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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.

1,045 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 356
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 22
Gots: 95 | 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: 1,045 | Reviews: 356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BWMKappaSig
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
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
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
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
4.15/5  rDev +14%
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
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
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
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
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
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.