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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.

1,032 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,032
Reviews: 356
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 92 | 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
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Ratings: 1,032 | Reviews: 356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium amber colored beer with moderate off-white head.
Smell is significant for strong caramel and bready malt notes.
Taste olso demonstrates a nice caramel malt backbone. The bread-like flavors are also enjoyable. Some hoppiness begins to show itself at the finish.
A nice easy drinking beer with a very surprising 6.8% alcohol.

tgbljb, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of wamu2000
4.97/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this could very easily be styled an IPA. Great taste, truly an exceptional recipe. Love the malty and hopped up finish. Challenges any micro brewed amrican beers which have taken over the landsacape over the last decade. I recomend this beer as a compliment to the fineset meal at your favorite restaurant, or a session beer on Sunday as you wade through the NFL results to the wee hours of the night. Best as it warms to room temperature, very refreshing with a very unique taste, difficult to compare... because it sets its own path. This is what beer is all about. Try it once and you will be hooked. The boys on Nantucket kill with this one. You won't be dissappointed. With Moor porter as my favorite... they have really shown they know what brewing is all about

wamu2000, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish color with a white head. Aromas of hops and a cereal grain. In the taste, grapefruity hops and a mellow malt presence. Mouthfeel fo a hoppy malt, but not too filling and a clean aftertaste. A very nice pale, big hops and a clean end/ finish.

OWSLEY069, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of mduvalipa
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I went to a new restaurant ( Burton's Bar & Grill) in a newer shopping complex in CT.This beer was on "special" for the evening.Like the other reveiwers it took me by surprise the color of the beer for a "pale ale".When I choose a beer I try to pair it with the food I have chosen if I can depending on the beer selection ( which was very good here).This was a very refreshing,great mouthfeel and very good after taste especially paired with a "panani type sandwich and a chilled cucumber salad.I have had other cisco beers in the past but this one tops them all!

mduvalipa, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12oz bottle with raw oysters at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in NYC. I didn't really know what to expect, just a standard pale ale I guess. But this surprised me by every metric. First off, it's a lot darker than you'd think, dark copper colored (APA?). The aroma is slightly hoppy but very rich with malt, very original in its way (kind of like Orval is original, but not with similar flavors to Orval). The flavor was malty sweet and a little citrucy on the back end, with nice carbonation throughout. Very easily paired with raw seafood, nice session beer.

TurdFurgison, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of Damian
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Rendezvous, Cambridge, MA

Poured a dark, orangey crimson/amber with a small, tight, clingy white head that left tiny droplets of lacing all down the glass.

The aroma was smooth, sweet and moderately hoppy. Rich biscuity and sweet caramel malts dominated with floral hops trailing.

The taste was hoppier and crisper than the nose, yet still very well balanced. A supple, malt creaminess was noticeable up front before the slightly citrusy and spicy hops emerged. Noticeable ripe fruits came through as well, along with a touch of grain. A nice mix of caramel sweetness and punchy hops carried into the crisp, clean, refreshing finish.

The beer was medium-bodied with a smooth and supple mouthfeel and a fine, medium carbonation.

At 6.8% ABV, this beer masked its alcohol strength amazingly well. It practically reaches an IPA status, except for its lack of hop bitterness.

Overall, this is a very refreshing, enjoyable and well-rounded pale ale that would go perfectly with a variety of dishes.

Damian, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of albern
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a surprise this beer was. It pours a nice thick frothy head with substantial lacing. It is a nice amber color and the smell is hoppy, floral, and not overpowering. Very enticing smell, color, pour, and head. The taste is very nice. You will find a well balanced, slightly hoppy, creamy, moderately carbonated ale that has a biscuity or bready taste to it. It is medium bodied, and for a beer with a 6.8 ABV, you won't notice the alcohol. I don't detect much in the way of floral overtones, but you can taste some of the hoppy esters as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is excellent. This is a pure vanilla cream on the tongue and very satisfying. The only negative is a overly hoppy aftertaste that becomes a bit more pronounced as the beer warms. This beer is a very good offering and a nice surprise I didn't suspect buying it "cold" off the shelf. L'Chaim.

albern, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy peach color with a nice foamy 3 finger head that recedes and holds at 2 fingers. Bubbley.
Wow. This smells like the perfume isle at Dillards. Very aromatic.
For a pale ale this is a very interesting and different beer. Herbal, fruit and a bit of metal. Long lasting aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is Belgian like. Lot's of carbonation keeps the mouth interested (my mouth is adhd), but is a bit much in my opinion.
Whale's tale is not what I typically look for in a pale ale. But it is worthy of the visit and the occasional revisit.
This beer comes in a kick ass 26 oz bottle

wcudwight, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a orange/amber color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head. Left good trails of lace.

S - It smelled of hops and grasses. There was a little toasted malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted of toasty malt and bitter hops. A nice blend of the two. Slightly more hoppy than an average APA, but not as hoppy as an IPA.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice beer. I had two with a nice meal in Brookline, MA.

zeff80, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoky malts, caramel, a little bit of citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a pale hops flavor, along with caramelized malt sweetness and some smokiness. There’s a little bit of citrus in the background, but not much. This one seems to lean toward the English Pale Ale style quite a bit. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Somewhat tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style but has a lot of EPA influence as well, I could drink a few of these but it’s not the first that I would choose even within the style.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a semi murky amber colour with a mid sized head that dissolves quickly leaving a fair amount of traces of itself on the glass.

The aroma is malty and fruity, with earth-like notes and dark berries coming through the most, along with a touch of citrus and some bready qualities.

The flavour is in line with the aroma, however more earthy flavours come through, with almost a bit of smokiness way in the back that combines with the dark berry notes present in the aroma. The flavour is overall not as sweet as the aroma. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a touch of slickness to it.

This one was not bad overall, and was certainly one of the more unique pale ales that I've sampled. Didn't love it, but was far from hating it. A decent brew that could be tinkered with to up its drinkability, but I have to give it credit for doing it's own thing.

SixpointJMH, Jun 15, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whale's Tale Pale Ale

Appearance- Hazy reddish brown with a smal but sticky head.
Smell- Malt and dry earthy hops. A touch of dried fruit.
Taste- Big sweet dry caramel malt with a light dried fruit and hop oil flavor.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and chewy up front but dry throughout. Smooth in the end.

Overall- $8 for a 4 pack and definitely worth it!

NJpadreFan, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Compliments of jwc215...thanks, Joe!

This pours from 12oz bottle a cloudy amber with a nice head of foam that eventually shrinks to a fine layer and has some good lacing.

The smell has a fruity and sweetish nose to it. I like it.

The taste on first sip is big on bread followed by some hop fruitiness and some good caramel malty sweetness. Very tasty.
Further sips in and my palate is really liking this brew. So smooth and yet so tasty....the hops try hard to take over but the more than ample malt presence keeps it in check and makes for some very good balance except in the finish, where it ends up being both bready and slightly bitter. Good aftertaste.

Bottom line: This is a very good APA and I particulary like how neither the hops nor the malt dominates the flavour. I recommend it.

Bitterbill, May 23, 2007
Photo of Abita45
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a problematic beer for me. On one hand, I didn't find anything distinctive or unique that causes me to really take notice of this beer, but on the other hand, I really enjoyed its straightforward simplicity to its taste.

It poured with a foamy, dusty head that held up well and dense. Its color is copper and clear, its aroma was hoppy, earthy, and slightly sweetened with what seems like brown sugar. Its taste follows close behind; nothing jumps out at you, but the medium hoppiness, sweetness of sugar and fruit that gives a heft to its sweetness blends together for a very even, consistent beer.

There may well be times when taking apart a beer for its elements loses sight of how good it works in the aggragate. This is just a solid beer. I'll leave it at that.

Abita45, May 21, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange/amber with a short off-white head. Lots of lacing, good retention even with foam that settled to a thin skim and ring. Sweet, cakey aroma with some biscuity malt and fruity esters. Hops were a little grassy, slightly citric. Medium to low bitterness, lots of fruitiness with a bit of caramel flavour and crackery malt. Hops lingered in the finish, some citrus and floral notes. Fairly sweet overall. The mouthfeel was a little soapy, carbonation a little creamy, a little strange. A decent beer and an easy drink.

Thanks to cburian for including this as part of my Secret Bunny '07 package.

DrJay, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a thin white head that slowly becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is of tropical fruits and underlying sweet grains.

The taste is of tropical fruits with floral notes - sweet, balancing, bready/grainy malt. Nicely balanced. Buttery smooth. Bittersweet, slightly tart, long, dry finish.

Just the right amount of carbonation in this one. Firm, medium body. Nice texture.

A wonderful brew. Categorized here as an APA - claims on label to be an English-style Pale Ale - truth is probably somewhere in between - an American Pale Ale with definate English influence. Easy to drink - I was very surprised to learn of abv level - alcohol very well covered, with a lasting, fruity flavor.

jwc215, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of JasonA
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

cloudy orange amber. Very surprised how opaque this amber is. Impressed.

Some citrus, not much hops. I dont get much from the smell. I do have alittle clogged nose, but not to this extent.

Very hoppy tasting for the little smell I got. Nice alcohol bite, didnt see the coming. Maybe biscuit, some citrus. Hops are overpowering flavor.

Dry. Very drying. Nice. Feels like a special beer (costs like one).

Overall this is one of the best APA's Ive ever had. Its not a style I would drink all the time. Very nice to have one once and a while. I would love to find this on draft. Highly recommended.

JasonA, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of LvilleIPA
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poored out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Orange/amberish. Decent head, little to no lacing.

S - Some hop, lot of malt.

T - Not a fan. Too muddled and bready for my taste in a APA. It just doesn't appeal to my tastes.

M - Pretty average. Very dry. I'm not really liking this one so much at all.

D - I guess it's decent pale ale, just not what I like. I'm sure if i were at a bar I could have a couple of these, but it's not something I'd be seeking out.

LvilleIPA, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of bigone4
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange brown hue from a 12 oz bottle. Off-white head that dissipated rather quickly. Light lace left behind in the pint. Smells of caramel malt and a subtle malt sweetness. Certainly has a nice rolling mix of hops and caramel malts in the aroma. Mild hints of the hops are present in the back of the nose. Nice flavor in the mouth. Smooth malt flavors up front followed by a nice balance of hop tones on the tongue. Hints of fruit and caramel tones are present in there as well. This is a well balanced and very drinkable beer. Enjoyable brew that I would certainly drink again.

bigone4, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

moderately hazed brownish sopper with a good sized tan head.
grainy caramel aroma with some floral mildly citric hoppiness.
the taste starts with sweet slightly grainy roasted caramel, with some citrusy undertones. herbal hops kick in in the back drying it out a surprising amount. a little peach in the aftertaste when it warms a bit.
nice medium body with a a softer side of moderate and well balanced carbonation.
good drinkability, and a good pale ale that i wish i had tried sooner. i'm going to try and make this a staple.

kmo1030, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of Braudog
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, my huge bottle didn’t have the cool painted label ... wish it did. Anyway, this poured with a copper color and thin, but lacing head. The citric aroma tended more to the grassy or dull grapefruit side than the flowery fruitiness of other American pale ales. Musty and almost sour, this beer draws from a less-glorified family tree than the pale ales that have become most prominetn. This stays down the lane dominated more by earthen flavors than flowered ... sour seedless grape, honey, that alcohol-free grape juice mascarading as champagne stuff, bit of pine. I favor beers in this vein, but you have to be prepared. This would be AWESOME with a nice fish and chips ... making my mouth water thinking about it. (#2671, 1/28/07)

Braudog, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of Nipitato
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A gift that was purchased at the Cisco Brewery.

A: Deep dark copper. Pours with a creamy off white two finger thick head with good retention. A nice looking beer.

S: Mild. Slight hoppy notes moderate fruity ester (apple) undertones.

T: Moderate hop flavor that is more bitter than hoppy. Quite bitter at the finish. Bready malt is present and increases as beer warms.

MF: Medium-light body. Highly carbonated.

D: Not a great tasting American pale ale but drinkable.

Nipitato, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of taez555
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

taez555, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of nicefix
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Rose and Crown Pub in Nantucket last night. The first round had a very slick mouthfeel that was accentuated by the low carbonation with a dominant malty character. Upon the second round pour, the keg emptied and a fresh one was tapped. The new keg was much better. Carbonation was improved and the hops came out to better balance the brew. Inviting cloudy amber color and very drinkable. I consumed 4 before I had to get back on the boat. Paired nicely with a mussel appetizer and breadsticks.

nicefix, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of mshallah
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Multiple growlers purchased at the brewery on Nantucket. This beer has a very soft and subtle malt flavor with more floral than bittering hops and a hint of banana fruitiness. Mouthfeel is luscious and creamy. Have had this beer on-tap at many locations including the brewery and have also enjoyed it in the 12 and 22oz bottles. My advice is to seek this beer as fresh as you can get it, and you will never tire from the delicate flavor and creamy mouthfeel. Older samples do not compare.

mshallah, Nov 08, 2006
Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,032 ratings.