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Bass Pale Ale - Bass Brewers Limited

Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,992 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1992
Reviews: 990
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 16.62%

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: 1,992 | Reviews: 990 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of secondtooth


2.63/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at a local pub, and was quickly taken aback with how awful it was.

Appearance? A nice and clean amber, only light suds and no lace here.

Taste is malty sweet. Overbearing. The hops here are seriously dialed-back. I get a cloying maple syrup tone, and plenty of caramel malts.

A real disappointment here, after my review of Bass in bottles was much better 3 years ago. Maybe my taste buds have changed, but this one I didn't hesitate to deem "Ass ale" now. Will not return to this one anytime soon.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2012 00:02:06 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

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

(Pours a deep amber color. The Hops aroma come off kind of oily with some sweet malts holding it back. I can taste mineral water. I find this common and expected in an English beer. Sweet malts come out in the flavor and the Noble hops come out fairly strong. This beer is very English and I it enjoy very much. Bass Ale was one of the first English Pale Ales I tried and is still one of my favorite. Makes a great session beer!) Review of import version in '05.

03-06-12 This is first review of Bass Pale Ale that has been brewed in Baldwinsville, NY instead of the UK.

Pours out a clear rich amber color with an off white two finger head. Retention is decent as it sticks around the glass a little. A thin blanket of foam rest on top the ale.

The aroma does seem a bit fresher than the import. With cleaner malt notes and a light citrus from the hops. Notes of caramel and toasted malt.

Again the flavor of this ale has become more fresh because it does not have to cross the Atlantic. Toasted two row malt with a hint of caramel. The hops are much more present in this domestic Bass Ale. They are a little spicy, kind of black pepper like. One think I can notice is that that mineral water taste and diecytal butterscotch is not as strong. To me that is characteristic of any English Pale Ale, especially Bass.

Finishes mild and balanced with nothing over the top. Semi-dry with a mild bitter hops lingering. Medium bodied and easy to drink.

Overall, this American brewery obviously produces a fresher product, but there is a few characteristics missing that can be found in the UK brew. Either way, this is a classic Pale Ale that set the standard. Cheers, the fresher version seems to appeal to me a little more. I mean fresh is better.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 21:31:34 | More by Luigi
Photo of curasowa

New York

2.4/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Medium copper color with one finger of head that fades to a thin cap with a decent curtain of lace.

Aroma: Sweet and grainy with hints of brown sugar and lemon.

Taste: Sweet and fairly thin upfront, then mild bitterness and decent carbonation in the middle leading to a fast, clean and uninspiring finish with a touch of lingering graininess.

The Rest: Hugh letdown. Back in college, Bass was a real treat, and I definitely don't remember tasting this poor. I would have a hard time in a blind taste test telling this apart from Bud. There are countless Pale Ales out there that are better than this.

Additionally, it's not brewed in England anymore. It's contract brewed by AB in their Baldwinsville brewery. The label states that it's brewed in the finest British Tradition. I find it pretty dubious that there's much fine British tradition going on in Syracuse, NY.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 00:09:07 | More by curasowa
Photo of wafers

New York

3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Burnt orange to red coloring, moderate carbonation throughout
S: Light aroma, bready malts
T: Right up front some malty, toffee, flavors; nice sweetness throughout, almost like sugary candy; ends with a decent hoppy bitterness with hints of berry flavors
M: Crisp, light, somewhat dry
O: Bass is very drinkable and flavorful, and is usually a solid choice that can be found easily anywhere

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 04:13:50 | More by wafers
Photo of VaterRoss

North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

on-tap at Brixx, served in a tumbler

Pours a clear amber with an off-white head that quickly recedes to a ring. No lacing. Smell is extremely fruity: floral hops and caramel malt. Taste again is very fruity and sweet with ripe banana tones and not much malt. What malt can be picked out is of the English variety. Mouthfeel is watery, light-weight, and very low carb.

This beer is just too fruity and weak. If it had more malt presence and higher carb it could be saved. A boring beer. Hops are there providing aroma but very little bitterness leading to a watery feel. Quite disappointing as I remember this being an alright beer when sampled in London.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 03:32:15 | More by VaterRoss
Photo of CowsCanBark


3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice amber-golden with an eggshell three-finger head. Decent lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: The hops do not really shine much at all here, I mostly smell sweet malts and a metallic tinge.

Taste: Much like the smell, really malty in flavor, tastes like slightly burnt caramel. The taste also has a slight metal aftertaste, and a very slight bitterness throughout. Really hard to taste any kind of hops, though.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and high carbonation, easy drinker. Good for the flavor.

Overall: A pretty decent pale ale that is really malty and not high on the hops.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 21:58:21 | More by CowsCanBark
Photo of plfahey


2.73/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance-Burnished gold/light copper in color. Brilliantly clear. Tall, meringue-like beige head has decent retention and shows some nice lacing.

Aroma-Big buttery caramel with a hint of toasted bread and biscuit thrown in for good measure. Hint of diacetyl. Slight fruity esters include apples and the faintest whiff of raisins. Hops are almost a non-factor, with the faintest suggestion of green hop character.

Flavor-The flavor packs even less punch than the aroma. Some nice toasty, biscuity malt flavor up front but this fades quickly. Brief flash of caramel in the mid palate before it dries out and fades to almost nothing with moderately low hop bitterness, slight mineral notes, and a hint of soy sauce umami, which leads me to believe that this bottle may be past its prime.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate to moderately low carbonation. Feels rather thin in the finish.

An all around unsatisfying trial of "The World's First Pale Ale". I can imagine this being a much better beverage when fresh, and I can also imagine that it's difficult to find it in such condition here in the US. Alas.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 05:20:07 | More by plfahey
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint at Auld Dubliner. From notes.

A - Poured dark copper. Bright. Strong carbonation. One finger of eggshell head left great thick lace and a solid finger of retention.

S - Earthy, metallic, grapes, fruitcake.

T - Metallic, earth, citrus, some sourness, grapes.

M - Good carbonation, but more than an EPA should have IMO. Lighter end of the medium spectrum for body, mild minerally finish.

O/D - Used to love this beer when I first started drinking different beers. Now it just doesn't have the affect it used to. It's rich and flavourful, but not complex like alot of other quality EPAs. Tasty but uninteresting at the same time.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2012 15:41:43 | More by tbeckett
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale poured a rusty orange colour with almost no head nothing particularly surprising here.

The smell is very subtle a bit malty and sweet.

The taste is a where the strength of this beer lies it just tastes good. Not outstanding but good. There are some hops in there, some malts a fairly light to medium beer.

Quite carbonated compared to most pale ales.

Overall this is a decent beer nothing better, nothing worse. A good session beer, not too high abv and very drinkable. It is also available at a very reasonable price.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 15:09:34 | More by Dave1999
Photo of drabmuh


3.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Trying to review all the beers that have greater than 1000 reviews on beeradvocate regardless of score, this brings me to Bass (only 7 more to go after this). Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is reddish, clear, mildly carbonated, thin broke off white head, minimal lacing, low retention.

Aroma is sweet and apple-y, an almost pear like malt sweetness to the nose. OK....

Beer is medium to light in body, sweet up front, dry grainy finish with an aftertaste on the back. Nope, don't like it, next.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 03:59:09 | More by drabmuh
Photo of BucannonXC5


2.8/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a draft into a imperial pint at Hooley's in La Mesa. Color was copper amber. About an inch of head. Light white lacing on the top that moved to bubbles and then dissipated rather quickly. Minimal film on the sides of the glass.

Smelled dark fruits up front with a touch of caramel. Very malty on the nose. Toasty earthy whiff as well.

Tasted dark fruits, mainly grapes. That gave away to a bland aftertaste. Nothing special here.

Medium body. Creamy oily texture. Fizzy (highly) carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Not as good as I remember. I remember in college trying this at one of our keggers and thinking it was one of the best things going. A pretty average beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 03:03:28 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of ehammond1

3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Bridge Bar & Eating
Heathrow International Airport
London, England

Clear amber and orange with a thin, pillowy near-white head that leaves sticky messy spiderwebs of stick down the glass. Quite gorgeous.

Muted, bready aroma with a bit of caramel sweetness. Simple. Well balanced.

Simple, clean flavors of freshly baked bread, slight caramel and toffee sweetness, and a low level of bitterness. Again, simple, though drinkable.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

An above average, simple, well-balanced English pale ale. A plain example of a simple style.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2012 15:23:58 | More by ehammond1
Photo of DarthKostrizer


3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Orangish yellow in color with a 1/4 inch head and ok retention

Smell: Very sweet nose consisting mostly of toffee and caramel

Taste: Flavor are much of the same with muted caramel and toffee notes a pretty boring beer actually

Mouthfeel: Thin and fairly carbonated

Overall: Not really what I am looking for in a pale ale. Its a pretty average beer but highly drinkable

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 03:41:57 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with a reddish hue. There is a half inch of dense, foamy, off white head on top that has good retention. The nose is malty, yeasty, and a little musty. The taste is malty up front and finishes with some fruity notes. It's medium bodied, but a little over carbonated which gives it a crispness.

This is by no means a bad beer. It's simple and one-dimensional, but is easy to drink. It's brewed to style even if a little laid back.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 20:23:58 | More by tdm168
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap today in NYC at a pretty authentic Irish Pub, PJ Moran's. On tap served in a 16 oz. pint glass.

a - Pours a transparent bright orange amber color with no real head at all and very light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of toasted malts, pale malts, burnt malts, light fruit. Not a ton going on here and nothing that great, though not offensive.

t - Tastes of toasted malts, slightly bitter hops, pale malts, light fruit, light burnt notes. More hops than the nose, and a bit of a step up.

m - Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall not that bad of a beer; a decent enough Pale Ale. While nothing mind blowing, still better than most BMC products, and something I'd order again at a place with a limited selection. Wasn't in the mood for a Guiness and this sufficed, though I don't think I would ever purchase bottles of it with other options.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 20:42:53 | More by mdfb79
Photo of rjplumer

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber color with a one finger head. Has a sweet caramel tart aroma.It’s starts off with soft sweet beginning with mild bitterness in the finish. A nice every day brew without all the thrills. Has a mellowness that’s hard to describe. On a side note on the bottle says "Product of USA" but everywhere else I've seen says brewed in England which is confusing.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 20:29:42 | More by rjplumer
Photo of SteveGus


1.75/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Avoid, if possible, the stuff that's made in Baldwinsville, New York.

This is not the Bass Ale you were looking for. The real stuff is dry. This is annoyingly sweet and not as well attenuated as it ought to be.

The real Bass Ale has a hint of grain astringency that complements the bittering hops in the finish. This is what I was looking forward to. I did not get it out of this. Miller High Life has more grain character than this does.

This is too sweet and needs to ferment longer or harder. What hop there is in the finish is soapy, and not in the good cilantro notes you used to get with Watney's Red Barrel, either.

They may not have the water right yet in Baldwinsville. They might be following the recipe perfectly but for this, but it would make a big difference. Some more sulfate salts in the water would probably improve this.

At least, we still have Guinness Extra.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 05:42:17 | More by SteveGus
Photo of bobhits


2.17/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

"The World's First Pale Ale"

Ok you've got a hook, and certainly a following so lets see what we have here.

Pours an amber color, very clear with a hint of a head that doesn't hold or last.

Sweet malt dominate with a hint of English hops to just keep things mildly in check.

It tastes much like it smells. This is decent beer and if you like malty beverages you may enjoy this one a good bit. Too sweet and simply lacking complexity to excite me though.

A very nice beer with food.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 03:02:05 | More by bobhits
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass:

A: pale amber body with just a bit of a film of a head on top, no lacing

S: crisp earthy malts, hops in the background

T: fruity, yet some caramel and the hops come out a bit

M: light to medium, fairly sessionable, bland aftertaste and finish

O: decent for the style, decent for me

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 18:02:45 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Bushrod


1/5  rDev -70.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I thought this beer was all about the water at bruten on trent and the old fermenters???? what the hell happened? I know alot of contract brews are out there, but when I pay for a world class brew, I'd like to have just that; not a fake! I use to be able to get Fuller's and Belhaven, I guess thouse days are gone and now Sam Adams is making "light " beer; Good God what is the world coming to???

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 01:14:42 | More by Bushrod
Photo of gonger


2.64/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

What happened to my Bass?

No trace of Burton-on-Trent on or inside the bottle.

Nice amber color. 1/2 inch head, not much retention, left a little thin lacing.

Not much smell. Faint apple, banana?

Tastes like water, malt, cider, bread dough. Not enough hops. Winey aftertaste.

Too thin.

Too bad. I used to like Bass.

Edit 3/13/2013
I usually just don't bother to review beers I don't like, but I used to love Bass (in bottles, all over the world) and wanted to give it one more try. No matter where I went, Bass was always Bass. Sadly, it's not anymore. I don't know what this crap is in these brown bottles with this famous red triangle trademark on it these days, but it's not Bass. I was a Bass drinker. I KNOW what Bass tastes like and this isn't it. One of the classics has disappeared and it pisses me off. The only resemblance to real Bass is the label on the bottle. Belongs in the bargain bin.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 21:01:17 | More by gonger
Photo of troobie


1.6/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This is the stuff brewed in Baldwinsville, NY.

I'm fairly convinced that I somehow managed to buy a skunked/spoiled 12 pack. I don't usually use that excuse, but I'll elaborate below. The outside of the 12 pack, and the long neck labels, have the date "11291" on them, and today is December 7, 2011. If that is the production date they should still be fine, but if that is the expiration date they are months past it.

A: Light golden copper color. Obscenely clear. You could do your taxes while looking through a glass of this stuff. Aquafina is less filtered. A very hard pour resulted in a moderate head of fine bubbles that lasted for about 15 seconds and leaves no lacing. The bubbles racing up the glass are champagne like, as is the head. Not a good sign.

S: Cooked vegetables. Vanilla pudding. Cherries. Lots of alcohol in the nose for a 5% ABV beer.

T: Ugh. Stale tasting. Very reminiscent of Budweiser. Not really much there. Some sweetness, that's about it. Once again too much alcohol taste/feel for 5% ABV. Leaves a slightly bitter and oily coating on the back of your tongue after you swallow.

M: Extremely carbonated. Carbonation is champagne like and burns your tongue as you drink it. Watery.

O: I so seldom buy spoiled beer (it's been years) that it is hard for me to call any beer spoiled. I just don't think this 12 pack of Bass Ale is right. If I ever have it again in the future I'll be sure to re-review it. For now, I have 10 more bottles of this stuff to choke down.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 04:36:30 | More by troobie
Photo of kdawg105


4.6/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good Pale Ale. This beer looks very refreshing. It has lots of fruity notes in the smell just not what I was hoping for kinda of musty not sure if they mean for it to be that way but doesn't throw it off any! It is a great tasting beer leaving lots of sweet fruit notes as the finish, light mouthfeel almost not noticeable overall a good beer drink up!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 20:53:03 | More by kdawg105
Photo of smakawhat


3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottle notes product of the USA.

A very large and foamy, large bubbled, and off white head that falls at a good clip right off the pour. A very clear and nice dark orange amber with large cola like bubbles stuck in places on the side of the glass with some small hard to see rising carbonation.

Nose is estery yeast, almost fruity banana, and very faint light toasted malts.

As the beer hits my palate there doesn't seem to be much going on at first. A second sip brings out a little more. Banana taste seems to come through a little bit, a little touch of cinnamon and sharp brown spices. Good simple mouthfeel that is neither to wet or syrupy, and pleasant carbonation.

Overall not too bad, but banana is not a favorite of mine, and I would probably not have this again compared to other beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 00:05:59 | More by smakawhat
Photo of godlessape


4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange sunburst collides with ice tea and leaves a inviting off white thin head.

Smell: Deep toffee malt, with a subtle, almost orange hop presence.

Taste: Very fruity. It starts with peaches and apricot's, then finishes with a mild peppery hop bite. This beer has a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

Overall: This is the beer I fell in love with almost 30 years ago, in my teens, while traveling in Great Briton. Back then I thought it had an explosive taste, but by today's standards I find it rather mellow. This is a solid pale ale. Nothing to do cartwheels over, and nothing to scoff at either.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 03:20:29 | More by godlessape
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
77 out of 100 based on 1,992 ratings.