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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.

2,208 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,208
Reviews: 1,004
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 21
Gots: 100 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,208 | Reviews: 1,004 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +21.8%

I consider this THE classic English pale ale.

A: Rusty looking brew, pours with a nice head, not much retention, but nice lacing.

S: Very nice hop aroma.

T: Very well balanced, smooth, well-rounded.

M: Light to moderate body and carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, good session beer.

10-15-2005 01:06:47 | More by Derek
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3/5  rDev -10.4%

Brewed by Interbrew, Imported from England (as per the label). 354ml brown bottle, embossed Bass script on the shoulder, 5.1%.
Beer pours a dark copper color, with a small white head. Some aroma of caramel malt and flowery hops. There is some sweetness balanced with the bitter. As it warms, the alcohol and earthy bitterness get more strong. It is almost buttery feeling, but the bitterness leaves an aftertaste that I didn't really enjoy. I will save my money and probably not get this "import" again.

10-11-2005 00:13:48 | More by BigBry
Photo of RedwoodGeorge


3.68/5  rDev +9.9%

Bass ale pours a deep amber with a hint of red, a rich color promising a rich experience. The small head is off-white and remains for most of the drink, leaving a little lacing on the glass.

The smell also holds promise - malt notes and soft hop notes are evident along with orange or plum. The nose is gentle but quite complex, not overpoweringly hoppy or yeasty.

Once this ale hits your tongue the real fun starts - this is a wonderful balance of sweet and dry. The first notes are sweet and lightly malty with a very light hop finish - just enough to clear the palate and prepare you for the next sip. Mouthfeel is perfectly balanced, sweetly coating the tongue and yet the fine carbonation is just enough to lighten the drink.

This is one of my favorite brews - nicely balanced, complex without being overpowering, sweet but still light.


Re-reviewd on 08 Oct 2005: I've had quite a few other English Pale Ales since this original review in 2004 and Bass, while dependable, is bested by a number of better examples of the style. It's quite pleasant, good looking but a bit of a lightweight when it comes to taste.

10-09-2005 04:05:06 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Photo of unkiedave


3.48/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a nice golden color into my favorite mug. Head retention was decent and the lacing left a little too soon. Nice hoppy smell to the nose, inviting and typical smell for the style and region of brewery.

Nice flavor, not overpowering and rather subtle, with just a hint of a roasted flavor in the finish. Nothing ugly in the taste or mouthfeel at all. I like to lump this one together with Harp and Smithwick's, since I think all of them taste rather similar. Bass is my least favorite of the three, but overall a very good English pale ale.

10-08-2005 13:47:49 | More by unkiedave
Photo of BeerBeing


3.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Presentation: 12oz brown glass semi-custom bottle, multicolored on black label

Appearance: clear amber color, large white head, good lacing

Smell: sweet malt, hops, herbs

Taste: medium body, smooth and creamy mouth feel, sweet maltiness, bitter hops, but not a lot

Notes: good all around brew

10-05-2005 23:49:57 | More by BeerBeing
Photo of mentor


2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Bottle obtained from the discount bin at Liquor Mart (Boulder) and consumed about a week later. Bottle stamp is 21F53SH and the bottled foamed over upon opening. A gentle pour earned a three finger creamy head that hung around for quite a while. Crystal clear light brown liquid, a bit lighter in color than the bottle it comes in. Smells malty with a mild hop floral. Malts are caramel and a nip of chocolate. Almost nutty. Hops are dark and with some sulphur. Gentle diacteyl. Lightly woody. Much more in the smell than I expected. Tastes diacetyl with mild malt sweet and a hop that comes across as indecisive. The aftertaste sees a resurgence of the butter (that's diacteyl, in case you didn't know) in a stale form. Although the mouthfeel in medium, the beer has a thickness on the tongue. But, it's almost slick and unsettling. This beer is *not* good. I'm hoping this was a bad bottle. I'll have to give it another try at some point in the future. Carbonation is a bit too strong and the acrid on the tongue detracts from the flavor and mouthfeel. Decent lacing on the inside of the glass.

09-29-2005 05:23:01 | More by mentor
Photo of twelvsies


3.33/5  rDev -0.6%

I used to think this was one of the best beers around way back in the day, and then actually found the good stuff. Since then I haven't really drank any Bass until the other night. It's actually pretty decent for a semi-mainstream beer. Appears your typical tawny amber color, though not much head. Nice clarity though. And the smell and taste are fairly weak, though there is a nice hint of that classic English style toffee and biscuit taste woven in there along with a creamy malty sweetness. Really mellow hop characteristic, almost non-existent. Creamy medium bodied mouthfeel. Pretty decent.

09-24-2005 18:33:25 | More by twelvsies
Photo of kosmoraios


3.33/5  rDev -0.6%

Haven't had this one in a while. Picked up a six because it was the closest thing to a proper English pale that I could find at the time.

Poured a clear ochre-caramel color with negligible head into my pint glass. Aroma is strongly of toffee and malt, with some spices (hint of clove maybe?) and yeast. Taste is somewhat sweet, with a nutty-sweet flavor that's not strong at all. Fruity - red grape-like taste. Mouthfeel was creamy, less peppery than I think a proper pale should be, but went down smooth. Very drinkable, good for summer evenings.

09-17-2005 18:50:27 | More by kosmoraios
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a clear golden brown, small off white head, some lacing on the glass. Smell is malty, with some chocolate, sweet. Taste is sweet malt, chocolate, little bit of grassy hops. Smooth, medium carbonation, light body, although a decent and refreshing beer.

09-14-2005 17:57:43 | More by Viggo
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured a tawny brown, semi-clear. A one finger head leaves some slippery lacing. lightly toasted pale malt and an odd smell difficult to place. The taste is well balanced, burnt malt upfront, with bittering hops evening the palate for a mild flavor and pleasent aftertaste. But it is undercarbonated for it's medium body and a slippery, diacetyl mouthfeel keeps this from being a better beer.

09-14-2005 05:13:25 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of macpapi


3.4/5  rDev +1.5%

Bass Ale is the introduction to decent beers for many young drinkers. And among the middle aged and older of the non-BA crowd it still represents quality beer to many. But it has been a long time since I've sampled it. As one of my first foreign ales, however, I feel it is time to finally review it.

Bass pours an amber color with a pretty decent sized 3/4 inch tannish head. A good deal of bubble action is noticeable throughout the glass. Its smell is average. Malts with a bit of floral aroma are present. Hops are not terribly noticeable. Nothing special worthy of note. Taste is again mostly malt, with a bit of hop bitterness. There is a bit of a buttery aftertaste that helps overall. But for the most part the flavor is nothing to brag about. Mouthfeel is not bad. It has a surprising fullness with a slight bitterness that remains on the tongue. Carbonation is a bit higher than medium level. For the most part, this is a good beer to drink at many bars with limited selections of drafts. There are many places that it ranks among the one or two best on the menu. But at quality beer joints you wouldn;t think about ordering Bass. Still, price/quality wise, it would be a decent session beer--as long as there are no BA's present.

08-30-2005 00:19:58 | More by macpapi
Photo of cracgor


3.58/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance: sticks to the glass mildly and has a reasonably sized head. Clear amber beer.

Smell: a sweet, not greatly interesting smell. But it has a nice earthy smell.

Taste: a bit malty. The hops are stand out. A little more front and center than I like in my english pale ale. This has a kiss of diacatyl to it as well which is a nice change from the bottle. It just seems poorly balanced though.

Mouthfeel: medium body. A little on the astringent side. But it is decent.

Drinkability: I think this has a bit more actual flavor than the bottle. But it seems a little out of balance or character. Still not as drinkable as those little bottles of Bass when served on tap.

08-27-2005 07:22:49 | More by cracgor
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +9.9%

I thought back to the first beer that really changed it all for me, the first beer of color that pushed me away from the big, American macrobrews and started me down the road to suds enjoyment. That beer was Bass.
Bass pours up a beautiful red/amber color in the glass with a nice head of foam. The smell offered slightly floral, with a possible caramel character. The brilliance of Bass lies in the taste; a perfect mixture of hop bitterness and malt sweetness, neither overpowering the other, allowing for enjoyment on any palate. Also, Bass offers just the right amount of carbonation, a perfect mouthfeel to go along with the smooth taste. Bass holds up to most foods, and does not overpower any meal, but is light enough to drink in a session by itself.

08-25-2005 02:39:34 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +9%

I sometimes buy this stuff bottled, but I had it on tap recently, which I hadn't had the opportunity to do for quite some time. Anyway, the tap sample of this amber liquid allowed for both the hop aroma and malt flavors to shine through. I've always found the bottle samples to be a bit too muted. The aromas seemed quite floral to me, and mixed well with some medium crystal malt notes on the back end. The roles were reversed on the tongue, with the rounded malt notes taking center stage and the hops bringing up the rear. Good balanced mouthfeel too. It's a classic session ale.

08-24-2005 19:59:25 | More by fisherman34
Photo of burnstar


3.58/5  rDev +6.9%

Aroma is mild, sweet malt and just a touch of hops. Pours a beautiful copper color and possesses a medium white frothy head with excellent lacing. Flavor is malty and sweet with a moderate bitter finish. Moderately carbonated and maybe just a touch watery but has a decent mouthfeel. Balanced, pleasant to drink, and goes down easy. Good commonly available beer.

08-15-2005 18:03:57 | More by burnstar
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.2/5  rDev -4.5%

Appearance: Very clear light caramel color. There was about 1/2" head at first pour that retained pretty well. Some bubbles were sticking to the inside of the glass below the beer line at first pour. There was a little bit of lacing after the beer was consumed.

Aroma: Some caramel and fruit are noticeable in the aroma at first pour. As it warms a bit, the hops are becoming more apparent.

Taste: A clean malt balanced beer. It has a medium body and a pretty assertive carbonation that makes it go down pretty smooth. As it warms a bit, I can pick out more fruit as well as some buttery notes. There is a tad of alcoholic warmth in the back of the throat after the beer gets through with you.

Opinion: Well, this isn't too bad for a beer that is pretty easy to find at your local pub. It is by far not my favorite English Ale, but I would take this one over a plethora of other mass produced commercial beers.

08-12-2005 23:31:52 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +9.9%

I loved the colour of this beer as soon as I poured it, I hoped that it wouldn't let me down. Nose is typical ale smell, nice balance of sweet and bitter. The bitterness is near perfect. Not too much, very mild carbonation. Goes down very easily and if I knew a place in the city with it on tap, I'd definitely want to give this one a try. It would be a wonderful session beer.

08-08-2005 21:12:32 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of BuffaloBilly

New York

4.22/5  rDev +26%

This is a great beer, an english friend gave me one to try, it was quite different from what im normally used to drinking but it was very good. This beer is worth a try, if I had the money I would buy it again. Not much more to say then whats already been said.

08-08-2005 03:59:58 | More by BuffaloBilly
Photo of ryantupy


3.35/5  rDev 0%

Presentation: On Tap

Appearance: Pours an amber color with a white rocky head that enventually turns into a nice lace with very good retention.

Smell: Lots of aromas such as flowers and herbal notes and a light hint of maltiness.

Taste: A very nice slightly bitter and creamy beer. A little sweetness and overall a nice taste potentially due to the water used to make this beer.

Mouthfeel: Slightly grainyfeel and a little bitter.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer while on tap I have not had it out of the bottle though. Definatlty reccomended if you find it on tap.

08-01-2005 07:50:34 | More by ryantupy
Photo of andjusticeforale


3.88/5  rDev +15.8%

I just started homebreing and the first "kit" I got was a bass ale clone kit. I had to steep the grain, boil and add the hops, bittering salts, etc. It is fermenting so I figured I better get some commercial product to compare it to. anyway.

What I learned from making it is that you make sort of a "tea, and then ferment and add carbonation. I tasted the same flavors here and now I knew what made them. This is an extremely drinkable beer, It is just bitter enough, just strong enough, there is a flavour that lasts from start to finish and a complexity as the beer warms.

The head stays low and clings to your pint glass, and the mouth feel is as refreshing as can be for a pub ale. I have a new appreciation for the uniqueness of this classic.

07-17-2005 19:05:24 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of BEERchitect


3.53/5  rDev +5.4%

Had not had this beer in quite some time. Looks brightly golden - copper. Pours a slightly tan head, fairly thick, lingers and laced well. Smells mildly malty and caramelly. Hop spice balance give the aroma complexity. Tastes mallty and caramelly as well. Mild notes of dates and nuts. Light toasty and buttery flavors hide behind carbonation and hop flavor. Mild ginger and clove flavors. Feels moderately creamy and peppery to the toung. Finishes quite light with low lingering bitterness and spiciness. Not as flavorful as I remembered.

07-17-2005 16:03:33 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of bceaglejoe


3.85/5  rDev +14.9%

Presentation: Poured a clear amber color into a Bass pint glass. About a finger-thick head formed, with a decent amount of retention. In its proper glassware, this beer looked pretty good. The scent was more hoppy than malty, with slight estery notes as well. It wasn't a very pronounced aroma.

Tasting: Hop bitterness, combined with slight buttery (diacetyl) characteristics, defines this beer. There is some malt presence in the background. Overall, this beer is moderately bitter, which makes it flavorful, yet refreshing. Mouthfeel is light to moderate, but there wasn't a lot of body to this beer. This is good to pair with a meal, and it seems like it would hold up well over a drinking session.

Tasty on tap. Would like to try other serving styles and compare...

07-15-2005 16:38:01 | More by bceaglejoe
Photo of palliko


2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Appearance is copper color, topped with light foamy head that produced little lacing. Aroma consists of musty yeast and bruised apples. Yuk! Initial taste contains a minute amount of bitter hops and malt, those danged apples again, followed by fruit and brown sugar. This under-carbonated beer leaves a nasty taste in your mouth, and DO NOT drink it warm. Hard to believe this beer is selling well.

07-11-2005 19:29:03 | More by palliko
Photo of Rootdog316


3.18/5  rDev -5.1%

A really decent English pale ale. It has slight hoppy flavors to it with mild undertones of honey and malts. As a stand alone, this is a crisp beer with a slight bitterness and a unique subtle european hoppy finish. Over all recommened as a beer that you can't go wrong with really.

07-10-2005 04:53:16 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of thechaacster


4.05/5  rDev +20.9%

Pours a clear medium amber with a big foamy head. Excellent head retention and lacing. Smell of herbal hops. First thing I taste is a lot of sweet caramel malt. Malt is met by a pleasant, mild herbal hop bitterness, with a bit of tartness in the background that adds to the overall bite of the brew. Very smooth mouthfeel and very drinkable. I can't vouch for the bottled form, but on tap Bass is a quintessential English Pale Ale that is a bit underrated in my opinion.

07-05-2005 21:40:41 | More by thechaacster
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,208 ratings.