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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Not Rated.
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,374 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,374
Reviews: 1,023
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 26
Gots: 168 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,374 | Reviews: 1,023 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mitchel
2.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bass pours with a reddish brown with an uneven head of off-white. This beer is lace-tastic. I don’t think that you could find more lace on a French hooker at Christmas. It smells like slightly rotten apples and butter; if only French hookers smelled like Bass! Mmm…

It tastes a bit musty and fruity with a medium body. Hoppy and finishes with a slight pucker. There is lightly sweet malt to it, but nothing that is out of place.

I don’t know what to say about this beer except that it is an old standard. Nothing great, it is exactly what you should expect out of an EPA.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came a reddish brown with a frothy off white head that left decent lacing around the top of my glass. Smelled faintly of oranges, pine and sweet oats with a dry doughy yeast. Tasted of a sour dryness with no substantial malt and a slight pineapple. Finished with a heavy dryness. The most flavors came if I exhaled through my nose, there was a delicious yeasty pine smell. Mouth feel was thin with mild carbonation. What’s the hype about Bass again?

Photo of davidchollar
2.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

the only other pale ale readily available to me is yona yona, which is awesome. although i've had others of this style in the past, unfortunately for bass i am comparing this to my favorite japanese beer. no comparison, they are totally different.

looks a little darker than pale, amber with a very brief head. not exactly aromatic, u gotta take a deep whiff to pick up anything. the smell is not pleasant, almost a smoky rubber, like burned tires or eraser shavings, with a super malty sweetness.

not bad, but a little harsh going down, with a nasty aftertaste, more sour than bitter. no thank you. this beer costs about the same as yona yona, but sucks in comparison.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of beeroclock
3.03/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of unknownlamer
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of whynot44
3.36/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of joedon
3.16/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of danielharper
2.54/5  rDev -24%
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.

Photo of jettjon
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Photo of alankwak
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of jaymirage
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.42/5  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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.61/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of KarlHungus
2.65/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of unkiedave
3.47/5  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.

Photo of BeerBeing
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
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

Photo of mentor
2.6/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

Photo of twelvsies
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of kosmoraios
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Viggo
3.31/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
76 out of 100 based on 2,374 ratings.