity in the midpalate. Overall its decent, I'd have it again if offered to me but I doubt I'd buy it again.

drabmuh, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of mralphabet
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured a hazy copper color less than a fingers worth of head. The head dissipated quickly with very little lacing.

S: First thing I'm getting is a little herbal hops with some buttery notes with a light toffee aromas.

T: Surprisingly malty up front with a roasted caramel and toffee malt flavor.The little hint of buttery flavor is right in the mix with a light herbal hop in the after taste.

M: Mouthfeel is mixed....kind of light to medium bodied getting thicker as it warms.

D: Not a bad little APA, but nothing over the top super. Not a big session beer, just a few will do you. Just be ready this one is a little more on the malty side.

mralphabet, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of bmwfan1987, thanks Curt! Pours a slightly hazed light copper color with a thin layer of tan foam. Not much in the way of retention or lacing.

Nose is a nice balance of toasty and biscuity malts with an earthy, floral hop aroma. Sweet grains creep in there and keeps it low on the fruitiness. Pretty clean and pleasant smelling beer.

Taste leans toward the malts and is both sweet caramel and burning toffee. A light to moderate bitterness finishes it off and is accentuated by some toast. This could easily be confused for an amber ale, as hopping overall is pretty light. Keeps is clean and simple. Not a bad brew, I have had a couple tasty offerings from Cisco now.

twiggamortis420, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of bobsy
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great copper with a couple fingers of off-white head that lace well as they settle to a tighter cap. I've always found the pale ale tag a little constricting, as some of these beers can only be classed as pale in comparison to a stout, but there's no denying that this one looks good. The aroma isn't remarkable, but does have pleasant notes of citrus, grain, biscuit and pine. Nothing's overboard, and it all seems well-balanced.

Pale ales easily fall a little short on the palate of someone used to more hops, which means they have to be pretty special to garner attention. Its too bad, because in of itself this is a decent beer. The pine and citrus hops from the nose bring some decent flavour here, along with a lightly crisp bitterness in the finish. They're nicely balanced by some toasty biscuit malt, and the end result is pleasing. While not very exciting, it is very approachable, and I could imagine a lot of people really liking this one (just maybe not many BAs). the body and mouthfeel is exactly what I'd expect - medium to light with a medium carbonation.

This is a fairly inoffensive beer - no great flavours going on, which neither hinders its drinkability nor makes you want to rush to the store and buy it again. Its the kind of local beer that you drink without thinking, but wouldn't send across the country on a trade. In essence, its the unglamourous, workmanlike face of brewing, but its also well worth a shot.

Thanks to Shawn for sharing.

bobsy, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a pint glass.

a - Pours an amber color with one finger of white head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, piney hops, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, citrus, and maybe a hint of pine.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent APA that is very easy to drink. Would try again sometime.

mdfb79, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz can in a standard pint glass. Thanks to LarryG.

A - A brilliant copper color with good clarity and a small white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Piney hops with some toasted malt.

T - Nice piney hops with a moderate citrusy bitterness that lingers for a while. But the hops are almost balanced by a toasted malt with a touch of caramel. Good flavor and complexity.

M - The carbonation detracted a bit. A burst of very fine bubbles would release on contact with your mouth giving it too light a feel. It detracted a bit from the experience.

D - A fresh, flavorful and fun beer. I was surprised and impressed with this one.

GJ40, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of airohead2001
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light copper red with a fluffy one finger light tan/orange head that quickly fades to nothing. No lacing. A few bubbles surround the rim of the glass

S - Mild citrus hops - oranges, lemons, and tangerines.

T - Similar to the taste, but even more citrusy. Some lemons up front that quickly give way to oranges and tangerines in the finish. Nice and light.

M - Good for a simple, light tasting, refreshing beer. Pretty thin with nice carbonation.

D - Just about as drinkable as it gets.

This is a short and simple review for a simple beer. Not a ton of flavor or aroma, and not a ton of depth. But overall, it's a decent enough drink. Great for a light nightcap or a refreshing summer beer. Not something I would go out of my or trade for, but certainly something I would order on a sunny day in a beer garden.

airohead2001, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of tone77
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade.Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of sweet malts and hops. Taste is predominatly of hops, some malts, finishes bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

tone77, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of rosmhuire
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack of these cans when I was up in Boston over Father's Day.

A: No idea - I was at a BBQ, so I was drinking these bad Larrys straight from the can.

S: Nice malt and hop balance.

T: Much like the nose, the taste is all about balance. Nice hop and malt balance, dancing together in righteous harmony.

M: Medium-bodied

D: Very good - could easily throw back a few of these in a sitting and feel A-OK about it. Love the cans!

rosmhuire, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of uustal
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fruits shine through this American Pale Ale. Hints of orange and cherry are the main flavors. Mild sweet taste to the beer. Finishes with a little hop and some dryness. A little watery as well creates a light mouthfeel. Not a big flavored APA by any means.

uustal, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of Pittsburgh
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a different pale ale, not what I was expecting, only slightly does it have that bitter/crispness/almost watery quality to it, which is good to me, because alot of times pale ales are lacking in the flavor department to me.

This is almost along the lines of an IPA for me, like a really fruity IPA. Pretty bitters, but not overly so, very fruity, tastes almost juice-like, with a bitter twist at the end. Pretty well hopped, but definitely dark for a pale ale. Color is a murkey orange/golden brown.

I like this beer, I don't know if I'd consider it a pale ale due to the fact that I would expect it to be a lighter beer, but still a solid beer, good for summer, could be easily paired with fish and would taste excellent.

Pittsburgh, Jun 13, 2010
Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,013 ratings.