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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Not Rated.
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,398 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,398
Reviews: 1,028
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 26
Gots: 197 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,398 | Reviews: 1,028 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A 1 pint 3.25 oz bottle with no date.

A - Poured out a rusty orange color with an eggshell white, three-finger head. It left some lace.

S - It smelled of malt, grass and clove.

T - It tasted bittersweet with a bready malt flavor. It also had a woody flavor.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good pale ale. Good flavor.

Photo of jeffjfindley
2.26/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This lives up to the unfortunate stereotype of all things English, in that it's bland as hell. In every way. Copper color, head is ehhh. Smell is, wait a minute, what smell? What little trace there is of an aroma is similar to Perrier. Flavor starts out ok, sweet caramel malt. It takes an unfortunate turn about 2/3 of the way in and begins to taste a bit like an ashtray. As far as the mouthfeel, I feel like I just sucked on a penny. A sticky penny. I need to find some decent English beers.

Photo of papaglide
2.44/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dispensed from a 12 ounce bottle.

It poured with a nice, appealing, light amber color topped with a huge tiny bubbled head.

The nose was malty, yeasty (and maybe with some corn?) with only a slight hoppiness to it.

The taste started off sweet and malty and finished with a tiny hop bitterness. I thought I detected some corn or other adjunct.

The finish was somewhat dry and left me thirsty for more.

This is a very drinkable beer. It could be an everyday beer and I would dare say a lawnmower beer ( that's a good thing ) except for one thing: the extremely high price that is out of whack for such an ordinary beer. It is what it is: a true to style English pale ale that's a nice but expensive session beer.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, a pretty copper-amber colored body is produced with a negligable bone head. A ringlet of foam is all that remains after a few minutes, and there is no lacing. Aroma is very English: leather, sweet malty caramel, and hints of raisin and plum.

The taste stores a bit of a bitter surprise, almost like an ESB, with a medicinally hoppy bite mixed with notes of wheat and biscuit. It's a bit like drinking some orange juice too soon after brushing one's teeth. Mouthfeel is juicy with a medium body and below-average carbonation. This isn't a great pale ale by any means, but it's a decent attempt from the boys across the pond. I won't be buying any anytime soon, but I'd never turn one down.

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

This was from a 12 pack that our next door neighbors gave to us. Thanks Lori & Rob!

Appearance: Poured a light copper color with a fizzy head that dissipated rapidly, even though I swirled the last half inch in the bottle before pouring it. No lacing, medium carbonation.

Smell: Very malty and sweet, with a slight hop aroma if I swirl the beer in the glass.

Taste: Nice balance between the sweet malt and the hop bitterness, with a long lasting finish. Not an overly complex beer, but tasty nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability: Eminently drinkable. The balance between the hops and the malt makes it very pleasant to drink. This would be a great introductory beer to someone who's ready to move on from the mass market yellow fizzy stuff.

Photo of DIPAbrewer
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of fank2788
3.81/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of prototypic
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
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....

Photo of BuckSpin
3.62/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
4.03/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.55/5  rDev +36.2%
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.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.79/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of TheSarge
2.62/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

Photo of Redwood21
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of soupyman10
3.43/5  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.

Photo of beveritt
2.56/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of brucepepper
3.34/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of afinepilsner
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of JOaikido
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of Boppar
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
76 out of 100 based on 2,398 ratings.