Mass Transit Ale - Bristol Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mass Transit AleMass Transit Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

84 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002

"Based on the amber style, Mass Transit is a flavorful ale that goes down effortlessly. Crystal, Carapils, Victory and Vienna specialty malts give this ale its rich auburn color and mellow taste."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 37
Photo of milehighhop
2.37/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Cloudy bronze color, not much head
Bland, very little flavor
Not good, don't waste your time

Photo of infinitebruner
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

January 17, 2015

Draft, taster

A – Medium amber with slightly off-white foam. Very clear.

S – Definitely caramel, some light toffee, and baked bread crust. Some fruity esters, apples and light pear. Hops are lightly fruity, slightly medicinal.

T – Slight caramel, light bread crust, some spicy hop flavor and moderate bitterness. Lightly fruity.

M – Moderate carbonation and leans more toward bitterness. Bitter and mildly carbonic. Moderately dry.

O – Malt base is nice but the hop balance seems a bit off.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Somewhat tantalizing red appearance, not unlike the new girl in the Wendy's fast food video. Off white head just under the 1" mark makes for a positive appearance. Lacing was haphazard and anything but consistent.

Aroma was very much in the red ale and lager vein, sans lager yeast aroma. A little bit of that soggy vegetal-wood and red malt type of aroma I tend to shy away from. Not much in the hop department aroma wise.

Taste wise, the lack of hops are still evident. Doesn't really float my boat, not exiciting, not even tolerable in a reliable standby when I don't want something aggressive or strong kind of lawnmower type of mood. For what the hopping is, all it contributes is some bitterness, nothing in the way of flavor really. I wish the caramel would come out of it a little better.

It is pretty effortless I guess for someone making the jump from BMC, so this beer does have a place, and it is probably their flagship from what I've seen.

Pretty average stuff overall. If someone likes Fat Tire, they should like this, similar beers.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a pint glass. Has one finger of head on a hazy dark straw reddish colored body.
Smells like honey and not much else.
Taste has a good malt background with a medium bitterness.
Fizzy texture, moderate carbonation and medium body.
Pretty descent drink.

Photo of kojevergas
2.64/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given hunnybunny's recommendation. Acquired in Colorado.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger biege head without much cream, of poor thickness, and of underwhelming retention. Colour is a clear dull copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Meh

Sm: Amber malts, shoddily indistinct hopping, and clean pilsner malt. A mild strength aroma.

T: Clean amber and pilsner malts. ...

I wish there was more here, but there ain't. A boring bland beer with little redeeming characteristics. So simple it hurts. It balances all of its two notes. Whoopty fucking doo.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too thick. Adequate carbonation.

Dr: Incredibly boring and bland. I wouldn't touch this again. Makes me question the brewery.

C-

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a pretty standard amber sort of ale. pours light copper colored like a new penny with a vibrant shine and a decent white head. smells a like old dusty english amber malts, period. flavor is a bit more balanced with some bready type flavors and a gentle cane sugar sweetness. aftertaste is pretty bad though, decaying vegetables and an acidic feel. mouthfeel is lighter and plenty carbonated, but the flavor just doesnt do it for me, especially in the finish. it is easy drinking, but im not sure i would want to crush these all day. definitely not a good example of what bristol is capable of

Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appealing reddish amber color with a head that starts out nice and dissipates a little too quickly. Hops jump in with a surprising bitterness. Also the earthy, compost flavor. Dries out on the tongue with a long woody and medicinal flavor.

Rather thin. It has the merest hint of malt with a nutty flavor that keeps it out of the dishwater category. Seems a little better as you sip, and some of the edge comes off the hops. From the 12 oz bottle.

Photo of MsRif
2.93/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at their brewery. Poured a nice amber color. Clear. Medium white head that mostly dissipated and left spotty lacing. Had an aroma of caramel, earthy hops and molasses. Tasted of sweet malts, earthy hops and other sweet flavors (caramel and molasses). Well-balanced, but bland. Average at best for the style.

Light to medium in body with light carbonation. Drinkable, but I wouldn't have more than one. Just not complex enough and the flavors were a bit weak.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong caramel malts and light hopping rates in Mass Transit Ale leaves behind an impression of caramel apples.

With a strong golden and medium amber color, the beer's pour delivers a firm ivory head of good staying power and light lace. Medium haze attests to dry-hopping and/or unfiltered character.

Ripe red apples and caramel swirl in the nose, along with part malt, part grain, light buttered toast scent. Light on hop aroma, only an herbal tea-like scent arises.

Flavors of caramel are dominant, but not without the raw barley taste particularly in the finish. Biting hops give a grassy or woody note. Bread crust, red apples, toffee and toast help to round out the flavor profile in somewhat appealing, yet unsettled flavor spread.

Medium bodied, the beer has a sticky malt feel to start but a grainy-sweet feel to finish. Light grain astringency, mild alcohol warmth, and semi-dry character.

There's parts of this beer that carry a nice Amber Ale flavor, but also a Yeungling-like grain/malt combo that prohibits it from competing with better craft beers.

Photo of Rifugium
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at their brewpub / tasting room

Poured an exemplary clear amber color with a moderate white head that dissipated rather quickly. Not very aromatic, but scents of caramel malts and leafy hops were present. A simple balance of medium malts and hops in the taste, and nothing really distinctive to talk about. An average amber ale. Light-medium mouthfeel, and easily drinkable in its non-threatening-ism-ability.

Photo of rawfish
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle as a hazy gold that sticks even when the beer warms. Eggshell cap of a finger high white foam, poor retentin but leaves an attractive ring of lace.

Smells very sweet, waffle batter with raw honey drizzled over it. No hop profile to speak of. Something amiss with the aroma, it could be that it's just too sweet.

Sweet bread malts with a touch of grain husks to balance the sweetness. Slight notes of chocolate (despite the lighter color) and alot of raw honey. Medicinal and grasy hop finish that is very light and provides no bitterness but the balance and drying is there in a decent amount. More like a blonde amber hybrid.

Medium body perhaps a tad light with average carbonation as well. Dries nicely leading into the next drink. Sweet yet smooth over the tongue.

A good sessionable amber from Bristols especially if you like your beer on the sweeter side, nice for dessert of a warm night in early summer. Balanced and flavorful, just a tad sweeter than most.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stange glass. Bottled on date clearly marked on bottle. Thanks for supporting fresh beer Bristol!

Pours with a light orange body under two fingers of french vanilla colored head. Pretty good head retention and good lacing. The bubbles that rise in the glass are small and keep the compact head from disappearing.

Lightly hopped (Chinook and Tettnang) with lighter aromas of toasty malts. I could almost have tagged the nose as an English pale ale except for the American hops.

The palate is clean, simple, and refreshing. The hops smelled nice but uninteresting in the nose, but in the flavor they come forward just a bit more and produce a nice mild leafy bitterness that is supported by rather generic but nicely toasty malts. Easy and light.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side but isn't watery or thin as many of the other reviews caused me to expect. Carbonation is lower which in my opinion is a bonus, but could be seen as a problem for this style by others, thus the score will not be affected positively or negatively by this. Drinkabiliy is very good. This beer goes down easy, but not because it is bland. It is just simple and refreshing.

Conclusion: Possibly categorized wrongly, this beer is quite mild compared to the average American Pale Ale. For that style it just doesn't have enough power to hold up against the competition, but from reading the Bristol's description of this beer, it doesn't sound tome like they ever intended it to. They designed this beer to be refreshing and easy to drink, and it is that and a bit more- it is tasty as well, as long as you are not expecting a full dose of hops to fill your mouth.

Photo of Rayek
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber with good clarity. Small eggshell cap has OK retention. Left a fair amount of lace.

S: Mostly citrus, with a grapefruit bend. Not very complex.

T: Malt hits first with subtle sweetbread flavor. Hops come second with moderate lemon and grapefruit tastes that form the bulk of the beer's flavor. Finishes with a faint lingering bitterness.

M: medium-light body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Good session beer. Your basic APA. Nothing more, nothing less.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 1 May 2010.

Served in a Lakefront shaker pint. Small thin off white head. Light carbonation. Copper honey color with some particulates and floaties. Fruity aroma, cherries and apples. Fruity and cherryish to start. Sweet tart with a drier finish. Aftertaste is brief, slightly nutty. Mild ethanol. Medium body.

Fairly average.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with bottled on notches of early November, hopefully of 2009. Pours a somewhat hazy, light copper color with a dense, creamy cap of off-white foam. Pretty nice looking brew with some great retention and lacing.

Nose leans toward the malty end of the spectrum, as caramel, honey, light brown sugar and Hawaiian bread all come to mind. There is just a mild hint of citrusy (mostly lemon) hops, but certainly less than I expect for a Pale Ale. That said, I am enjoying smelling this beer just fine.

I think this would fare (no pun intended) better as an Amber Ale as far as the ratings go. Has a nice, graham crackery malt flavor which I find appealing. There is a bit stronger of a hop presence in the finish, bitterness cleans it up fairly well. It is a bit thin, bordering on watery with adequate to slightly low carbonation. Some toasty malts come out a bit as it warms up. The beer never tries to be something it is not, even touts on the label as being 'Mellow, effortless, groovy'...yea, I can dig on that. Makes a good throwdown beer that can be sessioned with ease.

Photo of sevopie
3.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly murky copper with a smallish tan head.

Smells like Brown sugar and caramel with a hint of wood.

Taste is very light but muddy. You get a little caramel malt, a little breadiness, and a bit of hop on the finish. Definitely underwhelming considering how malty the nose smelled.

Medium mouthfeel with a very fine but thick carbonation.

Overall nothing offends here, but its hard to see this one becoming a staple of many. Its more British Pale than American, but I can see it converting some BMC drinkers so its not all bad news.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a oddly murky brown with orange tints. Nose is bland wood tones. Flavor is unusually acidic and citric. Earthiness is there too, but it just doesn't mesh well together. Feel has a thicker liquid body and the carbonation is a bit biting. This is okay. Not really coming off as an APA to me. I think some cask conditioning might make this one more interesting. But for now, it's lacking.

Thanks to ArrogantB for the chance to try this one.

Photo of Birmingham
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Malts,

Appearance: Pours deep copper with a slight haze. The head is tall, off white and persistent.

Flavor: Toasted malts, citrus notes and bready after taste

Overall Impression: Easy drinking, almost refreshing. We balance between the malts and hops, both support the other and neither is more pronounced.

Photo of shivtim
2.72/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mmm, transportation themed ale. Not sure why there is a VW van on the label, as opposed to a train or bus.
Poured into a pint glass. Clear orange copper with a thin trace of off-white foam. Nose is nutty malt and gentle hops. Taste is off grains and old crackers. Kind of tastes like some liquid you might find on a bus floor, so in that sense it fits the mass-transit theme. Ok, so it's not that bad. Smell is actually pretty good, so thats a plus. Otherwise, a so-so beer.

Photo of hopdog
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a light to medium and cloudy amber color
with an averaged sized off white head. I'm not getting any strong aromas but what I do detect are ice tea, floral and caramel. Tastes of cookie dough, caramel and citrus. Thinner body.

Notes from: 10/30/05

Photo of BrewmasterNPB
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mass transit has a dark-gold color with a light tan head.
It has a slight hop aroma that is dominated by malt. It tastes brittish to me, diacetyl is present and is accentuated by toasty malt (perhaps victory malt?). There is a prominent hop flavor, but it could be stronger. Not very balanced, but drinkable. I would reccomend trying mass transit.

Photo of rye726
2.31/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Mass Transit is my least favorite brew from Bristol. There is nothing particularly wrong. It just doesn't stand up to their other brews. A golden color and a white head. Nose of some basic hops and medium malts. The taste is mostly bitter hops with light malt. Not to much on either side though. A drinkabke, and very light beer.

Photo of ccrida
3.77/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with a thin, white head that quickly disappears leaving no lace.

Smell is very fruity apricot English ale esters, which thickens and gains a syrupy sweetness as it warms.

Taste is less fruity then the nose, but still estery, nicely balanced by the toasted malt, some leafy hops and a nice crisp finish.

MF is very carbonated, in spite of the totally still appearance, with a medium body.

Drinkability is pretty high, this is a very smooth, balanced amber, with just enough flavor to satisfy but not overwhelm.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured an amber color flat head. Slight smell of some hops and spice. Not enough malt, resulting in a sagging middle. Finish is slightly bitter and easy going. Bristol needs to add more mallt and hops. There are many better Ambers out there for sure. More malt would helpthe thin body.

Photo of woemad
1.5/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle given to me by a friend and co-worker who once lived down the street from Bristol. She just got back from visiting her old hometown for a few days, and picked up a bunch of Bristol beers at a local liquor store. According to the label, it was bottled the fourth week of August, but doesn't say which August.

Poured a very hazy dark copper color, with the tiniest whisp of white foam that immediatly vanished. No lace. Doesn't look promising.

The nose is dominated by a diacetyl scent that pretty much cancels out all other scents.

The taste is just like the nose. Massive, overbearing diacetyl taste that cancels out whatever surviving flavor elements might be lingering in this beer. Drainpour.

Flat, lifeless mouthfeel.

Undrinkable. Fastest decision to give up on a beer that I've ever made. This is obviously at least a year old, maybe more. No business should ever let a beer this old be sold, as it does nothing to enhance it's reputation. I really wanted to like this, as it came from a friend and I'm always happy to have free beer. I've another bottle of this (lucky me), and if it's in better condition I will post another review, but if you're contemplatiing buying this, be damned sure it's really a fresh one before you plunk down any money.

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Mass Transit Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.