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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.

362 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 362
Hads: 1,130
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.1%
Wants: 25
Gots: 189 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Whale's Tale Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 362 | Hads: 1,130
Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange / amber color with a nice 1.5" head that forms some light lacing through the drink. The aroma is simple as citrus and malt are light but recognizable. The flavor has nice fruity and citrusy tones that are well balanced with the caramel, malt, and hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a mellow malt and light bitter finish. Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level. Very nicely drinkable and a good session beer. (424 characters)

Photo of BadBadger
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale is a nice amber color. There is a descent foamy head which lasts for some time. The smell is a mixture of sweet malt and hops. The taste is a pleasant blend of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is a beer worth giving a try. Enjoy! (253 characters)

Photo of Stimack
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gave this brew a try last evening while at Mahars,. The brew is labeled as a Pale Ale but it did not remind me of one. The brew poured to a golden amber color with a very small white head that broke down quickly and left no lacing. The aromas where of sweet malt with fruity highlights, think I can sense some peach, and a bit of orange scents. The taste is very mellow, starts somewhat sweet with caramel highlights than breaks to some fruity flavors that seem to be a somewhat weird mix, not bad but a bit different. It also has a slight bitterness that seems to complement the other flavors nicely. Over all it is a nice brew, not one that I am craving but will give it another chance in the future. (702 characters)

Photo of palma
1.5/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The cap came off like a rocket and the head was the biggest i've ever seen. Stong hop flavor though still seemed a little watered down. Extremely high carbonation. I did not like this beer at all. I'd like to give this brew another chance but because it doesn't have a born-on or exp date Im not gonna get suckered into picking one of these again. I'll try it when Cisco Brewers gets smart enough to date their beers. (417 characters)

Photo of Billolick
1.55/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

cought an obvious off bottle this time. Cap came off with a loud blast. Beer poured very cloudy, super carbonated, huge head that stayed and stayed. off flavors of butterscotch and fusil(sp?) alcohol. Sounds good huh? To bad cuz I was looking foward to try this one. Oh well I will give another bottle a try someday hopefully soon (330 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy copper color with a fizzy and quite thick white head that ended up as a thick film along the top of the beer. Smell was incredibly... interesting. I am not sure what to think of it and am unsure whether this was a bad bottle, however it didn't smell (or taste) bad, just really different. The smell was fizzy and funky like a lambic with the tart berry smell almost of a framboise. But it was distinctly different because the berry was masked by a hop presence not seen in lambics. Taste was much more like a pale ale with a hoppy lemon zing up front with a good toasty malted middle and a incredibly refreshing finish. All in all an interesting beer and one I would try again. (693 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at Redbones

A cloudy orange amber served with no head. Faintly sweet scent.
Nicely balanced with the subtly spicy hops lending an earthiness to the fruity appley malt with hints of apricot. Moderate body with mild carbonation. Dry finish. Best of all, the pulled pork is making this beer taste great.

I'm not so sure I'd call this a pale ale. I'd say it's pretty decent for an amber ale. (402 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Painted label...nice!

Pours with a really crisp "snap krackle pop" to the head. Always nice to hear your beer.

A extremely clear red-amber body, with fine carbonation, topped by a rapidly declining bone-colored tabletop, which is heading toward oil skid.

A very subdued nose is accented by some herbal hops.

Taste begins with a quick light malt surge, and a wash of herbal, earthy hops, which is all that remains as it quickly fades away. It's quick, it's clean, it's all too easy.

The mouthfeel is light. It's easy to drink, because there is no resistance to anything.

The bottle is nice. Overall the beer is a rather average pale/amber ale. If I find myself on Nantucket I'll give it another shot. (734 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid peachy hue..huge, soft, delicate, diaphanous head, gently crumbling, leaving lace...Aroma: fresh, airy, citric, but well-rounded and pleasant...
Taste: very carbonate, fruity, and tangy up front, but overall smooth...lightly flavorful, peach and apricot appearances are muted, but appreciable and brightly flavorful...medium bodied, brief, fruity finish, decently fizzy texture.. pretty nice pale, all told, and held in this gi-mongous 26 oz bottle, I've still got some drinking ahead of me apparently...yum, but, oh, the carbonation's a killer and I'm burping like a man afire, here!

Grande gracias to running4beer for delivering this, via BiF 4! (657 characters)

Photo of fdrich29
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked bottle with a retro, simply stated label.

Lots of thick, out of control, crazy head on this one with nice lacing. Smells of hops and malt and tastes of the same. Lots of carbination starting trouble in the mouth before it settles itself down and behaves. I'm glad I tried this one that called to me from the bottom shelf at Gordon's in Waltham, but I don't know if I would get it again if I had something hoppier to choose. According to their website it was intentionally brewed to be not so hoppy. Some people like less hops, some like more. I'm the later so please grab me a 90 Minute. (603 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I was a little embarassed after I poured this. As the head consumed about 2/3 of the glass and the beer barely taking 1/3 at the bottom. The head falls amazingly fast but not fast enough. The texture is that of a bubble bath, very weak, bubbly and frothy. On top a plateau is standing. The color is a lovely orange. The head is a constant battle.

Let's let it sit for 10 minutes.

The head dies down and to much surprise the lace is not sticky.

Aromas of cherries, grapes and orange sweetness.

Not much flavor to begin with. Excessive carbonation which affected the flavor and the mouthfeel. Not hoppy enough to satisfy me. Still, the sweet orange flavors and the spicy aftertaste is enjoyable. Some light fruits in the flavor as well.

This isn't a bad brew but it isnt a special one. (800 characters)

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Judged strictly as a pale ale, this isnt much of one. Its too fruity and way too carbonated. It actually tastes a bit like a lambic, or a cross between a light ale and a really fruity Belgian (like the 3 Philosophers). The appearance is nice, a cloudy apricot color, with a huge head that looks like sea foam. Smell is extremely fruity, with cherry and apricots, mixed with spice. The taste is very tart (hinting at the lambic style) with the taste of sour apples and limes. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated, with tiny bubbles hitting the tongue. Disregarding style, this beer is intersting to drink, and in properly small quantity, is good. But as a pale ale, it isnt quite right. (683 characters)

Photo of longpondbeerman
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, and discovered that it poured a very foamy--appropriately almost like sea foam given that it comes from Nantucket--but the liquid was clear and amber. The smell is very tart at the outset, with citrus overtones, and not much else, and I was interested to see if the lemony tang would follow through in the taste. It did, to the point that my nose tickled. There's a thin but sharp, almost lambic, tint to this pale ale. I'm not really sure what to say because the Whale's Tale Pale Ale is a truely unusual experience. It almost tastes like soy sauce, I think. Interesting. (629 characters)

Photo of Quaffer
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I like the bottle for this beer. Like the other Cisco beer that I had, it is very minimalist, with just basic graphics and a small amount of text.

Appearance: What is it about Cisco beers and carbonation? Both beers that I have had from this brewery have been mostly foam when poured into the glass. Granted, this one didn't erupt out of the bottle like the Moor Porter did, but it easily filled half the glass with head with a gentle, down-the-side-of-the-glass pour. Like I said, the head rose up huge, but it dissipated very quickly. As it did so, I noticed its strange consistency. It was very coarse and spider-web like. there was no solid body to it at all and, therefore, no staying power. Very strange looking. The beer itself was a deep, hazy amber with a fine sediment floating about.

Smell: Right after the pour, this beer had a great pale alse smell. There was some roasted malt, combined with hints of sweetness. The hops presence was just enough to balance out the malt and was citrusy in nature. As the beer sat, though, the aroma became more generic and flat. It lost all the depth that it previously had.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied and very rough, probably due to the excessive carbonation.

Taste: This beer started with a tart fruit flavor that seemed out of place to me. This finally developed into a strange citrus hops flavor on the finish, but I found it pretty distracting until it did so. The hops didn't contribute hardly any bitterness to the brew, just their flavor. There was also some sweet and roasted malt on the finish.

Not very impressed by this one. I will avoid it in the future.

A big thanks to noclueaboutbeer for hauling this one out to Kansas all the way from Connecticut. (1,726 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle: Boy, did this have some carbonation to it. It acted like one of my bad homebrews. It took about 10 minutes to pour a pint glass, as all it would do was foam up. It did eventually go down, and leave some nice lacing down the glass. It is a very cloudy, oragngeish color. Aroma was a bit weak, with maybe a hint of citrus and some yeast. Some sour fruits to the taste, with a hint of bitterness. Not bad. (416 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle served lightly chilled in a pint glass, though I think a tulip should have been used.

Appearance: Cloudy orange amber topped by an explosively huge yellowish head. A nice 1/4" layer of foam was retained all throughout consumption and some nice splotchy blobs of foam were left on the side of the glass. I, too, experienced the excessive foam problem others have reported. The oversized head does go away eventually, though, so it's all good.

Smell: Nice fruity, buttery, and yeasty sweet aromas. Toffee, oranges, vanilla, oak, nuts, and apple smells. Slightly odd for a pale ale (or IPA as the label legend says), but this is still quite an incredible nose.

Taste: Peppery and grassy hops splash across the tongue, leaving yeasty and bready malts in their wake. Tastes very "Belgian" to me. Me likey, likey a lot. Slight alcohol taste in the background, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body with a nice clean finish from the effervescence. Alcohol is well-masked and overall, the beer is very dry.

Drinkability: If, as others noted, this is a British style (I)PA, then I think I might have to seek out some others of this ilk. I've not had much experience with the old school style, but I was reminded more of a Belgian-style ale here. I'm thinking if Unibroue made a pale ale or IPA, it would taste a helluva lot like this. I will definitely be seeking this out when in Boston for Extreme Beer Fest.

A hearty thanks to my girlfriend for getting this for my birthday last week. (1,521 characters)

Photo of doho95fu
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this both on tap and bottled recently, but since the bottles were explosively over-carbonated, I will review the tap version.

The beer is copper-orange and clear with a medium head, not foamy, but bubbly. The smell is hoppy, floral and fruity. The taste had hops, but it was not overly strong. The thing I seemed to notice most was the sweetness of the brew - real fruity. Smooth finish and very drinkable. Would love to get my hands on some more of their brews. Also, really cool bottles and caps. (511 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy autumnal amber, slightly orangey, topped with a short dense head. Retention is excellent, never diminishing through the entire pint whatsoever. Some rapidly rising carbonation bubbles can be seen floating to the head.
The aroma is very balanced, certainly in the english style. Sweet pale malt, with that unmistakable Maris Otter aroma. Perhaps a touch of crystal malt, but very slight. A buttered popcorn kind of smell, with some oak notes and a light nuttiness. A mild Goldings hop presence, equally citric and herbal, with a bit of earthiness. Mild esters, presenting some kiwi and pear.
The flavor starts with sweet Maris Otter pale malt. The carbonation is very high, with a mouthfilling feeling. Some buttery toastiness comes through toward the middle, with light estery kiwi and pear. Light oaky nuttiness, reappearing in the aftertaste. Very mild Goldings hops bring up the rear, providing an earthy floral flavor, without as much citrus as was present in the aroma. Some apparent alcohol in the finish, as the beer warms, with the nuttiness becoming more apparent. Medium bodied. A malty, nutty aftertaste that lingers for quite a while. Very complex in the depth of flavor. Something new appears in each sip.
The beer tastes slightly old, with the woody flavor lending some papery flavor. The carbonation is way too high for my tastes, although it simmers down as the beer sits a while. If the carbonation was smoothed down a little, and the woodiness wasn't so apparent, this would be a spectacular beer. As it is, it's a good, but not exceptional pale ale. (1,593 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Checked this one out at Redbones the other day...poured a slightly cloudy amber, didn't note any real head. I thought it had a slightly sugary aroma, and some mint family notes (don't ask which one, I couldn't tell)...Anyway, the main thing I noticed was a solid malt body, with a flowery hop finish. I found this beer a bit surprising, so double-checked with Sakaroo (in tha house) who assured me it was supposed to taste this way. I think I was looking for a slightly more bitter finish, but could not find it in this brew. Will want to try again. pat (553 characters)

Photo of John
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy peach/orange color. Big frothy off-white. Fruit aromas immediately greet the nose, pineapple, pear, orange, tame citrus hop. A thin layer of foam sticks to the lip as the first sip is taken. The flavor incorporates the above mentioned aromas, along with a well balanced grainy/worty malt that renders a smooth as silk mouthfeel. The hops are prominent but not overwhelming. The balance may be near perfect with this brew. The aroma and flavor hops are right on the money. Well calculated bitterness is countered by a semi-sweet grain middle, then a fruity citrus hop finish. Satisfying and drinkable. Had the pleasure of enjoying on tap at Anam Cara - 25 Sep, 03. I also saw this at Downtown Liquors – Davis Square for $10.95 for a four pack. Are you effin’ kidding me? Aside from being overpriced in the bottle, Whale’s Tale Pale is a fine brew. (854 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Whopper of a head from Cisco. The slightly hazy golden orange brew sits below a massive pillow of white foam that will take all day to die and cover the glass with lace.
Aroma is fruity and filled with floral hops. It is one great whiffer.

Tingly carbonation dies off and has a nice smooth feel. The body is medium; light enough for a summer brew, but full enough for a cold weather drinker. There is a little spice to it. A bit of grassy hops combine for a smoky flavor. Pale malts balance very well. The finish packs a bit of sweetness. There is a great complexity to this brew. The spicy aftertaste lets you know that you are done with only one sip, and there is a full 750 ml of enjoyment ahead of you.

This is a great beer. It is very unique, yet even with a very different style, it is very drinkable. Cisco makes magic happen.

Thanks a million VENOM for this wonderful brew! (907 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#10 - big 750ml bottle that is capped, not corked...

No over-carbonation on the pour...yay! This beer poured a nice orange-y colour with a nice, white head. The aromas were of fruits, yeast, and citrus-y hops. The taste was fruity, citrus-y and yummy. The mouthfeel was nice and medium-bodied and the drinkability was excellent!

(336 characters)

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you go to Nantucket, it's here, it's there, it's everywhere. Pours a light orange, slight head. The taste is slightly pale, nothing biting here. The hops are there but, nothing overwhelming. Just a slightly above average beer, good for a long ferry ride. (257 characters)

Photo of TXHops
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice presentation—Gewurztraminer style, brown 750 Ml, cap-finished bottle with a sophisticated looking brown label, matching the style of the other Cisco labels. No dating system was evident. This sure is a pricey offering though, at almost $7 for a 750 of pale ale… The beer pours a slightly hazed, orangey-amber with a massive, bottle-conditioned head of soapy-looking beach foam, which had an interesting tendency to collapse like a soufflé. I had a hard time coaxing much of an aroma out of this one—there were some hops, but mostly I smelled yeast. The flavor started the same way-yeasty, with some hops underneath. Talk about clean: the intensely-prickly carbonation washed away any flavor before it had a chance to take root in my mouth. A more vigorous top-up pour released an even larger head, but also allowed some of the subtle, pale maltiness to come through. The bottle claims this to be an IPA style, though the web page makes a seemingly contradictory claim of an English style beer. I’d put my money on the latter, as I certainly don’t taste any American hops. The web page goes on to mention a “kiss of Kent Goldings”, which seem to be evident in their tart earthiness, though not abundant. Style buffs may call this an English IPA. Personally, I wish it had more hops and/or more malt character. Sub 1.070 OG beers can be wonderful to drink, but it helps if there’s something interesting going on—interesting, estery yeast strain, aromatic malts, bold hop expression, Maris Otter sweetness—just give me something… This beer’s biggest attraction was its simplicity, its cleanliness and its spritzy yeastiness. It’s possible that this is an old bottle, but it tasted fresh enough. Boring overall… (1,727 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dimmed orange, just about transparent, with a big white head that was bubbly and pillowy, slow to fall, and left a fair amount of bits of stain. Also had some small and floating carbonation and a little lace.

Smelled of fruit: apples, pears, grapefruit, and some hop leaf notes, too. Taste was a tasty malt, a fairly pleasing bitter, nice and some pear sweetness that came on late. Had a smooth transition through each of its simple parts. A patient but quality pale ale (this beer is NOT AN IPA); mellow but with a good body.

Great mouthfeel: smooth on the drink, just enough drying afterwards, and a soft leathery finish. Extremely easy to throw down, inviting in its mellow but firmly present character. Had true fruity scents and flavors through out but enough bitterness to give some balance in the end. I liked the nice fruit burp.

A New England rare treat, find it if you can. Apparently the results vary, but I've never had a problem. (962 characters)

Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.