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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.

2,246 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,246
Reviews: 1,005
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 23
Gots: 115 | 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: 2,246 | Reviews: 1,005 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the red nitro-can into a nonic pint glass the beer was a light copper color with a rich and frothy two finger head. A lot of carbonation bubbles clung to the side of the glass throughout the sample. The head reduced to about one finger and stayed there for the entire length of the sample. Very little lacing, surprising for a nitro.

The smell was very sweet malt and caramel. Some slight toffee in the background and a little fuitty as well. Slight apple.

The innitial taste was a little chewy and bready. A slightly sweet malty backbone makes of the structure of the beer. Some caramel in the finish and a little fruit as well as the beer warms. A slight "metalic" taste as well. Maybe its in my mind because of the can, either way, an odd after taste. Very subtle fruit flavors.

Medium body with moderate carbination. Becomes significantly flatter and the beer slightly warms.

Bass served well as one of the intro beers to the world of craft brewing. Since then, far better, less mass produced examples exist of the style. A okay beer to revisit from time to time, and better in the bottle or on draught in my opinion. Still one of the converters for me.

Sycodrummer, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of beeroclock
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice beer to drink w/ a meal, maybe a steak or something. This is one of the more common beers found on tap in my neck of the woods. Its a copper colored beer w/ slight head. Smell is a malty smell, maybe a hint of nut. Flavor is similar, it has a bitter aftertaste. Its pretty easy to drink, reminds me of Harps.

beeroclock, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of unknownlamer
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper color with a decent head that faded slowly, and remained as a little cap the entire way down. Laced really nicely too.

The smell was grain and mild floral hops. Not much going on there. The taste follows up similarly. Grainy with a bit of a mild bitterness, but not hugely complex. It was carbonated well enough at least. It is refreshing and easy to drink, but not very complex. I could down a few with food and friends, but otherwise it's merely average.

unknownlamer, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light bodied, nice clear coppery color with a foamy white head.

Aroma is mild but has a touch of malt and somewhat floral hops.

Taste is also mild, well balanced malt with a dry hops bitterness and a somewhat metallic aftertaste.

Drinkable and refreshing.

whynot44, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of joedon
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I can still remember my first Bass. It was quite a few years ago on a hot day in Omaha. I had walked about 3 miles in the sun and needed a beer at the first opportunity. The saloon I happened across had the usual suspect macros plus a Bass tap. At the time, it seemed like the best beer I had ever tasted.

Time passes and the bottled version doesn't seem quite so fabulous. Very pretty copper color with a respectable head. The aroma and taste don't quite live up to the appearance. A little bit of crystal malt and some tame hops.

Certainly better than anything from A-B but otherwise, an average beer.

joedon, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, just had one of these tonight and wrote down my tasting notes... then compared them to notes I wrote down in 1994. Amazing how much has changed... same basic concepts, but a hell of a lot more nuances now. I guess I have gotten a little better over the years.

This was a clear amber brew with almost no head... although it was served pretty cold, and I had to let the bottle warm a bit before I poured it.

Aroma was of fruity malt, with hints of white wine and sweet grapes. Some aroma hops were evident, but neither pine nor citrus.

Initial flavor was of bittering hops, which smoothed out to caramel malts with a hint of grape fruitiness. The only other time I got sweet grape flavor in a beer was Concord Grape Ale... it was a very unusual flavor, but quite good. I don't recall noticing it before, but it's been at least 1 year and a half since I had one of these.

Mouthfeel was pretty good, not too much body, not too thin. It suited the taste well.

Drinkability was pretty good. I'm glad I had one of these tonight... it's rare that you get a beer included in the cost of a dinner at a nice restaurant, and this was definitely the best they had to offer.

connecticutpoet, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of danielharper
2.45/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Purchased from Target in Jones Valley, Huntsville, AL.

Very clear, light amber color with quickly-diminishing head. I guess it's pretty much as-expected for a pale ale, but it didn't really impress me on appearance.

Interesting scent. Upon first whiff, this one screamed "pilsener" to me, but after a few minutes, I found myself finding much more complex notes of apple and tart, along with a nice generous dose of bitter hops. Had a nose more like an Amber than a pale ale -- color me impressed.

Color me less than impressed with the flavor here. Very weak taste, with minimal hops and with little to be said for it except that it's liquid and drinkable. Some of the apple presence in the nose is still here, but it's faint, and I'm feeling more like I'm getting nasty runoff from a better beer than anything. It's not a drain-pour here, but I'm really not enjoying the flavor, and I don't think it fits the style of a pale ale at all.

Mouthfeel is decent here. Some mild carbonation and hop crispness gives it the mouthfeel of a pale ale, but without transcending anything.

Overall, I'm rating the drinkability fairly low. I'm glad I only bought a single of this, for the other five might have been drain-pours for me. It's probably a good bottled beer to share with BMC drinkers, but the lack of flavor bothers me and I don't think I'll be buying it again.

danielharper, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of jettjon
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Highs: Interesting sweet sorghum/maple flavor
Lows: none

Pours amber clear with a thick foamy light tan head that fades moderately slowly. Nice malted/wheat nose with a hint of wheat and some banana/grapefruit hefeweizen-type scent. Crossing the tongue, it’s bubbly and somewhat sweet, with what I would call a grape and apple flavor, along with something sweeter: a kind of maple syrup flavor. The finish is nicely bitter on the back of throat. Mouthfeel is good: bubbly and refreshing. Drinkability is likewise good. Definitely a good session beer.

Overall: A pretty interesting pale ale, likely with a broad range of appeal. Also, the price is right for a beer of this quality. Recommended.

jettjon, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of alankwak
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light Amber color and very clear. Nice head, head retention and very good lacing.
S: Lightly hopped, low aroma but OK. I'd prefer a little more hop aroma.
T: A wide spectrum and floral flavors which is proper for an Ale. Very smooth with a nice balance between malt and hops. Low hop taste but good.
M: Very good here. Had great body for a Pale Ale. Full mouthfeel.
D: Very easy drinking, not too filling.

Overall a fine example of a Pale Ale but a tad low in hop aroma and flavor area's but well within what a good Pale Ale should be.

alankwak, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of jaymirage
4.15/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bass on tap. Whatever greatness Bass packs in the bottle, multiply that x10. So fresh, so clean, times ten.

Appearance is EPA perfection: amber brown, with fantastic head that lingers, lingers, and lingers. Taste is spectacular; bittery, a little fruity, subtle and ambrosial- like Fuller's London Pride, but on a budget. Mouthfeel is great; the bitter and the sweet play off of one another in virtuous fashion.

Drinkability is spot on. Flavor is full, and won't claustrophobisize you as might its oft-on-tap neighbor, Guinness. Highly, highly recommended.

jaymirage, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of Globetrotter
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at the U.S. Embassy commissary in Moscow. Dark brown 33cl bottle with a short thin neck and a yellow, red and black label featuring "Bass" in red script below a red triangle. No ingredient information. Best before July 2007, I opened it on 10/18/05.

Pours clear pale copper under a less than one finger light tan head that fades a bit too quickly to film and collar, leaving just a few spots of lace. The nose is nicely full of barley and spice from the British hops. The mouth is slightly heavy and well carbonated. Smooth, sweet caramel opening, chased by a touch of dry bitterness from the hops. The dry lingers, mixing with a bit of plum sweetness. Not bad drinking brew.

Globetrotter, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz can purchased as part of an 8-pack at Austin Liquors, Shrewsbury, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/2" beige head over the clear amber brew. Head lasts pretty well, and lacing is sticky and plentiful. Aroma is lightly of malt and hops, but overall kind of generic. Taste is caramel malt upfront, with a touch of hops to close. Mouthfeel is very nice, extremely creamy and smooth, and drinkability is high as well. Did well in this presentation.

ppoitras, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
2.63/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is light abmer in color with a small white head that recedes quickly. The aroma is mildly hoppy, and citric. The taste is thin. Mostly water with some hops. The mouthfeel is thin and watery. Honestly, I can't see how this is such a popualr beer. Then again, I also can't see why Bud is either.

KarlHungus, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Derek, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

BigBry, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RedwoodGeorge, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of unkiedave
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

unkiedave, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of BeerBeing
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

BeerBeing, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of mentor
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

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.

mentor, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

twelvsies, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of kosmoraios
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

kosmoraios, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of Viggo
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Viggo, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

PBRstreetgang, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of macpapi
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

macpapi, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of cracgor
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

cracgor, Aug 27, 2005
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,246 ratings.