1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

1,055 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,055
Reviews: 357
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 113 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whale's Tale Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,055 | Reviews: 357 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corey0212
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazed deep orange, coppery highlights, nice big fluffy tan head fades slow and hangs around for a while, some patches of sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is sweet caramel malt, grassy hops, slightly floral. Some piney hops up front, mellow caramel sweetness to the malt, and an almost honey-like sweetness on the back-end. Medium-bodied, nicely carbonated, with a slight chewiness to the beer. I could drink this all night. One of my favorites.

Photo of Durge
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sad little cup at the Gazebo on Nantucket, this poured a cloudy gold with nice off-white foam and good lace. Smells of mellow citrus hops and biscuit, fresh and crisp. It has an energetic carbonation with orange and banana highlights in a bready mix. Highly refreshing, endlessly drinkable, a full feel without loosing the light refreshing quality. The tart edges come out more as you go with some peppery touches.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle - Pours a slightly cloudy yellow/orange with a small quickly receding head. Smells of piney hops dominate. First sip is light but refreshing with a nice hop taste balanced with the not too malty ale. Slighty under carbonated but still pretty tasty.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Cisco restaurant at Logan Airport.

A - Golden orange color with thick off-white head. Decent retention and light lacing.

S - On the weaker side for APA aromas. Smells of bready malts with a faint hint of floral hops.

T - A very sweet bready malt taste up front. A citrusy hop taste comes into the taste midway through and again finished crisp and sweet.

M/D - Medium bodied and very easy drinking. Not the best Pale Ale I have ever had, but a nice offering.

I would consider this more in line with an English Pale Ale instead of an APA. A good beer none the less.

Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber, a head that sticks round and loves me long time. smellz r lovely sweet maltyness with some fruit-e-ness. Taste tells a different story than the smellz. Strong maltsweetness and big but short hop bitterness strike... leaving a gap in the middle, which actually seems unique. A very nice. A great english/american hybrid pale.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had both 12 oz., bomber, and tap in past, but 12 oz. bottle last night. On tap is much better.

Pours bright orange with a nice thick head that stays well as you down the pint.

Smells of sweet brown bread, a bit butter and brown sugar in there as well. Some orange/citrus?

Taste: This is a good one. Bread, caramel, some citric bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This one has more carbonation than you'd expect. Some people hate this or find it to be a flaw, but i think this actually is a plus. Keeps the sweet from being too cloying.

Drinkability: This can be dangerous (as it is very easy to knock more than a few of these back). At $8.00-$9.00/4-pack, tough to drink all of the time (for about the same price, you can buy the big bottle bomber, but you get less beer -- stick with the 4-pack).

Photo of Brad007
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color: Pours a beautiful copper color with lots of carbonation and a thick, fluffy white head from the pour.

Aroma: Sweet and mildly bitter with an emphasis on malt. Decent amount of breadiness tucked away in the aroma.

Taste: Very floral and bitter upfront with a lot of breadiness. Not as sweet as the aroma implies. Bitterness is subdued towards the middle, allowing the malt to shine through. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Breadiness and hop bitterness. Nothing offensive with the exception that the carbonation feels a bit over the top.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and seemingly fresh as well. It doesn't overwhelm on either hops or malt. I would drink it from the tap if I could. A very nice pale ale!

Photo of Rainintheface
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark copper/orange with an impressive 2+ finger foamy, cratered off white head. high carbonation

S: herbal, a little spice is present. caramel and distinctive orange

T: malt dominates in my opinion. oranges and citric zest follow

M: moderate in body with much carbonation and a dryish finish

D: very enjoyable. sure to have again

Photo of far333
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, orangey amber. Low beige head despite a good pour. Aroma of slightly sweet and bready malt, some lemony zest and tea.

Initial flavor of thick maltiness, somewhat doughey, morphing to hop spiciness, subtle lemon, some toffee and green tea.

Full, rich, creamy and satisfying mouthfeel. Very drinkable, good session beer.

Photo of leif86
2.33/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Squealing Pig in Boston.

Pours a cloudy coppery brew with little off-white head. A very floral aroma from this particular beer backed by the smell of hops. Tastes much the same as it smells. Too flowery and sweet and not bitter enough for either an APA (as it is listed here) or an IPA (as it was listed at the bar). This taste vanishes quickly and leaves you with a slight malt and slightly lemon like taste. I couldn't even drink one.

Photo of BWMKappaSig
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a thin off-white head.

Smell: Well balanced hops and caramel malt smell, leaning towards the malt.

Taste: Very well balanced, slightly hoppier than the smell. Enjoyable bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant, medium body.

Drinkability: The only thing keeping me from drinking multiple is the price!

Photo of BDIMike
2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy copper color. Very thin white head immediately dissipates.
Smell is very malty for pale ale. Not much else to the smell.
Taste is very bland. Not much hops at all.
Mouthfeel is okay. Good thickness, but I like more punch in a pale ale.
Drinkability is very good, because of lack of hops, but not good because this beer is way too boring to have more than one.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

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.

Photo of paigertx
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with minimal head but good barley smell. Impressed with drinkability and consistancy of flavor as temperature changed but it lacked the hop flavor of a pale ale. 4-pack was quite pricey and would not buy again at that price(11.99). I can see enjoying(while paying) on nantucket or marthas vineyard but it is not in its place in manhattan. Craved more hop flavor after this one being a slight letdown in the hop hit on the tongue. Interestingly brewed under agreement with Ipswich(which has an amazing oatmeal stout).

Photo of dsa7783
4.11/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single, 12 oz bottle copped from Super Saver in Somerville for $1.99...
First beer from this brewery, and I was immediately impressed by the overall appearance of this APA...
A slow and steady pour resulted in a hazy, dark-copper, ruby-red, bronze color with an enormous frothy and foamy head that exhibited enormous staying power before slowly receding and depositing a copious amount of lacing around the glass...
Mild, subtle, honey aroma with obvious bread and butter nuances thrown into the mix...
Great, full-flavored taste, bursting with strong caramel, light citrus, honey, bread and butter, and a slight tinge of vanilla...
Thick, heavy mouthfeel for a usually light, pale style and an impressive 6.8% ABV, which I thought was quite strong for the style...
Good level of drinkability as well made this a good representation of the style...

Photo of currysage1
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Moan and Dove.

Interesting APA, much darker than most.

Smell is nice, sweet and fruity, with some malty grain as well.

Citrusy - almost grapefruit - on the first sip, lots of brown sugar. Malty but very balanced, has a good hop presence as well. Interested in trying some of the others from Cisco.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Nantucket....I can see the Pequod leaving dock now.... A hazy copper color in the glass with a light off-white head. A biscuity malt aroma with slight hoppy undertones and also some sweetness. Not much hops, just enough to balance fruit sweetness from the malt. Pear and caramel in the center, finishing with a quick bitterness. Smooth and drinkable, even a cantankerous old peg-legged tar would agree.

Photo of fitzy84
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was on tap at Moan and Dove. The colors were of a dark reddish-amber with a thin head. The aromas were also thin with malty spices permeating from the drink. The taste was decently bitter but with a subtle punch to it. This made it an approachable APA, but also a bit lacking in distinctness. An almost frothy carbonation was the structure of this medium-body drink. Overall, a bit average American pale ale.

Photo of rightsideways
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this beer because something about the packaging appealed to me. after reading other reviews i decided to go ahead and give it a try.

appearance: looked good, nice and transparent w/ a copper color.

smell: a bit of fruity hops but mostly malt. smelled kind of sweet.

taste: tasted like blood. not sure if this is true all the time but not a good sign on your first try... maybe there's something wrong with this particular batch.

i might taste again some other time w/ a different batch though.

review: i had this on tap at a local bar and it was really good. i remember a nice malty smell, great malty taste with a good amount of bitterness for a british style pale. not a lot of hoppy taste or smell for me though. not sure about the head because the bartender poured off the foam.

Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extensive head with extraordinary lace for a pale ale. The head settles into foamy, whip-cream like thickness. The liquor is neutral amber with a moderate chill haze.

Relatively light hop, a touch of yeast. Seems to be well balanced without any sweetness in the malt.

Relatively dry. Smooth finish with a mild hop bite--although it is does not last. The body is like light cream and the carbonation is low.

This is an impressive looking beer. The flavor is decent with a good mouthfeel.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

26oz, bottle fermented

hazy dull copper color, nice head that stays around and leaves behind a decent lace.

mild pine hop scent, perhaps a hint of aged woody characteristics. as it warms up, you get some faint caramel or even diacetyl notes.

taste is a gentle hop bitterness up front which quickly backs off, letting you appreciate some of the malt. dry finish.

smooth, but just a bit thin.

not all that complex, but simple and very drinkable for APA fans, although moreso when cold than when it warms.

Photo of mltobin
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased in a large bottle at a local package store.
As someone who loves the ocean, the graphics on the bottle and the fact that they are based on Nantucket Island appealed to me.
Once poured into a pint glass, the color was orangish with a medium-sized head.
The smell was interesting and slightly spicy.
The taste was hoppy.
Mouthfeel was pretty good.
A solid IPA all around.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper color with a thin white head. Sheets of lace that fall quickly the cap. Smell and taste of caramel malt and tons of bread. Some very mild cirtrus in the finish but nothing spectacular. Nice solid mouthfeel. 6.8% is hidden amazingly well. Not a whole lot to say about this beer. It's a solid maltly APA.

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.

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

Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 1,055 ratings.