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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.

2,238 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,238
Reviews: 1,004
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 22
Gots: 112 | 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: 2,238 | Reviews: 1,004 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%

It pours a head about two fingers tall with a light tan color. It is reduced pretty quickly but the lacing follows the beer all the way through. Tasty malty beer with sweet aromas and some burnt aromas as well as roasted tastes. Light hop taste. Very smooth on your tongue and goes down smooth as well. Leaves a nice caramel after taste.

JoEBoBpr, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of RasputinsRevenge
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%

I've had this brew before, both from the bottle, and on tap. Though I just had a few pints from the Fox and Hound here in the Dallas-area, and decided to review it. The appearance is a lighter amber color with a decent head that ended up settling down to a thin line around the glass. The smell was a pleasing balance between the hops and malt. The taste was smooth, and for a lack of a better description, very "balanced", it didn't seem like any one characteristic just jumped out at you. For being very widely available, this is a good tasting and drinkable beer.

RasputinsRevenge, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of edchicma
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Nice amber apperance with a decent head along with unbelievable lacing. Malty nose with an initially sweet taste followed by a mid palate dryness with a decent bitter dry finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a rounded feeling. Not a gulping beer, drinkability was ok, but not spectacular. Not a bad offering..I would try again.

edchicma, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%

pours a nice looking amber with a bubbly lively head. smells a bit sweet, lightly toasted malts...mmmm. tastes pretty damn good. buttery with light hints of caramel and toasted malt, subdued yet spicey hops and finishes a tad dry. feels a little creamy in the mouth but still has a nice crisp carbonation. highly drinkable, great english pale ale. this has session beer written all over it.

DESTRO, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%

Appearance – Crystal clear orange in the body with a nice head that went down slowly and left a lacing that nearly blanketed the inside of my glass.

Smell – Wonderful aroma of citrus hops and creamy malt. The sugars and caramel mix well here with the hoppy profile.

Taste – This is definitely an English-style Pale Ale. It is creamy and smooth with a bit of peppery spicing. There’s a slight bitter-type of aftertaste that didn’t quite seem right, but other than that this was very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel – Creamy and well-blended. This medium-bodied ale felt great in the cheeks.

Drinkability – I had no trouble putting this one away. It would make a terrific session ale, is inexpensive, and can be found just about anywhere (at least here in Seattle it can).

Comments – I usually find myself in the same ballpark with the other BAs, especially on a beer like this that has had so many reviews. But it seems that I liked this more than most. Oh, well, I guess that’s why we rate ‘em : )

RoyalT, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of Dmann
4/5  rDev +19.4%

This is a very good beer and a great example of an English Pale Ale. It poured a light amber color with a good sized white head that stuck to the glass all the way down. The smell was kind of skunky but with a good floral hop scent. The taste is very malty with a touch of sweetness in there, but not too much as to make it annoying. The hop profile also comes through very nicely and bites at the end. All in all a very good pale ale.

Dmann, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Appearance: Very nice, very clear golden red. Small off-white head dissipates quickly. Lacing remains, as does collar of foam.

Smell: Not what I expected at all. Very floral, with strong hints of tropical fruit and sugary, almost maple, malt. Complex and quite pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mild, but not at all bad. A solid nutty malt base, a touch of smoke. The hops are oddly flavorless, but do add a nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel is macro-ish, very light and a mildly fizzy.

Drinkability: Pretty darn. Decent flavor, light body, looks good, ABV not too bad. I could session this guy.

A pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect much from such a ubiquitous brew, but, like Sam Adams, it’s also solid. Good stuff.

WetCoaster, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +31.3%

No doubt about it, Bass was one of the flagship ales that started me down the path of appreciating beer styles other than lager beer long ago. I used to drink bass quite consistently (back in college, 12-odd years ago, a buddy got me a case of Bass for Christmas). I recently bought a six-pack of this beer, and it's been a long, long time since I've done that. What I found didn't disappoint in the least.

The beer poured vigourously, with a nice off-white head which sustained throught the drink. The color is an inviting medium-copper. When I pour a Bass, I can tell by the color that I'm in for a treat.

The smell is of the classic British, biscuity and lightly roasted malt, with the understated yet unmistakable 'earthy' English hop aroma. (Sidebar: the one thing I appreciate with bitter English beers--they don't have to kick your face in, like many American ales, to prove that they're genuinely bitter beers).

The taste pretty much follow suit from the aroma, with the biggest difference coming in what surely must be described as the 'Burton water effect'. The hardness of the water lends itself immeasureably to the character of this beer. Yes, you still get the subtle sweetness of the malts and the understated bitterness of the hops, but the tangy motif of this beer comes, I believe, from the hardness of the water in middle England. The Bass folks know how to play it to their advantage, and millions of fans can't be wrong! This is a medium-bodied beer, and will pair nicely with a Chicago-style pizza, or BBQ chicken.

A highly drinkable beer, my only critique is that I enjoy it slightly more on draught. Having said that, this really is a wonderful beer, often overlooked by the average beer geek. Don't take this well-made English ale for granted, even if the marketing department at Bass promotes its product all over the place these days.

RedBaron, Feb 11, 2004
Photo of bark
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%

The ale of ales, with which all other ales will always be compared with. It was imported to Sweden already in the 1880’s. As late as the late 1980’s, Bass was the only ale that the Swedish state retail shop selling wines and spirits (the Systembolaget) offered.

If someone came up to me asking “I want to try one ale in my life. Which one to choose?” I would tell them to buy a bottle of Bass Pale Ale.

Anyway, over to the review:

The colour is medium copper (a dark pale ale?), and the yellowish foam is medium hard with a small crater.

The smell is filled with tones of yeast and malt, and the carbon dioxide is gentle yes fresh.

The taste is a little on the neutral side with a fine, dry bitterness with hints of Goldings hops and leaven bread.

Aftertaste is dry, with a touch of metallic bitterness that fades out to a pleasant, balanced bitterness.

bark, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of manofmanners
4.35/5  rDev +29.9%

To me Bass on tap is a step down to Bass in the Bottle. Depending where you go and the shape of the keg will make a difference. Sometimes it will have a bit of a tinny taste to it, but thats is very rare. And when that happens to me a few minutes later they kick the keg and start fresh. If you get Bass from a fresh keg Bass is the king of beers. Nothing will beat it, maybe Sam Adams, but it is a close fight. It has a good dark, amber color, witha perfect head on it. It can either go down quick or you can take your time with and enjoy it. It is a bit more bubbly in the mouth as compared to the bottle, but not enought to really notice. But all in all it is just like the bottle, but just enought to be different.

manofmanners, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of TerryW
2.08/5  rDev -37.9%

This was a strange one for me. It had a very odd odour and taste of mushrooms of all things. This was distracting to say the least.

Amber tea coloured with a big rough white head that settles to a thick film. Lots of original lace, but that's all she gives.

Musty mushroom smell. Taste is malt and metal and thin. And finished with mushrooms.

I don't mind an unusual tasting beer. I quite enjoy the earthiness you can find in many beers. But this one just don't work.

TerryW, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of palma
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%

Copper body with a decent tan head. Smell is bready with light hops and heavy malt. Some floral notes as well. This beer tastes much better on tap. The bottle tastes like it has a much higher alcohol content. More hops in the bottle than from the tap too. Same good diacetyl butterscotch flavor though. And ofcouse, coming from the bottle, there is much more carbonation. Bass from the bottle is only OK, while on-tap it is close to great.

palma, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Alot of times when at bars its either Bass Guiness or macro so I drink alot of this,pours a nice golden color with usually not much head,aroma is malty with light fruitiness.There is a decent crisp maltiness to the brew but pretty subdues a fruity tinge makes it a decent one to drink more than one at a time while hangin out,hey in my opinion when at a bar with not much selection you cant go wrong here.

oberon, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of gentlebubbles
3.55/5  rDev +6%

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.

gentlebubbles, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +25.4%

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.

Zorro, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of garymuchow
3.55/5  rDev +6%

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.

garymuchow, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of Ahhdball
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

Ahhdball, Jan 30, 2004
Photo of Foxman
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

Foxman, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of JamesBerry
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

JamesBerry, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

merlin48, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%

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.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
3.98/5  rDev +18.8%

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.

CBFanWish, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
4.13/5  rDev +23.3%

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.

BeefyMee, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of counselor
4.1/5  rDev +22.4%

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.

counselor, Dec 24, 2003
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,238 ratings.