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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,992 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1992
Reviews: 990
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.62%

Brewed by:
Bass Brewers Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,992 | Reviews: 990 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nick76


3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a very pretty beer. It has a very large foamy head that takes up 90% of the glass when poured. The color is amber with just a slight haze. The smell is sweet with caramel and toffee. It also has a good English style yeast to make it almost butterscotch like. Then taste is close to the aroma with the exception of being a bit astringent. The palate is smooth but not thick enough. Overall a good session beer but it falls short of greatness.

Serving type: can

03-28-2010 17:55:25 | More by nick76
Photo of Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, this classic pale ale pours a copper colour with a 1 finger, bubbly head, reducing to a thin film and leaving some decent soapy lacing on my glass.

Faint smells of bready caramel malts, some metal and biscuit and some very light hop notes.

Taste is nice and malty with substantial caramel and brown sugar notes hindered by a bit of metallic-ness, giving way to bread and butter with a bitter twang on the finish and linger.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a good level of carbonation leading to a clean, crisp finish.

Drinkability-wise, this one does the trick. Not too complicated in terms of flavour (but not too boring either) and very easy drinking. An ideal session ale. I would drink this beer again.

Serving type: can

03-28-2010 06:48:48 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of decimator

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Labelled as Bass Imported Pale Ale 5.1% ABV.
500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear amber copper colour with a 1/8 creamy head that dissipates into a very thin cap. Doesn't produce much lacing.

S - Delicious smell of caramel malts are quite prominent. There's a hint of something fruity or flowery in the background but I can't pin it down.

T - Caramel sweetness followed by a some hop bitterness in the finish. Good balance. It's inoffensive but light.

M - Medium carbonation on the tongue with a creamy & oily feel.

D - Could easily drink only this in an evening. Wish I had bought more then one can.

Serving type: can

01-16-2010 02:49:53 | More by decimator
Photo of Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- 500ml can poured into a pint glass. An extremely clear copper looking color in the glass, 1 finger of head that quickly subsides, virtually no lacing. Tons of carbonation bubbles clinging to the walls of the glass.

S- Fairly light scent. A bit of malt, maybe some floral hop.

T- Better than the smell. Caramel malt, nuttiness, mild hops, and a mineral taste as well.

M- Thin body, medium carbonation, finishes dry.

D- This is definitely better on tap from what I can remember. I think it also makes a decent black and tan. Nothing off putting here, but not something I go out of my way to have.

Serving type: can

12-22-2009 02:51:04 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of EsoxLucius

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml can.

A: Tea Colored, like Red Rose. Copper with a bit more of a golden hue.

S: sweet fruity aromas, a bit like innus and gunn.

T: just the right amount of sweet malts, with some fruity undertones. very little aftertaste.

M: velvet like and quite smooth, has a creamy feel to it.

D: quite, i much enjoyed this and will purchase it again.

Serving type: can

09-05-2009 05:52:38 | More by EsoxLucius
Photo of 2roosters

British Columbia (Canada)

3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving: 500ml Can

Appearance: orangy brown, clear with a strong head that lasts

Smell: a bit of malt, a bit of citurs quite mild

Taste: sweet caramel/toffee with a bit of bitterness on the finish

Mouthfeel: a little undercarbonated ? feels slightly viscous in the mouth

Drinkability: decent enough but there are many better options

I used to drink this in the bottle a number of years ago and my memories of that presentation are better so it may be a "can" thing.

Serving type: can

08-26-2009 21:14:08 | More by 2roosters
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml can downed aug 5

A golden amber and quite clear. decent head, hung around with a fair bit of lace

S sweet malts, caramel and chocolate quite faint nothing too special

T mild hops, with sweet malt, some caramel not too bad in the can overall. Im thinking this would rate higher if i had something other then a half liter can to pour from.

M/D quite nice, it was easy too drink, good carbonation just a little thin

look forward too drinking this again, good value

Serving type: can

08-07-2009 01:47:27 | More by wordemupg
Photo of erikm25


3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured from can with the "Bass Pub Pour System." The hue is crisp rich darkened pumpkin orange. Slight hints of copper tinting. Head is about ¾ an inch of pearl white. Retention was moderate with razor thin lacing around the glass.

S: Subtle earthy and vanilla cream undertones. Grains with a pinch of hops. Flour and pear aroma help to round it out. There is something about the smell that I really enjoy.

T: Grassy with some mild hops and light buttery toffee. As I had more there seemed to be sweetness that crept up. Peppered and good bitter finish. Though my expectations were not high this turned out more complex then expected.

M: Good mouth feel with a underwhelming carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and perfect for a warm Friday late afternoon. Also using it as a beer for home made onion rings. This is a decent and for the cost a quality deal.

Serving type: can

07-24-2009 22:51:45 | More by erikm25
Photo of fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can poured into a pint glass.

Bought a four-pack and drank each one in different settings (fits in with my moderate drinking habits anyway, plus I had a nice beer order this time).

Bass grew on me. The first one was okay, but by the time I had finished all four (separated by several weeks), it had really grown on me.

Minimal head upon pour (1/2 finger?)

Unlike many beers that start sweet and finish bitter, this one does the opposite. Bitter on the first sip and sweeter both on the end of the sip, but also as I moved farther down the glass. Hops and mild citrus, of orange and lemon.

Crisp and refreshing in the mouthfeel.

This is definitely a go-to beer. It's not outstanding but it's readily available and easily drinkable.

Serving type: can

06-22-2009 22:29:06 | More by fullsweep
Photo of julian1117


3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Visual appeal: stunning burnished orange

Smell: disappointing, slight hop

Flavor: rich and mildly creamy, hint of hops

Mouthfeel: satisfactorily maintains carbonation, mildly creamy

Drinkability: highly drinkable, thirst-quenching

I tried one after helping my brother do some landscaping work in Jersey before Mother's Day. Perfect thirst-quencher.

Serving type: can

05-10-2009 00:47:03 | More by julian1117
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bass Pale Ale is neither pale in the conventional sense nor is it the deeply coppered amber colour it would have been around the time of its conception. It has a more golden tinge shaded by only the lightest brush of amber. The clarity is immaculate but its head, disappointingly, is non-existent.

The smell is not exactly hoppy nor does it really showcase much of the hard, mineral-rich water that Burton-on-Trent is so famous for. What is most noted, I'm sorry to say, is a cloying hint of corn syrup. It possesses the same kind of high fructose odour one can usually lift from soft drinks. Apart from that, there is really only a smidgen of amber malts.

Bass became famous for two main reasons: its exceeding hop bitterness and the harsh, clipping mineral rich water of the Burton-on-Trent. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and forget all that. Forget bitter, forget crisp - this is borderline cloying with hints of corn syrup landing way ahead of any earthy hops or rich caramelized malts.

It could just be me, but I find all of these British macro canned offerings to posses the same taste of artificially induced nitrogen (even in the samples, like this one, that are not the nitro-cans.) It has a very gassy texture that far exceeds any maltiness or bitterness.

The original pale ales made for export, Bass is surely included in this, were massively hopped at anywhere from 6 to 8 pounds per barrel! (The average beer will use a couple ounces, most IPA's around 1 or 2 lbs and most DIPA's still falling short at maybe 4lbs or so per barrel.) Of course, this has no impression of hops in taste, aroma, or mouthfeel.

Which really is no surprise, English breweries like Bass were, as far as I can tell, the first macro breweries, meaning the first to start compromising on quality and tradition in the name of efficiency and profit margins. (Bass production had already reached 56,000 barrels a year, 12% of which was exported, by 1849. They would open two more massive breweries in the decades that followed.)*

Bottles of Bass can be seen in many paintings by Picasso and most famously in Edouard Manet's 1882 painting "Bar at the Folies-Bergère." I'm inclined to believe the product has changed much since those times, however. Bass has a rich history no doubt. It is ashamed the company seems so unconcerned and indifferent to abandon it, the beer I mean.

*All information taken from Martyn Cornell's "Beer: The Story of the Pint", an excellent read for anyone interested in the subject.

Serving type: can

05-07-2009 00:21:11 | More by biegaman
Photo of Spikester


3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time from a can. Pours amber with a modest head and few lacings. Aroma is mild floral hops. Taste is sweet malts with a good amount of hop bitterness. Very well balanced. Carbonation is minimal as is typical of English beers. Mouthfeel is good with a medium dry bitter finish. Very sessionable if you like this type of beer and I do. A very nice alternative to an American macro.

Serving type: can

04-20-2009 02:05:55 | More by Spikester
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 500-ml can into a pub ale glass.

Appearance - really nice amber colour with a sustaining quarter-inch surface head. Great looking.

Smell - clean malty scents with a hint of caramel.

Taste - very interesting flavour up front with a smooth, cottony and floral taste. However, it gives way to a less spectacular collision of a medicinal-grapey sense.

Mouthfeel - I have to admit the smoothness up front is really impressive but then it gives way to a really chaotic throatfeel as it goes down.

Drinkability - it's one that has good qualities but I'd pass on to a better product if available.

Serving type: can

02-19-2009 02:00:58 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of Jekster


4.15/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear shinny amber to dark gold with a thick two finger off white head that cascaded over time to a thick frothy lacing.

Smell: Toasted Carmel and crusty bread take the forefront of the aromas on this beer. There is the slight reminiscent of sweet Bourbon and orange peel. A slight nutty pecan smell is hiding behind all the other more dominant smells. This is definitely a malt forward beer. There is no noticeable hop aroma present.

Taste: Toasted Carmel is the first flavor to the pallet upon taking a sip. This is followed by hints of dark fruit (figs, dates, cherries). This beer definitely has some sweet character, but it is not overbearing. The sweet character is again forward on the pallet but quickly fades into a dry finish that lingers a slightly nutty, woody, and again Bourbon like character. There is a slight hop bitterness along with minor alcohol esters after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: This is a very light bodied beer that you can take in large mouthfuls. I think it's appropriate for the pub ale style given that it has a clean dry finish. A slight carbonation fizzel gives it a nice effervescent feel that also cleans your pallett with every swallow.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable. It has a nice level of complexity without being overpowering. I could easily drink this beer with some bangers and mash or quaff a few down while sitting on the porch during a hot summer day.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I would buy this beer again if I wanted something light to drink with pub food or if I was raking leaves in the fall. It's thirst quenching, pleasant, and actually has a bit more character than some other pub ales I've tried. It's not going to wow you with character, complexity or strength, but then again I don't think that's the goal of pub ales. Instead, drink this beer if you want to toss quite a few back and have an easy drinking beer. I only wish I could get it with a nitro widget to add to the experience. ;)

Serving type: can

01-14-2009 02:00:28 | More by Jekster
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is cool that this now available in BC in cans as I dig decent imports in tall cans. This has always been a pretty beer to look at with its tall head and dark tan body. The nose is biscuity and kinda malty. The taste is very soft but tasty with flowery hop notes and a nice malty finish. A classic beer that is still nice to drink especially in a can where the beer tastes fresher.

Serving type: can

10-09-2008 00:49:01 | More by canucklehead
Photo of drpimento


3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just had a can of the Pub Pour version and it is noticibly better. Maltier and smoother. Better. British hop style. fairly good beer. Very nice fluffy full frothy head and plenty of lace. The bitterness is perfectly balance with the malt. This is definitely better than the orignal Bass.

Serving type: can

09-05-2008 01:50:09 | More by drpimento
Photo of walshclimb


3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear, light reddish brown with 1/4" head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lace. Very mild smell of malt with hint of sweet fruity sugar. Nondescript flavor that is light bodied with crisp texture. Overall, this is a decent session beer that is light and easy to drink. No bad flavors, but nothing to get too excited about either.

Serving type: can

04-18-2008 23:11:26 | More by walshclimb
Photo of williamherbert

New York

2.8/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is a super-clear light orange with a solid foamy white head. Looks watery, but not thin.

The aroma is sweet ale malt. More like a regular ale than a pale. Above average pub ale smell.

THe flavor is sweetbread malt. Vague pale malt flavor, with some okay yeast presence. It's slightly substandard out of the can. Too sweet of an aftertaste, and tastes like dishsoap as it warms up.

Feels watery with a sweet burn on the way down. Milkier than expected. Soapy. It's disappointing. I generally like Bass on tap but out of the can it didn't hit the mark. Not awful, but subpar.

Serving type: can

04-18-2008 21:55:59 | More by williamherbert
Photo of johnbonham1980


1.4/5  rDev -58.5%
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...

Serving type: can

02-20-2007 00:58:50 | More by johnbonham1980
Photo of bonbright7


4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I never thought I would find Bass Ale in a pint can, but did today, on the train platform between tracks 18 and 19 of the Long Island Railroad at Penn Station, NYC. It was featured among other canned beers, like Bud, Becks, Coors Light, and I think Heineken too, in a mobile bar cart for $2.50. Optimism was not in the air at the moment of purchase as I thought a great beer like Bass deserved better.

I was proven wrong as my train pulled away from the station and I popped the top to reveal a great flowing mass into my cup. The ale flowed as if I was drawing it off a tap and it had the familiar shake of a skirt element to the head with many little bubbles coming from the bottom.

The first taste was creamy caramel body mixed with the bitter aftertaste that made me want to take the whole pint down in one shot. I enjoyed the beer to its quick ending and regretted not buying another for the train ride home.

I could see the practical element to having it in a can in Penn Station and I would happily buy this again...in a can.

Serving type: can

02-03-2007 02:07:55 | More by bonbright7
Photo of GeoffRizzo


3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

24 ounce tall-boy. Lightly amberish-red in color, a dissapointing white head. Butery hops, some caramel toffee notes and tender malts noticed on the nose. Medium bodied with the true to quality offerings found in the style--bitter and creamy hops, combined with a light caramel malt backbone. Fails to develop the creaminess that would be expected with an EPA. Simple enough, but that may be the issue here. Better offerings can be found.

Serving type: can

11-25-2006 21:03:47 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of cjgator3


2.35/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a "Bass Pub Pour" can into a pint glass. Pours a copperish amber color with a thin white head. Aroma is extremely faint malt and just a touch of caramel. Taste begins malty with not much going on in the middle. Finally the bitterness from the hops sneak in at the end with a metallic twang in there as well. Overall, this just is not a very good beer in a can and is not exactly going to make my grocery list anytime soon.

Serving type: can

11-20-2006 05:07:17 | More by cjgator3
Photo of hckyfn9999


3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a "Bass Pub Pour" can a dark copper with a very nice white head and good lacing.

Smell is sweet. There is some caramel and a sweet hawaiian bread like smell. Also a little bit apple in the nose as well.

Taste is also pretty sweet similar to the smell with the caramel, bread, and fruit. There is also some buttery diacetyl.

Mouthfeel is decent but a little slick.

Overall an easy drinking English Pale Ale. Pretty decent brew.

Serving type: can

11-12-2006 04:58:24 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Schwarzbart


4.18/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a pub pour can which yielded a nice 1 finger creamy head. The head receded quicker than I expected, but the lacing was phenomenal. The appearance was very clear and amber in color with sporadic tiny little carbonation bubbles surfacing to the top.

Smell: Sweet toffee and caramel malts.

Taste: Taste was a little more flat than the nose yielded, but still very good with a good dose of caramel malts. Earthy hops provide a nice balance to the sweetness and a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and buttery smooth.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, but tastes a little sweeter in the can than I remember from the bottle. A good solid English pale ale.

Serving type: can

03-28-2006 02:03:14 | More by Schwarzbart
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from the "pub pour" can that falsely promised a thick and long lasting head. I tried my best to induce a head, only came up with about an eighth of an inch that quickly disapeared. Color was light copper with little to no lacing. I was unable to get much aroma out of this brew. Along with trying to pour a large head, I was also agitating the beer, but was unable to get any real aroma out of it. Taste was average. Smooth with hints of malt and hops, but nothing special when it comes to ales. Clean in the mouth. I don't think I'll buy this stuff again.

Serving type: can

03-26-2006 22:49:38 | More by Avagadro
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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 1,992 ratings.