Tall Tale Pale Ale | Cambridge Brewing Company

very good
62 Reviews

Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2000

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 136
Photo of mdfb79
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%

From 09/16/14 notes, on tap at CBC in MA.

Pours a somewhat clear golden color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Floral hops, citrus, caramel malts, and fruity malts. Taste was a lot of pine and resin, some soap. Medium body and low carbonation, light bite and bitterness, dry finish.

Overall decent but taste a little too bitter for me.

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Photo of dar482
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

The beer comes in a hazy dark golden color.

The beer offers gentle fruity and mostly floral hops. A medium sweetness and bready malt in the middle. A good bitterness of grassiness and slight pine on the finish.

A well constructed with decent hops flavors and good balance.

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Photo of Omnium
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the brewery on 10-15-13
A - Poured a clear gold with a finger of white head with medium thin lacing.
S - Fresh and grassy, some lemon peel and grapefruit juice, and some white grape juice too.
T - Good bready malt with a nice juicy white grape taste and some fresh cut grass on the end
M - Very crisp and refreshing, sessionable.
O - Good clean pale

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at the brewpub and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a copper-gold coloring, with a filmy, clingy, off-white surface coating of head. Nose of piney and grassy hops forward, with a subtle, caramel backbone. Flavors of peppery spice and pine pitch hops forward, with hints of evergreen and pine tassel. Bicuity backbone supports the palate, but does not interfere. Solid, mid-bodied, with a great lacing left behind. Peppery and pine tassel aftertaste, with a dry, spicy finish. Hoppier than most pales, but still balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured in the CBC Beergarden during the 24th Anniversary.

Hazy gold color with strong starting head. A rim of bubbles lasts throughout the tasting. Plenty of ring lace that never fades.

Predominate bitter flower hop aroma with a sizable yeast kick.

Starts with a solid pale to mildly toasted Crystal malt base. Good hop kick midway. Pepper aftertaste that lasts a longtime. Full bodied with a low level of carbonation.

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Photo of Durge
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the brewpub this pale ale shows a beautiful golden hue with a modest but reasonable white head and good lacing. The aroma is a weak cardboard caramel with a hint of grassy grain. The flavor is much more satisfying with mellow cereal grain and citrus/grass hop. The dry hop effect is very tasty and highly drinkable with a touch of herbal funkiness. Apparently the Bravo hop is relatively new and I approve of its subtleties. Carbonation is fairly typical for a cask ale, light but perfectly adequate. The body is easily medium with a pretty heavy feel. A quality cask pale.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at CBC

Clear golden-orange pour, with a 1/2 inch or so of fizzy white head; minimal retention and lacing. Good balance of crackery malts and citrusy hops in the nose. Similar taste, with a good balance of malt and hop elements, citrus zest and pith bringing in some bitterness. No surprises here. Light-medium body and easily drinkable.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the brewpub, dry-hopped with Centennial.

A: Clear pale amber body under a finger of dense, creamy eggshell head. Very nice indeed.

S: Balanced aroma of biscuity malt and fruity, herbal hops. SImple but effective.

T: The hops are vegetal and immediate, while the soft malt fills in toward the rather heavy, bitterly chalky finish. Earthy. Mediocre.

M: Soft, gentle cask carbonation in a fairly light body. Pleasant.

O: Enjoyable enough, but the dry hops distracted from the overall package by being overly vegetal and chalkily bitter.


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Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at CBC

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a thick crop of white head resting on top. Retains well, leaving plenty of patchy lacing behind.

A hit of bitterness from the hops with some citrusy lemon notes. Bready on the back end with a slight toasted note.

Soft bitterness on the tongue up front with some citrus peel and lemon zest. Lighter touch of grapefruit followed by a toasted malt backbone. Notes of bread crust and caramel. Finishes a little dry.

Medium body, decent carbonation, dry and crisp on the tongue. A pretty refreshing ,drinkable APA - I'd definitely have it again.

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Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a clear golden color with faint traces of amber. A low, fizzy head forms briefly and fades practically immediately leaving behind a sparse soap-like lacing on the glass.

S - Earthy hops...smells more of English varieties than American...also some spicy and floral hop aromas mixed in. A bit of graininess and a firm bitterness behind it all. Solid aroma, but not spectacular...pretty much what you'd expect without being blown away.

T - Firm bitterness at the base, rather dry overall. Nice fruity and floral hop flavors and a bit of grassiness. Nothing overpowering, well balanced - a good sessionable APA.

M - A touch on the thin side with a mild carbonation level, likely due to coming from a growler. Smooth and balanced, bitter, dry and hoppy - pretty smooth overall.

O - An easy drinking, sessionable pale ale. Basic and smooth enough for the newbie, but enough there to satisfy seasoned craft beer drinkers. Not flashy, but flavorful and well brewed - an easy beer to stay with for a session.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was dry hopped with Amarillo hops.
Also note, it was drank out of a flight glass, not the best way to analyze a beer.

A - Light gold color, Nice foamy thick white head with good retention. Low lace that dissipates quickly.

S - Slight banana note on the front end, a slight butter note. Grassy notes from the hops.

T - Very dry herbal bitterness, hay flavors. Finish is slightly tart.

M - Smooth, dry, has a slight bubbliness which is very surprising for a cask ale.

O - Not the best cask ale, but the smoothness of the beer was very pleasant.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cambridge Brewing

A: The pour is a relatively clear golden color with a finger of white head on it.

S: Definitely has the nice citrusy aroma that I like in a pale ale. Heavy on the lemon and grapefruit (especially grapefruit zest) with a few floral notes mixed in. A nice bit of bready malt in there for substance.

T: Not much deviation on the palate. Plenty of lemon zest and grapefruit flavors. The bitterness is moderate and the malt flavor comes through nicely without being overly sweet.

M: On the lighter side of medium with a medium carbonation.

O: A well done pale ale. Nice hop character while retaining some malt flavor as well.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, helloooo malt! This is akin to Dale's Pale in my opinion. Big malt with some hefty doses of hops. It's an off-amber pour, clear and crisp.

Almost a rye bread aroma. Caramel and hops spice confuses me...which really isn't that hard. Sweet and tangy

Caramel is more pronounced in the taste, but still not dominant. Toasted bread is the heavy hitter. Hops are citrus and tropical. Zesty. Feels a bit light given the above characteristics. It's smooth with a lingering bite, but not "biting". Some alcohol on the end.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap in a big boy glass @ Atwoods

Clear gold with a thin white head. One hearty lace ring before the retention collared.

Light grain and a leafy, bubble gum citrus hop aroma.

Biscuity malt is dominated by a expansive bitter finish that grows after the swallow. If you wanted a weird image you could say it's like an alpha acid jellyfish expanding in my mouth.

Hoppier than some IPAs, it turned me off while I was looking for something more balanced. Even if in the mood, I'm not a fan of the more bitter than flavorful use of hops.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at CBC into pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden yellow, thin white collar, whisps, sticky lacing.

S - Light crisp hops, touch of malt, straw. All very light, but all very much still there. A nice mellow APA, which is perfect during the summer.

T - Light bitterness, hops, straw, floral. Much the same as the nose, all very subtle, but still very enjoyable. The hops and floral notes are excellent.

M - Light body, good carbonation, crisp, easy to drink.

O - A solid pale that's very enjoyable during the hot summer. Nice dose of hops yet easy to drink. Can't complain about that...excellent.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler bought from CBC 2 days ago.

A: Pours hazy, golden copper, about 2 fingers of head. Leaves good lacing.

S: Tons of pale toasted malts: biscuits, toasted grains, a little hay. A little citrus hop, mainly light grapefruit rind and lemon zest. Floral and earthy (almost noble-esque)hops are prominent.

T: Unlike most pales, I get more malt than hops on top of the palate. Toasted biscuits and hay, with the hops then coming in. Hops are mainly floral and earthy with just a touch of citrus (dry and zesty). Middle is mostly the toasted grains with caramel coming through stronger towards the finish. Hops have a slight bite with bitterness on the finish, otherwise dry and clean finish with some citrus zest.

M: Medium to light body, crisp and clean, just a little resin. Dry and slightly bitter finish. This is a real easy drinker.

O: While not my favorite style of pale ale, it's still tasty and very refreshing. When in the mood for lots of toasted malts and biscuits, this will certainly hit the spot. Hop presence has more of an english feel with a clean, earthy and floral aroma/taste rather than tons of tropical fruits and citrus.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured persistant head, enough so the barkeep kept fussing with the pour. Lovely frosted orange color. Not alot of smell but pleasant. Taste is sweet with medium hops and a pretty long finish. All in all a good draft for the night, and good with food.

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Photo of pburland23
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at CBC.

Beer pours a pleasing bright copper amber with about a finger of off-white head.

The nose is incredibly hop forward for an APA. It has a bold and assertive citrusy hops aroma with some caramel malt notes. The taste is similar. It tastes much more like an IPA than an APA. The dry hopping is pretty evident when it comes to taste and aroma. There was some sweet caramel malt notes which provided a nice balance to the beer.

The carbonation was lively and appropriate throughout for this medium-bodied beer. Overall, this was a forceful and well balanced APA. Quite drinkable and a nice paint to start a Saturday afternoon.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.46/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On cask week of 3/21/11. Served in a pint glass

Billowy dense white head atop a slightly cloudy amber body. Great head retention and lace. Pine aroma with some caramel in the background. Very soft mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep it from being flat. Taste is grassy with some malt sweetness. Body is toward the heavy side.

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Photo of Brad007
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on 3/11/11.

I see that there are already two entries for this beer and one is an entry for it with Palisades. The one I'm reviewing is dry-hopped with Citra and served from a cask.

The cask was nearly empty but one last pint was too much to pass up.

Pours a beautiful golden color with a decent head that was well worth the wait.

There's a decent amount of hops that greet the nose, followed by buttery malt.

Mint and mango/grapefruit notes compliment the light, buttery malt to produce an interesting elixir.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering citrus and malt. Decent amount of bitterness.

This is probably how a pale ale with citra hops should be done. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into a pint glass at the brewery.

Appearance: A lighter ruby red color with an off-white head and fairly good lacing and retention.

Smell: Definite grapefruit rind going on here, though it's not as dominant as one might thing. Balanced it is, however. And as it warms, some strawberries and apples seem to be coming through as far as the fruit esters.

Taste: Hops are dominant here, with a good rind spiciness and citrus component, and lingering mild fruit esters.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation all the way through with a medium body and nice crisp feel.

Drinkability: Not pushing the boundaries, but solid and sessionable all around. Another winner from Cambridge.

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Photo of Jayli
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Deep Ellum 5/22

A: This beer pours a clear copper color with a one finger of white head. Head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves sticky webbed lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of caramel malts, pale malts and a hint of pine hops.

T: Taste starts with caramel malts. Middle is filled with pale malts, and a bit of toasted malts, and grain. Finish is nice pine and spicy hops that leave a bit of bitterness on the tongue.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp at first with a touch of an oily finish.

D: Goes down easily, well balanced, not filling. This is a worth sitting with for a little while.

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Photo of mullenite
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glassware - Imperial Pint Glass

Appearance - A beautiful red, amber in color with a firm one finger white head that leaves some of the most beautiful lacing I've ever seen before. The beer is very slightly hazy and just gorgeous to look at.

Nose - Big biscuit and caramel malt aromas and generous hops give the beer a unique smell. No one hop aroma sticks out it just adds a bit of a spicy note to the overall nose. Not the best I've ever had, but nice.

Taste - A little smokey biscuit flavor with the caramel in the background and finish. The hops are spicy and herbal and are balanced nicely with the malt flavors. Semi-dry finish, the caramel hangs around in the background.

Mouthfeel - Nice medium body with good carbonation. Couldn't be any better in this category, this is how pale ales should be.

Overall - A really tasty beer, I don't think I'll have a problem finishing the growler of this. Really good stuff.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap into pint glass @ Cambridge Commons near Boston.

Slightly hazy honey color with a one finger off-white head, which settles to a thin even cap.

Citrus hops in the foreground with a slight toasted grain aroma.

More toasty malts with a little caramel. The hops are somewhat subtle, a little grapefruit and apple. Butterscotch is in there, maybe Ringwood yeast?

Good and well balanced. A good amount of buttery flavors. Recommended. Also saw this on-tap at Cambridge Brewing Company (duh...).

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from day one of the CBC 20th anniversary party on may 8, 2009.

classic golden amber. clear. creamy head fades quickly to wisps and ring. lacing is thin and splotchy, but consistent.

aroma: bread and caramel, touch of apple esters, with nice fresh pine and citrus zest from the dry hopping.

taste: fruity esters and caramel malt (albeit ever so slightly watered down), with both grassy and citrus/pine hop characters. moderate, crisp bitterness with faint resins lingering.

light but smooth, with resins and trace acidity for texture in finish. mild to moderate carbonation has crisp tingle upfront, and helps with flavor lift.

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Tall Tale Pale Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 136 ratings.
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