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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Not Rated.
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,374 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,374
Reviews: 1,023
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 26
Gots: 168 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,374 | Reviews: 1,023 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of servo12
5/5  rDev +49.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say, this is my absolute favorite beer. I should not even review this. It is that old friend that I can always depend on. It is easily available at my local pub. I will admit that it is a mass produced beer. However, among the others it stands out as a time tested favorite of generation after generation of brew aficionados.

Photo of Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beer pours a nice crisp/clean copper color with active carbonation throughout. Head is foamy and maintains at about 1/2-finger leaving very infrequent but clingy lacing.

Smell: Pretty decent. Grapefruit with just a touch of floral hop action. Bitterness blends in with a toffee malt infrastructure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is lightly oily on the tongue, lots of bitter citrus in the flavor palette. Nice gentle malt carries the mellow hops right on through straight to the brain. Despite the smoothness, there's a light bite to the brew which cannot be denied.

Overall: A good beer. Done for centuries for a reason. It's not outstanding or innovative in any way shape or form, but it's arguably worth its price.

Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Country Corner in Setauket, NY. Served in a pint glass. Though I've had it before, I've never gotten around to reviewing it and quite frankly, its about time I reviewed this classic beer.

Look: orange/amber body with a thin, creamy head of slightly off white foam that doesn't retain very well and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: a bit of English hops and some toasted malt, caramel and toffee. The hops are surprisingly modest and the malt is surprisingly robust, but that's probably because I'm used to American pale ales. Smells good.

Taste: follows the nose with a smattering of toasted, pale malt, some earthy hops, and a background of caramel, toffee and some hop spice. Good.

Feel: medium to light, moderately carbonated, sweet up front with a malty finish.

Drink: easily sessionable at a modest 5%. I could have a few of these without much issue and its interesting enough to make for a long session.

Overall: decent but nothing extraordinary. I have to wonder how much this recipe has changed since it began production. One of my favorite things is drinking beer that's been around for a long time and well, if I was a British beer drinker in a pub in 1800 and I could order a Bass or any porter, stout, mild, or bitter... I would definitely choose anything but a Bass. Still, worth it just because this is one of the iconic British Pale Ales and its important to know where you're coming from. Cheers!

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bass Pale Ale is one of the first beers I ever had. Figured it was time to review. Pours a clear orange with a small white head, no lace. Plenty of carbonation pops up from the bottom.
The smell is of buttered bead, minerals and a bit of lemon rind.
Taste is very much the same. A very crisp beer. A little thin and carbonation heavy but not bad.
Though I prefer beers with a heavier flavor, Bass will always hit the spot on a warm day.

Photo of ghetto90007
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at LAX. Is much better on tap than out of the bottle.

Poured into a tall pilsener glass. Orangish amber color, small white head, decent lacing and resilience.

Malt comes through the nose, mostly sweetness with just a hint of bitterness underneath.

This is not an aggressive beer - real subdued and smooth. Mild sweetness and malt, very mild bitterness. Hints of vanilla and spice. Much better flavor coming through than out of the bottle - well formed and consistent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly soft. This was not a nitro, but had hints of that softness.

Much better than the bottled version. Drinkable and actually somewhat enjoyable.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium brown crystal body with plenty of visible carbonation. Small white half finger creamy head with decent retention and great lacing.

Smell - Very pronounced banana and malt.

Taste - Banana with a slight adjunct bitterness in the finish. A little metallic aftertaste, which I consider an off flavor.

Mouthfeel - Good and creamy.

Overall Drinkability - If it wasn't for the metallic aftertaste that puts a strong damper on the drinkability of this beer, it might be something I wouldn't mind having again.

Photo of ryantho00
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12oz bottle that I poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a light amber reddish color that has some carbonation and a lacing that sticks down the side of the glass throughout.

I smell some earthiness and a sweet maltiness (slightly) and a tiny hop smell that has citrus notes. Some strange metallic undertone as well....very slightly.

I get a maltiness from the beginning, some sweetness, slight noble hops, an earthiness, some smoke, and some sort of a metallic tinge. It has a little bit of a bittiness but finishes very smooth and creamy like butter.

****after drinking a couple I think I get a very very slight apple aftertaste that I couldn't place before***

Overall a nice macro-brew, nothing outstanding but definatly not pee water like certain pseudo-macro brews. Has a nice medium mouthfeel with slight carbonation. Very balanced session beer.

Photo of racer2k
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle in to my favorite pint glass/

A- Golden amber color to this beer which produces a thin element of off white head which clings to the sides of my glass.

S- A bit of earthy hopped aroma with a slight hint of hops with a solid malt background

T- Sweet malt flavor with a buttery dry finish to the beer. There is minimal hop presence other than the back end finish of the beer.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium body that yields a nice creamy feel with a dry finish

D- A solid go to import beer that would be a last resort if there were not viable craft beers available. Very drinkable session beer.

Photo of Sensaray
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Emmas pub (20 oz'er)

Tastiest Bass I remember having. Great example of pale ale. I really enjoy the balance of delicious sweet malt flavor and the hops throughout. Also had a great reddish brown color. Very drinkable, good mouthfeel. Could drink a whole bunch of em! Overall very good pale ale.

Photo of Nixon
4.45/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It features the perfect dark amber English ale color with a really nice flavor of malt and just the right amount of hops. The gravity is at the proper level too so you get the right amount of both flavor and refreshment. Bass features the mineraly, hard water of the region where it's brewed which sets the perfect foundation for this well balanced, classic English ale.
The packaging is nice too with a parchment-style label, making it look the way it probably did a hundred years ago.

Photo of thagr81us
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a minimal pure white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight fruit, and slight hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, subtle banana, and slight skunky hop. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this wasn't too bad for a readily available mass produced brew. One of my gripes is that the aroma and flavor on this one were not very intense at all. Sure this would make it easier drinking, but kills the beer in my opinion. It is still a good gateway brew or a go-to when in a pinch, but that's where I leave it.

Photo of FanofHefe
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear amber body with a nice two-finger creamy light tan head. The head dissipates at a normal pace and leaves a light film of lacing along the glass and a slim film on top of the body.

The aroma is faint but yields mostly earthy, herbal hop tones, with a hint of sweet malt.

The sweet malt dominates the flavors with a touch of caramel. A small amount of hoppiness follows the malt and the buttery diacetyl flavor is ever present.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but lacking in carbonation, which would help. Hopefully this is not due to the tap set up.

Overall, a decent brew. I haven't had this in a very long time so it was nice to revisit it.

Photo of afrye29
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber color, clear, very little head maybe one finger but disapeared very quickly, lace stays on the side of the glass for awhile.

S- at first you notice a nice mellow hopiness, with a under tone of malt.

T- Very little hop taste more of a sweet malt taste, with a buttery taste as well.

M- Medium body, nice creamy feel with a dry finish

D- This is a good rich brew, alittle sweet, but again, I would recommend this beer to any one who wants a good english beer, I understand why its been around for quite sometime.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice old weathered copper brown color, with a white head building, holding for about two minutes, leaving a good amount of lacing on the glass.
The smell is not very strong and hints sweetness of honey, maybe a little caramel and malt.
Tasting the beer those flavors will come through up front, changing to earthy tones in the middle and becoming grainy and doughy at the end. I miss the hops in this beer.
Over all drinkable light bodied ale, but not spectacular. More like a mass production product.

Photo of bondjedi
5/5  rDev +49.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Fiesta Henderson.

One finger of off-white foam, into a schooner instead of a pint glass. Very nice copper color, translucent. Goes down very well, with a sweet malty finish.

Dee-licious! I can drink this till I collapse. I like to drink it from the bottle, but from the tap it's arguably the best brew pound-for-pound on the planet.


Ever since the Bass destined for US consumption has been brewed in upstate New York, the Beer Advocate ratings have slumped. This is a case of "haters gonna hate." Bass Ale is still the best g-damn beer out there, and the keg of it that I just bought the other days attests to that.

Photo of rarbring
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The brew is clear deep amber, an off-white head with good lacing.

The smell is rather weakly of bread, toffee, fruits and hay.

Tasting of brown bread, caramel, pears and peaches, a small grassy bitterness.

A medium carbonation, soft and refreshing, a light dryness.

A nice easy ale. Has survived for 200+ years for a reason.

Photo of Knapp85
2.06/5  rDev -38.3%
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.

Photo of HockeytownBrew
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear copper orange. About a finger width head that lingers for a bit and bits of lacing left behind.

S: Pale malts and hints of hops. Didn't expect too much with a pale ale.

T: Almost the same as the scent. Light pale malts with some hops, and hints of caramel and a slight earthiness. Not too bad.

M: Light to medium mouth feel, about right for a pale ale. Goes down smooth, plenty of carbonation.

D: Decent drinkability. More than a few can be had comfortably.

Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes verbatim on 10/7/10

A: Light amber, brilliant clarity, no head formation and no lacing.

S: Slight petunia with sweet malts, caramel. Not bad, interesting.

T: Bread, floral, decently sweet. Fairly indifferent to the flavors here.

M: Low carbonation on a medium bodied ale. Wish it was a hint more spritely.

D: Overall, decent take on pale ale, but overly sweet for my tastes.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a vibrant orange-copper coloring, crystal clear, with a thick, foamy, big bubbled off-white head of about an inch and a half. The nose is subtle, with a blend of hops and citrus. The beer has a semi-sweet malty backbone, with a bitter hop that is not overpowering in flavor, but your mouth absolutely knows it's there. Some nutty and candy-like characteristics to the flavor, as well, but that subtle hops remains vigilant in balancing all the tastes. The beer has a slightly sour aftertaste, but the finish is fairly quick. It leaves the mouth just a bit puckered, and begs to be quenched with another drink. Tasty brew.

Photo of beer4colin
4.12/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from bottle into pint glass. Large, thick head easily 2 fingers and clings to glass. Very malty appearing, eben the foam is brown tinged. Color is a hazy red oak with bronze highlights.

S - Nice roasted malts and good toast. Just a hint of sweetness coming through

T - Very pleasant. Good malt with a nice sweet finish. This is very close to the taste of Belg Dark Ale with a slightly bitter finish. Very well balanced

MF - Rich and creamy.

D - Good. I could certainly have multiples of this but it is a rich brew and I suspect would be quite filling after a couple.

Photo of beyah
4.3/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

A- Amber in color, 1 figers worth of while head. The lacing stays on the walls of the glass for a good long while.

S- Nice herbal hop notes, with a slight malt background.

T- Well balanced, very little hops bitterness, more hops flavor and aroma. The yeast/fermentation process is putting of buttery diacetyl. Nice dry finish.

Notes: This is an excellent English Pale Ale. One of my favorite session beers.

Photo of Brunite
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Crystal clear, light bronze in color. Good two fingers of off-white foam which dissipates slowly. Good carbonation.

Smell - Reasonably malty for the style. A modicum of hops and a somewhat earthy smell.

Taste - A mild caramel flavor with some diacetyl notes. Hops are more prominent in the flavor than the nose. I also do get some distinct mineral flavors from the famed Burton-on-Trent water. Some lingering dry. husky grainy flavors as well. A unique but pleasant taste all around.

Mouthfeel - A medium light body with a crisp dry finish. You also get some residual resiny, mineral feel on the finish. Unique....nice.

Drinkability - A nice, simple, classic PA. I like this one for the unique blend of flavors you get. Pretty sessionable. Nice beer.

Photo of mbrady55
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: nice red amber hue, looks appealing in a glass

s: a bit grainy, biscuty, caramel notes as well

t: malty with a hop bitterness towards the end, nice caramel flavor from the malts as well

m: medium mouthfeel

d: smoooth as all hell, this is a staple of mine and i would not mind enjoying one at all hours of the day, a personal favorite

Photo of crayolahalls
4.19/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been a long time buddy of mine. I overpay for it constantly, but it almost never lets me down.

App - Dark and comforting. Reminds me of drinking something healthy.

Smell - I am very familiar with it and could recognize it anywhere. It reminds me of sourdough bread and something else.. maybe molasses.

Taste - A great partner with bar foods. A little bit of bitterness. Almost a slight medicinal taste... sometimes.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, sometimes a little pucker to it. Not normally a lot of bubbles. I like to have a glass of water after drinking Bass because I do get a bit of a lingering feel in my mouth.

Drinkability - I wouldn't turn it down under any setting. Good for cold days and warm days and days when I just want to get messed up a little.

Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
76 out of 100 based on 2,374 ratings.