1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
82
good

967 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 967
Reviews: 354
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 68 | 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: 967 | Reviews: 354 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdrury245
jdrury245

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +8%

A - Pours hazy. White to off white head.

S - Citrus with a hint of sweet caramel.

T - Clean pale and caramel malts. Slight alcohol note. Nice slight bite that hits the back of your throat. Mild compared to an American pale ale.

M - Body medium. Very smooth and clean feeling around the mouth.

D - Great session beer. Nice clean taste with a slight bite that is sure to quench your thirst.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 18:09:59 | More by jdrury245
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%

High ABV for an APA, but really not noticeable at all! Beware before you slam down 3 of these lovely summer brews.

A bit dark in color for an APA, but the head is a nice creamy fullness with great lacing. Moderately strong hop structure, though very subtle, which is nice. Bready malt with some citrus and very balanced English-style creamy body. Caramel and some creamy smoothness. This beer has the refreshing/subtly complex balance down excellently. Finishes well.

Not as bold as most APAs I've had. I still think Smuttynose Shoals Pale is the APA to beat. But fantastic balance and an English creaminess to the pale that allow it to be both refreshing and subtly sweet.

11-18-2009 01:48:57 | More by TLove
Photo of eberkman
eberkman

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +19%

Pours a burnished copper color with a thin, quicly reducing eggshell-colored head. Slight haziness, or is it just a trick of the light?

The nose is more that of an English Pale Ale (which it bills itself as) -- lots of bread and yeast, and a good blast of toffee. Quite inviting.

The taste is one of the better-balanced beers I've had in a while. Big bready notes, good toasty, caramely maltiness with the right bit of fruitiness to keep it from being cloying. Balanced out nicely with a bite of Goldings hops. Nice smappy mouthfeel and extremely drinkable at 6.8&.

This is the first time I've had it bottled and I like it a lot. But I prefer it on tap -- it's my weekly go-to on Wednesday nights at the Local in West Newton (where inexplicably and admirably, this and Ommegang Hennepin on tap are each a buck less than Guinness).

11-14-2009 19:19:12 | More by eberkman
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%

Appearance: dark gold in color, clear, 1/4 inch head, minmal carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and light hops

Taste: tea, hops, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, minimal carb, light bodied

Drinkability: This is an above average pale ale. I like the balck tea taste. I think I could have three but not a six.

11-08-2009 16:40:12 | More by tigg924
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

A good beer but I wouldn't call it a pale ale. It's a little too sweet and a little too belgiany to be called an american pale ale. It really tastes more like a belgian pale ale than an american pale ale. It's very good but a little more intense than the positioning might make you believe.

09-18-2009 22:21:28 | More by david18
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Bottle via trade thanks to ben4321 on ratebeer.

A - Pours a hazy golden-amber color with a small off-white head. Some particulate matter in there.

S - Bready malt, caramel, and mild citrusy hops.

T - Really bready with pale and caramel malts, earth, and orangey hops. A little alcohol too, which makes sense now that I see this is 6.8% ABV. Definitely meant to be English style as the hopping is not nearly as aggressive as you'd expect for an American pale ale - and for the English style, it's not bad.

M - Body is medium and the mouthfeel is pretty smooth.

D - Pretty high. This is actually quite enjoyable despite being only lightly hopped and not very complex. Not a bad session beer.

09-17-2009 00:22:02 | More by nickd717
Photo of OldYoda
OldYoda

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%

Picked this up in my quarterly beer club delivery. Poured a nice cloudy amber into my standard American pint glass. Not much of a head and no lacing to speak of - didn't really look like much going in.

Smell is subdued, some hops and an overlay of malty sweetness.

Taste was surprisingly good - I really found this a very nice APA. Hops are there but are balanced very nicely by a malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp.

Drinkability is fine and really doesn't seem to have the advertised ABV but I'm sure it is accurate.

All in all, a very nice representative of the style. Good job, Cisco. If I can find this locally, I would certainly pick it up.

08-27-2009 02:59:21 | More by OldYoda
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

Grabbed a bottle at the Lansdowne Pub. Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice amber color. Lots of carbonation. Fizzy white thin head. Smelled on the hoppy side. Taste was spot on for a good APA. Not too hoppy, but with enough hops to keep your palate awake. Mouthfeel was a nice combo a hops and some maltiness to act as a counterbalance. I was surprised to see this beer listed as a 6.8% abv, as I found it very drinkable. I love to see that American brewers can pull off a great pale ale, and Cisco has done just that.

08-24-2009 23:35:40 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Noam
Noam

Massachusetts

3.13/5  rDev -14%

The first impression was of these great hops was quite misleading since I did expect a crispy beer with a lighter body.
Pale ale should not slam you with 6.8% ABV (not mentioned on the bottle). The beer was a bit on the malty side for my flavor and I assume the extra hops meant to compensate for that.
Got the 18Oz bottle since I like pale ale and liked the art work on it.

08-11-2009 17:22:07 | More by Noam
Photo of ChuckVee
ChuckVee

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +10.7%

A nice thick tan head floats atop a hazy amber pint. When I think of Pale Ale, this is exactly what I want to see in my glass. Beautiful. The nose is extremely yeasty with some apple-like fruitiness. The mouthfeel is creamy and as the smell suggests, lots of yeasty fresh bread notes and a nice fruitiness. The finish is fairly long with some dry woody flavors and a nice little fleeting dose of hop bitterness. Well crafted, tasty, easy drinking, and nicely balanced!

07-27-2009 23:26:09 | More by ChuckVee
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

4/5  rDev +9.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info but they just entered the market so should be fresh. It was a deep orange amber color. Had a few carb streams and a touch of quick sliding lace. It had a good sized light beige head that slowly settled into a collar and nearly intact film.

The aroma was really good. Good citric hops with more malt sweetness than most APA's. The hops used were not the ones you find in most these days so it was nice to get a different hop profile. The taste was pretty good but was lacking the hop bite at the end. Not sure if it was due to the different hops or if it was because the malt sweetness was more ramped up in this one. Starts out hoppy then builds a little and then the sweetness kicks in and drags down the bite. If I judged it strictly as an APA the taste score would suffer. But if I just judge it as a beer, which I do, then it's still really good. Maybe it's missing the hop bite of an APA but it's still pretty tasty.

Overall, a good solid beer. It may disappoint as an APA but it's still really good. Recommend and could see having a few of these a year.

[couple]

07-06-2009 02:03:32 | More by TexIndy
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%

This beer pours a slightly cloudy lighter amber with a 2 finger offwhite head. Nice head retention throughout, and spotty thick lacing left on the glass. Nose is buttery and yeasty with hints of toffee, oak, a faint fruits. Taste starts with a bit of a buttery hint, with a touch of grassy hops in here, then yeast and bready and pale malts, then finishes with the faint oak hint and some pears. Medium bodied, a bit on the higher carbonated side, nice clean and crisp feel to it. This is a nice beer to sit with for a bit.

06-15-2009 20:13:34 | More by Jayli
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -5.2%

22oz bomber into a snifter (off-white label with a blue tail).

Whale's Tale pours a crisp burnt copper hue that tapers to iced-tea orange at the edges. A sizable finger's width of khaki head recedes slowly to a cap of tiny, tightly-packed bubbles that leave some great-looking, thick lacing. The aroma is equal parts malty caramel notes and yeast esters, with a hint of minty hops in the background. Lots of fruit from the yeast, such as notes of Granny Smith apple, grape jelly, and a hint of sourness.

Flavor starts with a sharp hop bitterness accentuated by uppity carbonation. As the beer mellows a bit, some toasted toffee malts pull through, but there's an off-note that reminds me of tart fruits--not exactly fitting for the style. A bit of spiced wood finishes with a dry bitterness of raw hop leaves. This beer could use a boost in the malts department, if only to make the body a bit fuller and not so dry on the finish; feels like it's sucking the moisture out of my tongue with each sip. The carbonation could also stand to be toned down a bit. A bit difficult to drink, especially for a style that should go down easily and refresh the palate.

06-15-2009 00:05:56 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +3%

I was moving some one who's restaurant closed down and wound up with a book box full of this.

Translucent dark honey color. Thin white head fizzles to a skim and robust collar.

Smells like honey with hints of toffee.

Sweet and heavy, predominantly honey with some bready toffee. Tastes like a 6.8% abv Pale Ale. Floral hop reigns in the malt dominance. Thick and chewy mouth balanced by lively carbonation. Nice, but more of a winter PA in IMVHO.

06-10-2009 23:04:54 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Lexluthor33
Lexluthor33

New York

3.75/5  rDev +3%

Hazy amber color with a decent head and lace.

The aroma of toasted malts,hops and maybe wheat?

The taste was a tad sweet with some mild bitterness as it goes down. Grains,malts and biscuit notes.

The feel is light to medium body with medium carbonation and an even balance.

Notes: A good beer. I did expect it to be better,but it was worth a try and I will have it again.

05-27-2009 01:24:24 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%

A 22 bomber, served in a stein-type glass mug. This beer is orange-amber, hazy (being bottled conditioned), with a huge inch-tall head that lasts and lasts. The nose is comprised of sweet cereal notes with some light--very light--grassy hops. Good bitterness in the flavor, but the hop flavor is somewhat lacking; what's there is grassy and earthy. The malt profile is excellent, with a lightly toasty biscuit taste rarely encountered in most US micros. The finish is bitter but not bracingly dry. Good mouthfeel, very crisp and spritzy.

05-23-2009 02:33:24 | More by allengarvin
Photo of selecter70
selecter70

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -7.1%

It was nice to see this available at the new Southern joint down the street (Tupelo); I had forgotten nearly about these guys. I am a fan of the artwork & design, so this added to my anticipation as I poured the bright, orange-gold ale. A decent head for a pale ale, about 1 finger of creamy white head sat for a bit before dissolving down, but leaving a nice stick white lace throughout. The aroma lacked the pungent hop in-your-face that many have, likely since this ale balances malt & hop nicely. Floral hops meet grainy malt met the nose & palate. The sharp, crisp medium-body nature makes this a nice overall summer beer; clean, bright & balanced.

05-20-2009 23:14:54 | More by selecter70
Photo of natasharai
natasharai

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Appearance: Poured with a creamy frothy off white head that dissipated to a thin layer of silky smooth head that left some lacing all down my glass. The beer is clear with a orangish gold color.

Smell: Floral hops, strong toasted barley, earthy, and an almost minty smell.

Taste: Lightly bitter floral hops up front, warm toasty barley, honey, again very nice earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth texture, some tingle on the tongue, not much carbonation, leaves mouth feeling clean.

Overall: Great drinkability, the flavors all play well together!! Nothing is overpowering. Not many complex flavors but what is there is very enjoyable. I really wish this was available in my area!!

05-15-2009 04:53:38 | More by natasharai
Photo of elniko
elniko

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from bottle into Stella glass. No dates listed on bottle. Very surprised to find this beer in the DFW area.

A: Rich, luminous amber. Head was somewhat minimal but nice lacing apparent. Nice looking brew.

S: I get some almost musty tones from the nose. I really can't place it. It is not totally unpleasant but I'm not really a fan either.

T & M: Pretty light bodied, relatively thin malt up front with a crisp somewhat tart finish. The finish doesn't feel hoppy though, I don't really get any bitterness. Might be the carbonation which I began to notice more as I made my way through the brew.

D: I somewhat enjoyed this brew but seeing as how the only beer store that I know has it is about 25 minutes from me I don't think I'll be making any special trips.

05-06-2009 21:46:48 | More by elniko
Photo of Sporkus
Sporkus

District of Columbia

2.78/5  rDev -23.6%

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.

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

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -8%

On tap, Poured well. Looked attractive. An okay head and retention. Lacing was okay also.

The smell and taste had an overly earthy hint. It was lighter on the hops than I like but that seems very typical for other brews I had in Boston. Hops were very present but mellow. The maltiness of this brew was well done and very balanced.

Carbonation was great, and despite not liking the main taste it was easy to drink and if I had liked the tones of this beer I would have definitely been able to put down a few more.

04-27-2009 14:12:11 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Pours an orange copper color with an insane amount of foam, though surprisingly little lacing.

Smell is malty fruity. Some citrus.

Taste is full of malt, backed by hops, though the bittering never dominates - hangs out in the finish to let you know it is there without contolling the taste. There's some orange buried in there.

Well carbonated in the mouthfeel. Holidng in in the mouth brings out some of the bittering.

Love this pale ale. Hops are kept in check and impart lots of great flavor leading to a delicious experience.

04-21-2009 02:00:23 | More by KTCamm
Photo of armock
armock

New York

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a fruity hoppy malty nose

T - Is fairly well balanced between the hops and caramel malt

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation

D - A well made pale thats pretty easy to drink has a good balanced taste that makes it easy to want multiple servings worth trying sometime

04-17-2009 23:29:41 | More by armock
Photo of bsend
bsend

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%

Got this beer from my server in a pint.

The beer had a light but definite orange/gold color to it. It had a two inch head creamy head that stayed for half the beer.

The smell was a toss up. Basic yeast smell with slight hints of dry fruit.

While sipping into this I noticed a sweet but down to earth flavor. Initially some biscuit flavor that reminded me of fig newtons that played into the taste of dry apricot. This pale ale at 6.8% abv tasted like it was under 5.

Creamy and light carbonation makes this brew have a decent experience when swished around the mouth.

As previously mentioned, tasted a lot lighter than the labeled abv. This beer goes down smooth and you can easily enjoy a few of these.

Final Thoughts - Complex interesting flavor from a pale ale makes this one worth at least trying. Definitely a usual for me at one of the local pubs.

03-10-2009 21:01:27 | More by bsend
Photo of tittymcj
tittymcj

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Drank this specimen with William Pang (Queens, NY), good friend and fellow BA.

Pours out a hazy orange color, with a thin, quickly dissipating head and light lacing.

Smells mostly of malt and fruit of some sort. Not much hops at all present

The taste is almost exclusively malt sweetness and a little bit of bread/biscuit flavor. A little sugary fruit along with it for the ride.

Nothing special in the feel, just another thin beer with light carbonation.

Definitely one I could drink multiples of because of it's light body and fairly plain taste.

02-01-2009 20:25:00 | More by tittymcj
Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 967 ratings.