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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Not Rated.
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,028 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,028
Hads: 2,523
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 25.59%
Wants: 34
Gots: 280 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bass Brewers Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bass Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,028 | Hads: 2,523
Photo of Bushrod
1/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I thought this beer was all about the water at bruten on trent and the old fermenters???? what the hell happened? I know alot of contract brews are out there, but when I pay for a world class brew, I'd like to have just that; not a fake! I use to be able to get Fuller's and Belhaven, I guess thouse days are gone and now Sam Adams is making "light " beer; Good God what is the world coming to???

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
1/5  rDev -70.6%

Poured into a tumbler on 03.28.14.

A: See through light copper. No head or lacing with an aggressive pour. Can see bubbles rising from the bottom.

S: Flower, grape, cherry. It has a candy-like artificial smell to it.

T: Burnt malt, chemicals. Slightly grape. Bitter plastic.

O: This was an unbalanced mess. The chemical candy flavor could have at least been balanced with the burnt malt, but it was not. The aroma was terrible and it continued to be terrible on the first sip. Drain pour. It had a flimsy bottle typical of AB-InBev. Oh gee, look who owns Bass Brewery!

Rating: F

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Photo of Mitchster
1.28/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Crystal clear amber brew forms a rocky white head sitting on top medium-sized bubbles. Head quickly thins, but forms a meringue peak which lingers until 1/4 way through the glass. Moderately-high carbonation, forming spirals of bubbles at a hypnotic rate. Aroma is of canned philadelphia mushrooms, toffee, almonds, sweet dog food, and margarine in that order. (Honestly!) What a perplexing smell. Flavor is of sweet malt with no apparent graininess, which fades to a strong metallic tinge, and ends in fizzy dirty dishwater that had caramel candies sitting in it. The fusel alcohols become more dominate in the start of the beer with progressive sips and really becomes unbearable by the end. This beer is intriguing for a few seconds, and looks pretty, but is absolutely horrible. Just a few sips gave me a nasty temporal headache, and I poured 1/2 of it down the sink. I never want to drink this beer again.

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Photo of kbnooshay
1.45/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

never again! This poured a clear amber color with a good rocky cratery head that sticks around for a little white. Decent lacing. Aroma is sweet like candy. Taste is where this goes bad. Is is metallic sweet malt weirdness. No good beer flavors in here. It is a EPA with no flavor, just harsh ass. I mean you can tell what it is, it just sucks. I wouldn't mind tasting what this used to taste like. Had it on tap once and it wasn't this bad. This tastes dirty and by the end of the glass you wish you might need water to clense your ass oiled palate. It does look pretty though!

revisited 2 days later...
WTF? Tastes worse this time.I can't believe this is bass. Because it tastes like pure ass.

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Photo of johnbonham1980
1.47/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I don't know if my tastes have changed, if I got a bad batch, or if Bass has gone way downhill, but this particular example was horrible. Actually, my tastes have changed quite a bit, but I wouldn't have liked this even back before I discovered the wonderful wide world of quality brew...

Poured directly from a 25 oz. can into a large wine goblet. Not much carbonation, average head, nice amber color which happens to be the high point of this beer.

Taste was best at the beginning, but throughout there was a huge presence of fruit past its prime, old bread, and near the end, total macroswill flavors dominated with an awful background of metal... I was tempted to just toss it out midway through but I hate wasting any sort of beer so I chugged the last 3rd, grimaced, and vowed never to have this beer again.

From my best memories, this beer was decent on tap and as part of a black and tan, but in this tasting, YECH.

I think something has happened to this brewery to be honest. Have seen posts in the forums before discussing the downward spiral...

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Photo of andyinsdca
1.5/5  rDev -55.9%

Reviewing the US "version" of this beer. Not going to waste much on this. Any reference to Bass or the red triangle need to be removed. This is NOT the Bass you remember or like. It's just another generic American beer. Don't bother.

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Photo of troobie
1.63/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This is the stuff brewed in Baldwinsville, NY.

I'm fairly convinced that I somehow managed to buy a skunked/spoiled 12 pack. I don't usually use that excuse, but I'll elaborate below. The outside of the 12 pack, and the long neck labels, have the date "11291" on them, and today is December 7, 2011. If that is the production date they should still be fine, but if that is the expiration date they are months past it.

A: Light golden copper color. Obscenely clear. You could do your taxes while looking through a glass of this stuff. Aquafina is less filtered. A very hard pour resulted in a moderate head of fine bubbles that lasted for about 15 seconds and leaves no lacing. The bubbles racing up the glass are champagne like, as is the head. Not a good sign.

S: Cooked vegetables. Vanilla pudding. Cherries. Lots of alcohol in the nose for a 5% ABV beer.

T: Ugh. Stale tasting. Very reminiscent of Budweiser. Not really much there. Some sweetness, that's about it. Once again too much alcohol taste/feel for 5% ABV. Leaves a slightly bitter and oily coating on the back of your tongue after you swallow.

M: Extremely carbonated. Carbonation is champagne like and burns your tongue as you drink it. Watery.

O: I so seldom buy spoiled beer (it's been years) that it is hard for me to call any beer spoiled. I just don't think this 12 pack of Bass Ale is right. If I ever have it again in the future I'll be sure to re-review it. For now, I have 10 more bottles of this stuff to choke down.

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Photo of ElGuapo
1.63/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Bass should just drop the "B" and then the name would describe the beer perfectly. upon pouring this beer, it looks ok. the smell is not terrible, but you are somewhat forewarned of the awful experience you are about to have. this is one of the worst beers i have ever had.

the beer itself is not terrible, but there is just a horrible aftertaste. it is however, much better out of the 220z bottle.

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Photo of SteveGus
1.78/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Avoid, if possible, the stuff that's made in Baldwinsville, New York.

This is not the Bass Ale you were looking for. The real stuff is dry. This is annoyingly sweet and not as well attenuated as it ought to be.

The real Bass Ale has a hint of grain astringency that complements the bittering hops in the finish. This is what I was looking forward to. I did not get it out of this. Miller High Life has more grain character than this does.

This is too sweet and needs to ferment longer or harder. What hop there is in the finish is soapy, and not in the good cilantro notes you used to get with Watney's Red Barrel, either.

They may not have the water right yet in Baldwinsville. They might be following the recipe perfectly but for this, but it would make a big difference. Some more sulfate salts in the water would probably improve this.

At least, we still have Guinness Extra.

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Photo of bierschmecktgut
1.79/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

strong amber color, watched it under the tap..no head at all.

smell was sweet, smelled like wort

taste was sweet, reminded me of those wrapped root beer hard candies.

Mouth feel was bad because taste wasn't working on the palette.

not my beer, I'd reach for a "mass marketed" beer before grabbing this again.

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Photo of Onenote81
1.83/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Waiting in the Seattle airport, and this was one of the "better" offerings at a restaurant there. Came out a deep gold with a small white head on top. Decent lacing rings around the glass edge. Not bad looking, but it's downhill from here...

Smells of malts and breads, pretty sweet smelling. Not too bad. Mouthfeel is extremely watered-down and slick. No crisp bite, no sharp carbonation, nothing. Flavor was like if someone soaked a biscuit in water for 2 days, pureed it, strained it, and drank the dessicant. This was one of the most watered-down, flavorless beers I've ever had. My wife even said this was really weak, and she doesn't know beers that well. Very disappointing. I'll possibly try to get my hands on a bottle and give that a try to compare, but I'm not that excited about it. Avoid.

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Photo of DavidLosAngeles323
1.83/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

Bought a 12 pack of this brew , thought it was going to be good because it says it the first ale ever invented. Was I wrong. This beer is awful bitter with strong bad hops. Smells bad as well. Had in glass and bottle no difference just as bad. Definitely would never get this beer again.

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Photo of Stephen63
1.84/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Amber bodied ale with a finger of head after it had settled from the pour.

S - Virtually nothing, a little sweetness.

T - Incredibly bland with hardly any hops but unpleasant sweetness.

M - Felt like creamy water, almost no carbonation.

D - Hardly finished the pint.

There were three "cask" taps available, two of which were Boddingtons (there were also some nitro taps). If I had not seen the Bass poured I would have sworn I'd got a pint of some "cream flow" Boddington like pint. Not impressive and something that gives cask real ale a bad name.

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Photo of barbats
1.86/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

This was a great beer way back when, after being bought by anheuser busch, and replacing hops with two row malts, this is nothing more than a Budweiser with extra malts and a horrible natti ice aftertaste. Shame on this company for buying out and ruining a beer that has been around since artist like Monet and dictators like Napoleon Bonaparte. Just another casualty in the war of the beers. Seems any good beers will be bought out and watered down if they sell out. I will not even do the beer review in terms of mouthfeel, ect , cause to be honest its not worth it, as it fails all tests..Now I only speak of the usa version by anheuser busch, I remember the uk version being delicious!

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Photo of fnmfsm
1.96/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It seemed to be more watered down that I remember. The carbonation was very poor and very flat. This used to be one of my favorites but not anymore. I guess thats what happend when the big guys take over our old favorites. This beer is now just a fancier Bud light

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
1.96/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep coppery color with a thick yellowish white head and a little bit of lacing. Smells of sweet malts and a little earthy hops. Tastes much the same with earthy hops, a ton of sweet malts, and a little bread and some metallic flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and oily with a mild carbonation. Drinkability is okay.

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Photo of Keblar
1.96/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Update: This review used to be a 4.4/5, but no longer since the only Bass I can ever find is no longer the UK original but an overpriced, bland, bastardized, pale (no pun intended) shadow of its former self.

There should really be a separate listing for the US and UK versions lest folks be mislead - as I'm sure is the Anh-Busch intention.

In Short - Don't waste your time or money unless it's truly imported, and I don't mean from Canada like the current US Guiness and Harp offerings.

Old review below:


great color, even straight from the bottle.

Great balance all around. nice head. maintains.

slightly sweet, malty without being excessive.

Hops not a significant factor, but not lacking.

can't expect much more from mass production.

A perennial favorite.

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Photo of thommo_nk
2/5  rDev -41.2%

My grandad used to drink this and said that it was "outstanding", to be honest the modern uk version is nothing to write home about, its a generic ale and offers nothing. On the plus side the label on the bottle is still cool, at least AB Inbev have stuck with that if nothing else.

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Photo of rbbchbum
2.03/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On draft in a pint glass at a chain restaurant. After just a few swallows, I sent it back.

Appearance: Light brownish orange. It had zero foam.

Smell: None noted.

Taste/Mouth: Very mild hop finish with moderate malt. Very simple tasting.

Drinkability: This was so flat it seemed like drinking water. Zero carbination. I think I would order wine before I would order this beer again.

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Photo of Nibbley
2.04/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ok, what happened to Bass? i havent had one in a while, But, I dont remember it tasting like this.
Pours an amber with a white head that last a good while, it looks good but the taste is where it goes horribly wrong. Has a watery mouthfeel with a nasty metallic aftertaste. Its bitter but not a hoppy taste, almost artificial/chemical taste. I do not recommend this beer,run Forrest run away from this one!

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Photo of Knapp85
2.06/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

So I give a lot of pride to beers with a history to them. I think it's awesome that this beer was the flagship brew on the Titanic. That makes me want to try beers like this. To me it's kind of like time travel, you can put yourself in a specific time and place and get a little idea of how things were during that time. Bass Ale has the history but it's not the greatest historical brew I've had. Every time I've tried it, it seems for be on the flat side. It's got a really nice color to it but the hops and malts used just don't please my palette that much. I know a lot of people who love Bass but I've just never been able to enjoy it.

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Photo of TerryW
2.09/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This was a strange one for me. It had a very odd odour and taste of mushrooms of all things. This was distracting to say the least.

Amber tea coloured with a big rough white head that settles to a thick film. Lots of original lace, but that's all she gives.

Musty mushroom smell. Taste is malt and metal and thin. And finished with mushrooms.

I don't mind an unusual tasting beer. I quite enjoy the earthiness you can find in many beers. But this one just don't work.

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Photo of BeerBob
2.14/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Date: 08-16-2002
Bass Pale Ale pours from the dark brown one Imperial pint bottle, a rusty amber with one heck of a head, lace and foam abound in my glass.

Nose is a creamy butterscotch sweetness, and palate of creamy sweet butterscotch with a balanced bitter and a touch of gypsum. Absolutely one yummy Ale and a must try for anyone.

Bass Pale Ale has been on my list of Beers to buy when the price is right. Bass Pale Ale is a good tasting pale ale that has been around for a very long time.

Date: not recorded
Well, I just went through a twelve pack and lo and behold this brew has turned to Banta PoDo, it is nothing at all what it used to be!

Interbrew Be Damned!!!

Date: 2/23/2014
Now brewed in the USA by AB-InBev
This stuff is just gross...
Mouth-feel is all wrong, and the bite of carbonation is no longer smooth and cream like.
This will be my last update for this brand. I will not buy another drop of this failed replicant.

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Photo of Thrasher
2.15/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ordered this from a bar that didn't have anything else worth drinking. It's been a while since I tried it last, and I have to say this beer is pretty bad. It looks fine, and has a good mouthfeel but the flavors are husky, dirty, and muted to the point of being innocuous - I guess to appeal to as many people as possible. Well I'm not one of them. This beer does injustice to all pale ales and to the British beer world as the whole, at least from an American perspective. Goes into the same file as Heineken: imported, overpriced, underflavored, and available everywhere. Needless to say I stuck to scotch for the rest of the night.

If this was packaged as macroswill at 3.99 a sixer that would be one thing. Instead, it's presented as a prestige beer, 7 or 8 bucks a sixer, and almost always an extra dollar a pint at the pub. Unacceptable. However, I should reserve complete condemnation until I have the opportunity to sample the Real deal from a cask in the UK.

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Photo of bloberglawp
2.16/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a appropriate cooper, white head dissipates quicky to a thin ring, no lace.

Aroma of nothing. A faint bit of spice and malt and a light buttery vegetal, very faint. Flavor, again very little noticable... a little astringent hop bitterness and a watered down malt profile...

I remember a better product, and this 6 pack was pulled out of a case sitting on a freshly arrived pallet at the suppermarket... my guess is it sat in a warehouse or two before it got to me, try and get this product fresh, it should be better than what I got.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
78 out of 100 based on 1,028 ratings.