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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Not Rated.
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,093 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,093
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 17
Gots: 62 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001)
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Ratings: 2,093 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DIPAbrewer


3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark ale with copper undertones and a fine beige head.

S: Bass doesn't have a very noticeable aroma, a slight malt note perhaps.

T: This is where Bass shines. It has wonderful malt taste upfront balanced well with noble hops. This is a classic beer and one of my favorite commercial ones.

D: This beer is highly drinkable. A fact that I have tested vigorously.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 04:18:11 | More by DIPAbrewer
Photo of fank2788


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Bass Ale, the classic english pale ale pours a nice clear copper color with a white head that leaves a thin layer of bubbles with some lace. The smell is subdued but I do get lots of buttery diacetyl along with some toasted malt and faint earthy hops. The taste of this can be attributed to the famous brewing water, slightly salty very mineraly and even a bit metallic along with a fair amount of butterscotch, toasted and caramel malts and some earthy, very British, hop flavor and associated bitterness. The mouthfeel is decent nothing overly exciting. I've got a special place in my heart for this beer. In college the only package store within walking distance of campus had a very poor beer selection with a lot of cheep macro lagers to appeal to the general college community. So I found myself drinking a lot of Bass and Sam Adams. This may not be the best pale ale ever made, but it is a pretty good one.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2007 01:11:09 | More by fank2788
Photo of prototypic


3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's transparent and a copper color. Very modest one finger head. Retention was short and very little lacing down the mug.

Smell: Very light on the nose. There's a bit of sweet caramel malts. Slight hops are noticeable. A bit earthy or grainy. It also has a yeasty smell to it.

Taste: It's okay. Not very hoppy. Definitely on the grainy side. It also has a bit of spicy kick (maybe pepper) to it. A bit of caramel or toffee malts give it some body. But, it has a slight watered down taste to it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied and pretty smooth. Carbonation is about right for this beer. It's drinkability is decent. Definitely not a regular for me though. Overall, it's alright and worth trying. It pales in comparison to some American pale ales though. Pardon the pun....

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 02:43:47 | More by prototypic
Photo of BuckSpin


3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16oz draft pint in a Guinness flared pint glass

A rather handsome, crystal clear, brassy copper hue in body, a finger's worth of loose lemon stained ivory foam faded very quickly to a thin sheen with an edge ring that laced in a few spots initially to nothing at all. Nose was rather nice and actually got better as it warmed (this was served way too cold from the tap & I nursed it for quite a while) - sweet, toffee, caramel, candied orange peel, an excuse of some malt and finally butterscotch. The toffee/caramel/butterscotch triumvirate grew with bloom and I enjoyed the sweet aroma.

Very clean, crisp with semi-dry sweetness, traces of the caramel & toffee over flat malts and dry, strawlike hop bitters that took a backseat, practically in the trunk. Its clean & smooth but not silken. The malts do grow on the palate and get more leathery with some tannins as the chewy candy qualities still linger over a slightly thickened mouthfeel. Alas, it finishes downhill, fading & getting weaker, thinner yet crisper with a cider like tartness that only accentuated a noticeable (yet subdued) filmy, chalky, slate-like adieu that left more of the same as an mildly chewy aftertaste.

Once it warmed up a bit I did enjoy this beer (particularly the sweet nose) right up to the finish, which left me frustrated that a beer that easy, soft & pleasant could just finish so brashly. It was not by any means bad, but it certainly wasn't very good either. Its a good, easy to drink example of the genre that leaves rough & bitter. I'd drink it again, but wouldn't be opposed to trying something else if giving a choice.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2007 20:10:33 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with little head that doesnt linger long, some lacing on the side of cup, beer a delightful amber brown.

Smell- Hints of caramel, chocolate, and honey.

Taste- Begins with a slight hint of spice, quickly subsides and notes of caramel and honey emerge.

Mouthfeel- Feels great on palate, clean with just the right amount of pleasant aftertaste.

Drinkability- One of the most drinkable beers Ive ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 23:15:21 | More by Bowdoinbeerboy
Photo of bigpatvoodoodad

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer and one I'd recommend to anyone wanting to try an English Pale Ale. When I run out of Abbot and there's none to buy, this is my ole stand-by. This is one beer that I drink all evening and into the night. I love drinking this while playing video games. The larger bottle I bought makes it easier to play games, since you're not constantly getting up to grab another bottle. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 18:34:12 | More by bigpatvoodoodad
Photo of Jordan1985rec


4.6/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface by saying that Bass is one of my all time favorites, always a go to when I see it in the pint bottles. And that is the the point, for some reason the smaller 12oz bottles do not taste quite as good as the pint bottles, more like the pub I suppose. Anyway in my opinion a very, very good beer for almost any occasion, I am a fan of Ale style beers though, so perhaps I am a bit biased.
A-Pourned clean with appropriate amount of head.
S-Standard ale smell, really when you think about it this is probably the template for ale.
T- Amazing, one of my favorites, really standard ale taste. Yes I know there are better ones out there, but I always enjoy this one!
M- Normal for an ale
D- I usually drink these whist hanging out with all my mates at the pub, so I believe that explains the amount a person can drink of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 00:39:14 | More by Jordan1985rec
Photo of yemenmocha


3.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Extremely challenging to avoid any bias in favor of this beer.

Appearance is crisp golden, perhaps light amber. Generous white head with long duration.

Aroma is biscuity & bready. Fresh. Clean.

Palate is medium to light bodied with inoffensive malt & hops, nicely balanced, but nothing to get excited about. Just reliable goodness with this ale.

Finish is semi short with a mild lingering sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 04:18:19 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- body is a little murky for a pale ale and it had little head retention.

S- malty maybe with a little bit of hops (or I was dreaming).

T- malty initially with a bitter alcohol/hops aftertaste (more alcohol).

D- pretty drinkable. Not my first choice at a bar (my friend ordered it) but still not the last time I will have it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2007 20:35:15 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good and enjoyable, if not outstanding. Color is a dark amber with a hint of red, not much head. Aroma is weak but inviting. Flavor is decidedly malty, very smooth without any bitter aftertaste. This beer is better on tap than from a bottle, but I suspect most ales are that way.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 03:13:57 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of TheSarge


2.6/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Produces a finger thick head that is slightly tan in color. Lacing sticks very well on the glass. The body is ultra clear and is golden amber.

Gives off a malty and buttery aroma. There is a slight hops aroma too.

This starts out with a sweet buttery flavor, but finishes a bit bitter.

Though this has a low alcohol content, there seems to be a warm feel to this beer.

Overall this is pretty average, maybe slightly below average. The last time I tried this until today, was in London back in 2002, and it didn't thrill me then either. I think I'll stick to St. Pete's.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 08:50:07 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Redwood21


3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i got this on tap, when it came out it had very little head left and was a golden reddish color, almost amber.
the smell was sweet, a little bit of hops but not much aroma to be had, what was there was nice though.
My first taste impression was that i didnt liek this particular ale, however as i finished the glass, i liked it alot more. its got a sweet tast, with a bit of hoppy bittermess. it almost seemed tingly, im not sure if it had to do wqith carbonation or something else. the mouth feel was average, if not just above seemed a bit watery for my taste, and lacking of that "it" factor that we all know we want but cant explain. It is a highly drinkable beer, smooth enough, and low enough in alcohol to enjoy a few of. a good solid beer, a good choice, and a more common beer thats actually worth getting.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2007 00:45:10 | More by Redwood21
Photo of BretSikkink


3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This red triangle must mean something...

Light side of copper, maybe amber colored, large amount of head and lacing. The head is retained for several minutes.

Nice aromatics; earthy floral hop aromas, definite malt presence.

Noble hops lend a nice bitter twang to this beer, malt is sweet and light. Some kind of mineral presence as well, unplaceable to me. The flavor is fine, just underwhelming. Definitely let is sit once out of the fridge, the flavors don't really emerge while chilled.

Not bad at all, it's what I think of when English pale ale is mentioned. It's far from perfect, and I'm sure InBev's presence in the Bass brewhouse has done it no favors, but it's a fine session beer, not too challenging and no off flavors. Perfect for your friend who doesn't like hoppy or dark beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 02:00:07 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a mug. Nice amber color, no real lacing, a fairly low head that disappears pretty quickly. Looks like your average beer. Nose is fairly mild, mostly malt, a little of that standard sweet macro-lager smell to it. Taste is overwhelmingly malty, very sweet caramel and toffee, just a very mild hint of hops at the end. Feel is standard macro feel, medium-thin bodied, solid to a little high carbonation. Overall, it's a pretty solid beer, although I'm not sure if it's worth the price hike over the standard macro lagers. It's one that I could drink a few of, mostly because it's pretty thin and unoffensive. Not bad, but not great either.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 20:46:20 | More by soupyman10
Photo of beveritt


2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Arrived in a plastic standard shaped pint glass at a local dive college bar.

Appearance: About 1/2 inch of light tan head. Settles quickly to just the thinnest of coatings. The beer itself is a very light copper color and perfectly clear.

Smell: Not much happening here. Maybe a little bit of sweet malt, but overall, very little aroma.

Taste; Very little in the way of flavor. Slightly bready, slightly sweet malt. Bitterness is very low. Maybe a little sour tang?

Mouthfeel: Average to below average carbonation level. Body is okay.

Drinkability: Overall, not much going on here. Not water, but not really impressive in the flavor department. This is the kind of thing to drink at a bar that doesn't serve craft beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2007 18:31:35 | More by beveritt
Photo of brucepepper

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Good head, recedes after a couple of minutes but does not look flat. Light copper colour.

S - Fruity, but like fruit that's a bit too ripe. Not a big fan of the smell. It reminds me of some cheaper beer that I've had.

T - Seems balanced. Can taste maltiness and hopiness, but the flavour is a bit lacking.(can't put my finger on it)

M - Good carbonation, but it almost seems like would be more fitting if it was a bit flat. Maybe the carbonation overpowers the flavour and texture. A bit watery.

D - Very easy to drink.

Towards the end it seemed more watery and the aftertaste became the flavour. Good beer, just not my favourite.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 14:05:13 | More by brucepepper
Photo of afinepilsner


3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Bass Pale Ale was amber in color and very clear. It has a medium sized off-white head that soon became a thin layer with some lacing left behind. The aroma was sweet caramel malt with some english hops in the backround. The taste was caramel malt and hops with a nice bitterness and dry finish. It was medium-light in body and carbonation. Drinkability was average. It's a decent English pale ale, but nothing to go out of your was for.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2007 22:48:56 | More by afinepilsner
Photo of JOaikido

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ml amber bottle. Best before November 2007. 5.1% ABV.

A- very nice reddish amber colour with good white head and fairly good bubbliness. A good looking beer. The head decreases to a ring but doesn't end up looking flat.

S- basic beer up front with nice light malt and hops. Also some aplle and grape overtones. Pleasant overall.

T- Pleasant balance of malt and hops. There is an undertone that reminds me of some euro lagers that detracts from character. There is also some wateriness to the flavour. Floral hops and some roasted caramel flavours increase as the beer warms. A decent pale ale though not great. Better on tap.

MF- A little too watery. But it is refreshing and pleasnt overall.

D- Very easy drinker and a decent session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 16:45:52 | More by JOaikido
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Stoney's.

Pours a deep gold color with a 1-finger head that hangs arounf for awhile. No real lacing to speak of.

Smells of fruity esters, and faint hints of something floral.

The taste is basically a much better version of the smell, with warm fruit esters, the most noticeable of which are pears and sun-ripened yellow apples. I want to say that this beer tastes "bright," although I could not begin to say why, other than it seems to fit somehow.

The moutfeel seemed much fizzier than I seem to recall, although I am not sure whether that's because I never paid as close attention to it before. Bass is one of my old fallbacks for any Brit-pub, so I'm sure I will have it again sometime and figure that one out.

All told, a fairly solid choice.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2007 00:36:30 | More by Boppar
Photo of ghostwalker


3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brownish-amber body with a thick white head. Not bad to look at at all.

Nose is sweet biscuit malt with a hint of butter.

Flavor is smooth, sweet and grainy. Biscuit malt with a touch of butter on the finish. This is a light interpretation of the classic English Pale Ale. Easy to drink, light on flavor, perhaps a touch less flavor than even a light bitters.

Mouthfeel is thin, slick and slightly creamy.

Drinkability is pretty good. To me, it somehow goes better by itself than in a black and tan.

I would much rather have a Fullers ESB or a Youngs Bitter than Bass, but it is a pretty good go-to beer out here on my personal beer desert island. As least it's available!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2007 04:43:16 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of Stephen63

United Kingdom (Scotland)

1.85/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-08-2007 07:19:45 | More by Stephen63
Photo of billybob


4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours nice rich clear amber color with a off white two finger head that held fairly well with some good lacing. smell fruity, with some caramel aromas. taste is sweet caramel, toasted malt, and sweet fruits. mouthfeel light, moderate carbonation, with a lightly slick feel on the tongue. easy drinker, good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 23:54:12 | More by billybob
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance - Amber color, some head but then goes low after awhile. Not much lace here.

smell - Nothing interesting, sweet malt smell.

taste -Nice balanced beer, sweet malt taste.

drinkability - Nice beer on tap, never tried it in a bottle. A few times on tap though.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2007 05:03:29 | More by auxiliary
Photo of johnbonham1980


1.4/5  rDev -58.3%
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 1fastz28


4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a light reddish amber color with a medium head that is slow to shrink.
smells very good, hops first then a more malty presence,maybe even a slight chocolately maltness in it. tastes great also, i let it sit on my mouth and the alcohol warms the tongue, has a unique aftertaste. drinkability is exceptional, would love to have these all day long, if it weren't for school/work.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 00:42:32 | More by 1fastz28
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,093 ratings.