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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.

2,352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,352
Reviews: 1,015
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 24
Gots: 140 | 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: 2,352 | Reviews: 1,015 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of macpapi
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of cracgor
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought back to the first beer that really changed it all for me, the first beer of color that pushed me away from the big, American macrobrews and started me down the road to suds enjoyment. That beer was Bass.
Bass pours up a beautiful red/amber color in the glass with a nice head of foam. The smell offered slightly floral, with a possible caramel character. The brilliance of Bass lies in the taste; a perfect mixture of hop bitterness and malt sweetness, neither overpowering the other, allowing for enjoyment on any palate. Also, Bass offers just the right amount of carbonation, a perfect mouthfeel to go along with the smooth taste. Bass holds up to most foods, and does not overpower any meal, but is light enough to drink in a session by itself.

Photo of fisherman34
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sometimes buy this stuff bottled, but I had it on tap recently, which I hadn't had the opportunity to do for quite some time. Anyway, the tap sample of this amber liquid allowed for both the hop aroma and malt flavors to shine through. I've always found the bottle samples to be a bit too muted. The aromas seemed quite floral to me, and mixed well with some medium crystal malt notes on the back end. The roles were reversed on the tongue, with the rounded malt notes taking center stage and the hops bringing up the rear. Good balanced mouthfeel too. It's a classic session ale.

Photo of burnstar
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma is mild, sweet malt and just a touch of hops. Pours a beautiful copper color and possesses a medium white frothy head with excellent lacing. Flavor is malty and sweet with a moderate bitter finish. Moderately carbonated and maybe just a touch watery but has a decent mouthfeel. Balanced, pleasant to drink, and goes down easy. Good commonly available beer.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very clear light caramel color. There was about 1/2" head at first pour that retained pretty well. Some bubbles were sticking to the inside of the glass below the beer line at first pour. There was a little bit of lacing after the beer was consumed.

Aroma: Some caramel and fruit are noticeable in the aroma at first pour. As it warms a bit, the hops are becoming more apparent.

Taste: A clean malt balanced beer. It has a medium body and a pretty assertive carbonation that makes it go down pretty smooth. As it warms a bit, I can pick out more fruit as well as some buttery notes. There is a tad of alcoholic warmth in the back of the throat after the beer gets through with you.

Opinion: Well, this isn't too bad for a beer that is pretty easy to find at your local pub. It is by far not my favorite English Ale, but I would take this one over a plethora of other mass produced commercial beers.

Photo of trevorwideman
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved the colour of this beer as soon as I poured it, I hoped that it wouldn't let me down. Nose is typical ale smell, nice balance of sweet and bitter. The bitterness is near perfect. Not too much, very mild carbonation. Goes down very easily and if I knew a place in the city with it on tap, I'd definitely want to give this one a try. It would be a wonderful session beer.

Photo of BuffaloBilly
4.22/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer, an english friend gave me one to try, it was quite different from what im normally used to drinking but it was very good. This beer is worth a try, if I had the money I would buy it again. Not much more to say then whats already been said.

Photo of ryantupy
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: On Tap

Appearance: Pours an amber color with a white rocky head that enventually turns into a nice lace with very good retention.

Smell: Lots of aromas such as flowers and herbal notes and a light hint of maltiness.

Taste: A very nice slightly bitter and creamy beer. A little sweetness and overall a nice taste potentially due to the water used to make this beer.

Mouthfeel: Slightly grainyfeel and a little bitter.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer while on tap I have not had it out of the bottle though. Definatlty reccomended if you find it on tap.

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.88/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just started homebreing and the first "kit" I got was a bass ale clone kit. I had to steep the grain, boil and add the hops, bittering salts, etc. It is fermenting so I figured I better get some commercial product to compare it to. anyway.

What I learned from making it is that you make sort of a "tea, and then ferment and add carbonation. I tasted the same flavors here and now I knew what made them. This is an extremely drinkable beer, It is just bitter enough, just strong enough, there is a flavour that lasts from start to finish and a complexity as the beer warms.

The head stays low and clings to your pint glass, and the mouth feel is as refreshing as can be for a pub ale. I have a new appreciation for the uniqueness of this classic.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had not had this beer in quite some time. Looks brightly golden - copper. Pours a slightly tan head, fairly thick, lingers and laced well. Smells mildly malty and caramelly. Hop spice balance give the aroma complexity. Tastes mallty and caramelly as well. Mild notes of dates and nuts. Light toasty and buttery flavors hide behind carbonation and hop flavor. Mild ginger and clove flavors. Feels moderately creamy and peppery to the toung. Finishes quite light with low lingering bitterness and spiciness. Not as flavorful as I remembered.

Photo of bceaglejoe
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured a clear amber color into a Bass pint glass. About a finger-thick head formed, with a decent amount of retention. In its proper glassware, this beer looked pretty good. The scent was more hoppy than malty, with slight estery notes as well. It wasn't a very pronounced aroma.

Tasting: Hop bitterness, combined with slight buttery (diacetyl) characteristics, defines this beer. There is some malt presence in the background. Overall, this beer is moderately bitter, which makes it flavorful, yet refreshing. Mouthfeel is light to moderate, but there wasn't a lot of body to this beer. This is good to pair with a meal, and it seems like it would hold up well over a drinking session.

Tasty on tap. Would like to try other serving styles and compare...

Photo of palliko
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is copper color, topped with light foamy head that produced little lacing. Aroma consists of musty yeast and bruised apples. Yuk! Initial taste contains a minute amount of bitter hops and malt, those danged apples again, followed by fruit and brown sugar. This under-carbonated beer leaves a nasty taste in your mouth, and DO NOT drink it warm. Hard to believe this beer is selling well.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really decent English pale ale. It has slight hoppy flavors to it with mild undertones of honey and malts. As a stand alone, this is a crisp beer with a slight bitterness and a unique subtle european hoppy finish. Over all recommened as a beer that you can't go wrong with really.

Photo of thechaacster
4.05/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium amber with a big foamy head. Excellent head retention and lacing. Smell of herbal hops. First thing I taste is a lot of sweet caramel malt. Malt is met by a pleasant, mild herbal hop bitterness, with a bit of tartness in the background that adds to the overall bite of the brew. Very smooth mouthfeel and very drinkable. I can't vouch for the bottled form, but on tap Bass is a quintessential English Pale Ale that is a bit underrated in my opinion.

Photo of GClarkage
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

06/29/05- On tap at Bud Moran's bar in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden pour with a nice fat creamy and frothy head. Excellent lacing as well.

Smell- Sweet malt overall.

Taste- Light sweetness in the malt. Maybe a grain taste. Very little hops noticed. Just a tad.

Mouthfeel- Medium to ligher carbonation. Just a bit watery at first.

Drinkability- Have had this several times before. I will go to this one because it's usually the best brew a bar will have on tap at times. Decent brew here.

Photo of kbub6f
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, cream-colored head full of explosions, leaving foamy clumps of lacing. The beer is a clear, red-amber. Nose is dusty, some nutty, faintish fruit. enh. Front is fruity and a little spoonky. Fruity caramel in the light-bodied middle finishes nutty and fruity. Not bad. A nice, light pale.

Photo of ericsdawson
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

my parents always have a 6 of these in thier fridge so i enjoyed one last trip home. very clean caramel orange color. nice 2 finger head that retains pretty well and leaves some nice lacing. smell is of grains and a little citrus. tastes pretty refreshing. not a lot going on otherwise. hop flavor is present but not overpowering like some pale ales. sweetens up a little toward the end. i quite enjoy bass. i don't know how much i'll buy with so many different beers out there i've never had, but bass is a solid fall back.

Photo of packetknife
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Among my favorite beers that is widely available even though the style is not among my favorites. Crystaline copper pour with the carbonation visibly sticking at the head of a mug or glass. Frothy white head that completely sheets/laces any glassware. Slight malt sweetness and tones of fresh sourdough bread that are best had off of tap and server moderately chilled but not iced (bloody Florida bars). Don't bother out of the bottle please, and goto a nice place for fresh taps. Otherwise you'll get something a bit wattery and dimmed down, dissapointing.

Photo of cubedbee
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange with a finger of white head and a moderate amount of lacing. Smell is floral hops and faint simple malts. Taste leans towards the floral resinous hops, with the butterscotchy malts almost, but not quite, managing to balance. Medium bodied with just the right level of carbonation. This is a quality pale ale, even if it is a macro, and I'll never turn my nose up at one.

Photo of RootedFool
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle purchased (on sale, .99 cents) at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California. Looks very fine in my Lost Coast pint glass: body is bright translucent amber; the head is frothy, whipped thickness, off-white, great retention that leaves some thick lace patches on the glass. Smell: baked red delicious apples, light on the spice, pine needles, slight hint of fresh grape juice behind all of this. Taste: upfront twang of crisp hops that take their time twangin' before some buttery notes comes through toward the middle, along with a slice of crisp green apple. Aftertaste is an unsalted saltine cracker yeastiness as the hop twist recedes in the background, taking its time. Mouthfeel: coats my palate perfectly; a chewy, even silky texture that provides a great canvas for the hearty, sturdy flavors. Carbonation is slight but spot on. Hey, this ain't bad.

Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 2,352 ratings.