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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.

2,125 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,125
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 19
Gots: 65 | 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: 2,125 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gentlebubbles


3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

How can I review a beer that's so widely available? I've had good Bass, but also a lot of bad Bass. In the last week, I've had it twice, both times in Indian restaurants. One was from a bottle that poured out nicely but proved lackluster. The other in a beautiful tall flute that delivered on its promise.

Both times it had a high crown of a head and crystalline color. The bottle was too cold, killing the aroma, numbing the malt, but failing to mask the sour age of the hops.

But the one on-tap reminded me of why I like Bass in the first place. It was gently fragrant, and tasted of a crisp malt that was a perfect companion to dinner. The hops didn't hit me over the head, just gave a reminder they were there. That glass held a beer that knew its job and did it well.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2004 02:00:25 | More by gentlebubbles
Photo of Zorro


4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark golden color.

Smells strongly floral and malty with a slight alcohol note. I really love the way this smells.

Tastes milder than expected from the great aroma. This has a distinct malt and bubble gum flavor to it. Bitterness is there but is very subdued. There is also a nice floral taste. Mild, but with lots of hard to nail down flavors, like almonds.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2004 03:01:39 | More by Zorro
Photo of garymuchow


3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at a resturant. Too cold of course. Reddish amber with little head. Hoppier in taste and aroma when cold, maltier at warmed. Took on a caramelly quality as warmed, also a buttery and a slight grain quality , all which were nice tasting. However, also had a thin watery quality too.
Overall a tasty British style pale ale, and good to get if it's the best available. Does well with beef. Just wish places wouldn't serve it so cold.
I hate to penalize a beer for how it was served, but I have to rate what I drank.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2004 01:04:02 | More by garymuchow
Photo of Ahhdball


3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's an above average brew and unfortunately distributed by Labatt's.
A nice red color with no head. I really didn't smell anything but I was in a bar and smoke was clouding my nose. Taste was a nice bitter with hints of hops and citrus. Not very hoppy but nothing to get excited about. I liked this beer and will have it again but not before I hit a better pale ale. I got a free glass too. Oh joy.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2004 21:38:34 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It came to me a crisp, clear amber, perhaps a bit darker than just that shade, with a tight white head that retained well, then settled slowly to a thin froth as the glass drained. Some delicate lacing graced the glass.

The aroma was rather weak, with very mild notes of floral hops and malt, and just maybe a whiff of toffee. But then again, maybe not.

The first sip delivers a dominance of the dry, floral hops. Now, not that it was powerful, but rather, it was simply stronger than the other elements in play. Once the hops did give way, a slight caramel sweetness from the malt filled the middle. Towards the end, the yeast brought a gentle doughy character into play. The finish belonged to the hops, with a lingering dry bitterness.

It's rather light bodied, and normal for that quality. It came and went, about as you'd expect.

OK, it's not a bad beer. Overall, above average, for sure, but it's just so damned mild-mannered that it's nothing to get excited about. It's quality, with a nicely tuned balance of flavor elements, but it does so at the expense of any kind of strong presence. At the same time, this mellow balance makes it very drinkable, sliding down easily, with nothing to hold it back, but then nothing to make you raise your eyebrows in pleasant surprise either. My real sticking point here is that with so many beers available, with so much more flavor, and just as well-balanced, I just can't justify coming back to this unless it's the best on tap at a beer-challenged establishment. And if it is, I'm okay with that, but I certainly won't be impressed.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2004 14:04:46 | More by Foxman
Photo of JamesBerry


3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured smoothly without too much overcarbonation, leaving a nice clean head with a solid retention. Its color is a pale brown, almost like cream soda. After the pour, I couldn't detect much of anything in the smell, just a bare minimum of hops. A slight hint of licorice hides in the otherwise bitter taste of the first sip, but is soon lost again with the next.
I don't generally go for pale ales, but this was a nice one.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 17:57:50 | More by JamesBerry
Photo of merlin48


3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle pours a very clear golden colour, with a respectable offwhite head and a moderate amount of lacing.
I was disappointed in the aroma, as there is a dearth of anything significant. Caramel and some bitter, floral hops are barely picked up. I had a bottle of this at a restaurant a couple weeks ago, that had a much more pronounced aroma. Mouthfeel is immediately bitter and quite carbonated. That gets your tongue's attention! Taste is light bodied, caramel malt backbone with bittering hops. Dry finish. A solid British Pale Ale, but nothing to get excited about. I've noted a significant difference in the quality of Bass Ale, in the many different locations where I've sampled a bottle. I've had much better, and slightly worse, but this is a review of the two bottles I bought and enjoyed today.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 00:03:57 | More by merlin48
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the bar crystal clear with a bright amber brown color (almost ruby in the barlight). The head was white and very long lasting leaving belgian lace all the way down the glass.

The aroma was of crystal malt and a slight hop aroma. There was also a very slight nutty aroma.

The flavor was slightly bitter and well balanced between malt and hops. The beer was very crisp and refreshing.

The finish is dry and slightly bitter. The body is medium light with a high drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2004 01:22:20 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bass was one of my first "real beers". I haven't had it in some time, but last night I finally had my first glass in a few years at The Winfield Grill. It was the textbook amber hue with a small, but lacey head. There was a fair amount of carbonation, but not too much. It had a fruity hop scent that wasn't too overpowering. The taste was also semi fruity and hoppy, yet there was a grainy feel to it. With all this, it went down smooth and I will drink it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2004 19:40:05 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: An impressive looking 6-Pack of 12 ounce bottles happened to come into my possession over Xmas. Bass Pale Ale seems to be the ideal gift when pondering what to buy a Limey it seems LOL. Actually I frequently drink Bass Pale Ale on tap whenever confronted with the usual myriad of ubiquitous macro brews, and I have to say that it is a pleasant enough drink. The packaging is quite impressive, Bass (read Coors) have actually done a good job here packaging the bottles, they have a very “old feel” to them, and anyone who has ever seen any of the older Bass Bottled Beers will immediately see some similarities.

Appearance: Pours with a deep brown copper color that has a perfectly formed off-white head that lasts a good time. Lucid, it reflects the light when back-lit with some amber-red flashes. Well carbonated, perhaps a tad too much. Some nice lacing at times.

Nose: Earthy malts and some hop-bitterness. Light caramel and butter (?) also.

Taste: Malty start with some dark fruits and caramel in the middle. Has a slick melted butter (diacetyl?) feel on the tongue which is not bad. Grain malts last a short a time at the beginning and become more lightly toasted in feel towards the end as bitterness creeps in. After two bottles I was also able to discern a light sulphur feel in the end also. A malty beer that has more than the usual six-pack to entertain you.

Mouthfeel: Has a prickly feel that overpowers the lovely smooth malty feel. This is a little too over-carbonated in the bottle for my liking, something that I do not find when drinking this On-Tap. Can get “burpy” at times after a few bottles if imbibed well-chilled.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and quite drinkable actually, I prefer to pour two bottles at once into a large Handled Mug. This somehow gives me the impression of being back in a Bar in the UK maybe – who knows? Certainly a quaffable session beer for sure.

Overall: People in the USA frequently confuse this beer with the once legendary Draught Bass (now owned and brewed by Interbrew UK and not Coors – clear as mud eh?). Well Draught Bass is only 4.4% and was certainly the benchmark Cask beer for quality in the UK for many years. As far as I am aware Bass Pale Ale (5.0%) has never been available from the Cask, only Keg. Even so, the stuff that is bottled and kegged that comes Stateside is still a good beer. Not a bad offering in the bottle at all, but I still prefer the freshness and lower carbonation level of this brew on Tap I think.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 00:43:28 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of BeefyMee


4.13/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

WTF, why did they have to give this to me in a frosted pint glass? Such is life, I guess, it's still good ol' Bass. I absolutely love the amber color of this beer. Good head retention too. It's kind of watery but nothing bad. The taste not too strong in any aspect. An all around good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2004 05:04:37 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of counselor


4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic well rounded ale. The pale ruby color and the relatively thin head provide the traditional English ale appearance. This beer has the apple ester and mild hoppy nose I expect from Bass though not quite the IPA level hop aromas we see in most US IPAs. This is a very easy drinking beer that is well balanced; cool quality malt, crisp hop balance and fruity yeast undertones balance this beer real well. One of my old standbys, available almost anywhere, and always right on when the other choices are thin.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2003 14:40:16 | More by counselor
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A pleasing beer, though not spectacular; it is a world wide megabrew, after all. Though I've thought of it as being red in color, here I see it more as a golden brown. Short-lived head leaves a little lace behind. Nice "red ale" taste that balances caramel malt taste and spicy English hoppiness, with a hint of "Juicy Fruit," too. Still, if you can get a Miller drinker to try this out, you may be opening him up to a new world of beers.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2003 20:22:31 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle left in my fridge from a party 2 weeks ago. (every beer has a story...)

Pours a very pale coppe with a thin lacy head. Smells grassy and a very light sweet hop aroma.

Taste is again grassy pale malt with sweet very light hops. It is almost lager-like in finish and mouthfeel. Very light body with a light hop aftertaste. This is one of the few cases where I favor mixing beers. Bottled Bass and bottled/canned Guinness draft make a black and tan that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I am not one to bemoan the past but this beer is definitely one that is but a shadow of its former self circa 7-8 years ago. Much better on draft but it has a long way to go to be great again.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 22:25:22 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of LuckySevens82


4.28/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say...I love this beer.

Nice, thick tan/white head with pleasant lace that follows.

I could drink this beer all night and still be happy about my choice. In fact, on several occasions I have been known to do this.

As England's first registered trademark, it is no wonder why this ale has lasted as long as it has, it is consistant and very drinkable. The slight bitterness is nothing but welcomed with the fruity undertones and oh-so-slight caramel flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2003 05:35:17 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

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

Pours a amber / orange color with a thin head. The head disappeared rather quickly leaving spots on the surface. The aroma is slightly dull as some malt and fruitiness is detected. The taste is of malt and bitterness which is balanced. Some fruit tones are detectable. The bitterness seems to arrive a little stronger on the tongue after swallowing. Not as flavorful as some other pales, but very drinkable. This is the usual restaurant choice when beer menu is lacking.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2003 19:59:13 | More by Gavage
Photo of Stingray5

New York

3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The best selection on tap at a chain-style restaurant. I hadn't had Bass in a long while and was pleasantly surprised. An amber/brown pour with a decent head led to fruity, nutty aromas. Taste was more of the same, with a solid malt backbone. Hop balance in the finish.

Nothing earth shattering, but this pint exceeded my expectations in the world of macros.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2003 04:39:45 | More by Stingray5
Photo of mschofield


3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a small white head
Sweet malt and lightly fruity aroma.
Buttery and toffee tastes, with a little caramel. The toffee grows as you drink. I don't taste any hops.
Light-medium feel, easy to drink, very smooth and goes well with barbeque.
A good beer, but nothing terribly special.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2003 17:30:47 | More by mschofield
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bass Ale- one of the more popular session beers that makes you look like a beer god to all those who drink Coors Light!

Bass pours amber/chestnut brown with a bountiful head!
The smell is a nice bittery caramel.
The taste I can etect hops, floral, and buttery malt! Delicious.
Very smooth goes down all too well.

Bass gets a huge nod from me as an excellent session beer, goes well with food, and even my wife likes it!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2003 13:44:57 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of shippos

New York

4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thin creamy colored head with thick dense bubbles, clear brilliant amber-orange color. sweet aroma with hints of peated malt, kinda has a slight "scotch" flavor to it. very good slightly heavy mouthfeel with a good palate cleansing carbonation. couldn't detect any hops, very well balanced with a nice malt character. excellent session beer and available in most places...beats all the standard offerings in your typical restaurant.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2003 18:28:50 | More by shippos
Photo of francisweizen


4.15/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, drunk on cask in the UK, bass is a completely different ale. Firstly, the alcohol by volume drops from 5.0 to 4.0. The amazing thing is, you get much more flavor from this 4.0 version than you do from the stateside one. The colour is a nice cascading yellow colour with an off-white head. The aromas are of biscuits, bready malts, and faint hops. The taste is biscuity and bready with a bit of a hop kick. The mouthfeel is super creamy and good....and the drinkability, you may ask? Well I was drinking one waiting for my flight to be called, and it was called right after I ordered this, so I drank it all in one go!

Serving type: cask

11-06-2003 17:40:09 | More by francisweizen
Photo of theozag


3.05/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Until recently, Bass was imported in conjunction with Guinness. For whatever reason, this is no longer the case, but regardless one would be loathe to place the two beers in the same catagory. Bass has a fairly thin body and palatte but a more complex finish and aftertaste than I was prepared for. For those wishing to push the envelope into quality darker ales, but not yet ready (or have a taste for) stouts and porters, Bass is probably a good choice. It provides a distinctive yet representative drinking experience that can reasonably be used to catagorize both high and low quality ales. At least, those ales from the british isles, anyway. Interestingly enough, Bass's finish seemed to remind me of a wood-like flavor.

- Backdated tasting: I first reviewed this beer on 19JUN03, this post is based on notes from that review. -

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2003 01:53:51 | More by theozag
Photo of grynder33


3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a small head that didn't stay long. Nice initial hop wood malt bouquet. First taste had a nice carmel tinge full, and smooth, but that seemed to fade rather quickly, it seemed to get dry and well ordinary as it went along.No bad aftertaste. Drinkable but not bragable.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 19:43:16 | More by grynder33
Photo of yankeeheel


3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a orange/yellow/coppery color with a nice big white head. Decent lacing.

Smells of pale malt(duh), caramel, bready, hoppy. The taste is nothing remarkable. Typical mellow malts up front and slightly dry and bitter hops in back. Is quite undistinct from anything else. Tastes much better when tossed in with some Guinness.

A middle of the road pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 14:20:52 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of rajendra82


3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When poured, developed a thick rough foamy head that lingered for a while. As it dissipated, it left some thin lace around the glass. Pale orange body with decent carbonation. Little to nonexistent hop aroma and no distinctive smell. Hop bitteness was however much stonger than the smell sugessted. Good taste, but a bit on the light side for this style. Some sour aftertaste that was a bit funky (I bought a 12 pack so it was not spoilage). Nicely drinkable but somewhat unexceptional Ale. Could have used a dose of character.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2003 02:19:03 | More by rajendra82
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,125 ratings.