Whale's Tale Pale Ale | Cisco Brewers Inc.

375 Reviews
Whale's Tale Pale AleWhale's Tale Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Quaffer on 12-07-2001

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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 1,207
Photo of DRBarnthouse
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pint Glass ...Dark Amber in color - one of the darkest Pale Ale's I've had. Great fruity aroma hits your nose well before the beer hits the mouth. The taste is thick on the tongue with a nice lingering hop taste. This is an EXCEPTIONAL Pale Ale.

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Photo of wamu2000
4.97/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this could very easily be styled an IPA. Great taste, truly an exceptional recipe. Love the malty and hopped up finish. Challenges any micro brewed amrican beers which have taken over the landsacape over the last decade. I recomend this beer as a compliment to the fineset meal at your favorite restaurant, or a session beer on Sunday as you wade through the NFL results to the wee hours of the night. Best as it warms to room temperature, very refreshing with a very unique taste, difficult to compare... because it sets its own path. This is what beer is all about. Try it once and you will be hooked. The boys on Nantucket kill with this one. You won't be dissappointed. With Moor porter as my favorite... they have really shown they know what brewing is all about

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Photo of drugsbunny
4.92/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big 750ml bottle. Poured a peachy hazy color with typical carbonation for its style. Fantastic aroma, just what a beer should smell like. Anticipated drink was wonderful. Clean mellow fruity taste. Perfect blend of hop and malt flavors. A new favorite in this style. A great beer.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.83/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review and it's of what is probably my favorite beer.

A- Warm amber color; poured straight into a Whales Tale glass, it produces and retains a good head.

S- Malt is strong, only the slightest hint of hops comes through. The smell is much cloudier than the taste, but still very inviting.

T- Exceptionally balanced, with a good degree of hop bitterness but not bite. Finishes smooth and incredibly crisp.

M- Medium body, sense of fullness without being overly strong. Mellows upon sitting.

D- Excellent crisp, slightly bitter pale ale that lends itself to more than one in a sitting. The taste leaves me wanting another even when another beer is calling my name. Beloved.

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Photo of Klym
4.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a surly nonic (thanks to expedition for the glass!). Huge thanks to Palphen for this awesome extra! Excited for my first Cisco brew.

A: Pours a browned red that gets murky with carbonation toward the head and has two finger head of collapsing, slightly tanned foam. Great lacing. This is by far the darkest pale ale I've had.

S: Damn this thing is aromatic. Punching with juicy fruit scents-- peach, watermelon, mango, coconut, pineapple-- with toasted grains and roasted nuts weighing them down with a little smoky, burnt, savory character, all being pinched off in the end with nice citrus hops. This beer is up to something wicked.

T: Very much what I got in the nose with more life and well-integrated characters than I could have even anticipated. Ever part of this, the fruitiness, the more roasted RIS flavors, and the hop flavor and mouthfeel development are all delicious, top-class and work together great.

M: Thickish on the mouthfeel which matches the darker flavors, but the carbonation and quick disappearance as the beer slips out of your mouth makes it refreshing and crisp, which helps it fit the style and work with the hops.

O: This beer was great. I would absolutely drink this again. It reminds me, strangely, of the kids dessert dirt and worms. Oreos, cool whip and sour gummy worms don't sound like a match but put them together and you have a surprisingly tasty and fun dessert. Cisco took 3 taste spectrums I didn't expect to play too well together, but they really did it perfectly. This beer is damn good. Huge thanks again to Palphen for this great throw in.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.72/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle served lightly chilled in a pint glass, though I think a tulip should have been used.

Appearance: Cloudy orange amber topped by an explosively huge yellowish head. A nice 1/4" layer of foam was retained all throughout consumption and some nice splotchy blobs of foam were left on the side of the glass. I, too, experienced the excessive foam problem others have reported. The oversized head does go away eventually, though, so it's all good.

Smell: Nice fruity, buttery, and yeasty sweet aromas. Toffee, oranges, vanilla, oak, nuts, and apple smells. Slightly odd for a pale ale (or IPA as the label legend says), but this is still quite an incredible nose.

Taste: Peppery and grassy hops splash across the tongue, leaving yeasty and bready malts in their wake. Tastes very "Belgian" to me. Me likey, likey a lot. Slight alcohol taste in the background, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body with a nice clean finish from the effervescence. Alcohol is well-masked and overall, the beer is very dry.

Drinkability: If, as others noted, this is a British style (I)PA, then I think I might have to seek out some others of this ilk. I've not had much experience with the old school style, but I was reminded more of a Belgian-style ale here. I'm thinking if Unibroue made a pale ale or IPA, it would taste a helluva lot like this. I will definitely be seeking this out when in Boston for Extreme Beer Fest.

A hearty thanks to my girlfriend for getting this for my birthday last week.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.7/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly amazing beer. IMO it's easily one of the best Pale Ales, in New England, and for that matter the world. As traditional as traditional can be, big malts with slight hops. Hazy hued, glowing ever so brightly. Nice frothy head, symmetrical lacing all the way down.

I had this on tap at Bayzo's pub at Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster. A swanky place that you end up paying for, and at 7.50 a pint I didn't have too many, but it's dam good.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.57/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The CANQuest is rapidly approaching # 250 with no end in sight! I CAN remember when I despaired breaking the Century mark. Now, the sky's the limit, apparently. CAN you dig it?

From the CAN: "our flagship English-style pale ale is brewed with the classic floor-malted Maris Otter pale malt and tasty Goldings hops. The fruity orange-malt body of this amber brew pairs well with food, and you'll find that the delightful balance is perfectly suited for your next session."

Two fingers' worth of tawny head immediately appeared on the pour, bubbling and frothing like the Weird Sisters' brew in MacBeth. The color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was very orangish, zesty in its scope and intensity. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet-tart combination on the tongue like a fizzy candy, orange and caramel, if you CAN imagine such a thing. Wild! Finish was still lingering with that same sweet-tart flavor, causing a niggling feeling that I have tasted something like this before, but I CANnot dredge it up. This is definitely going into the cooler this summer!

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Photo of mduvalipa
4.57/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I went to a new restaurant ( Burton's Bar & Grill) in a newer shopping complex in CT.This beer was on "special" for the evening.Like the other reveiwers it took me by surprise the color of the beer for a "pale ale".When I choose a beer I try to pair it with the food I have chosen if I can depending on the beer selection ( which was very good here).This was a very refreshing,great mouthfeel and very good after taste especially paired with a "panani type sandwich and a chilled cucumber salad.I have had other cisco beers in the past but this one tops them all!

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Photo of Jarod
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

#200 for Jarod
Bottle size: bomber – 750
Bottle conditioned and unfiltered

This beer poured into the glass a somewhat cloudy golden brown color. The heads was sticky, creamy and foamy, and it was a light cream/white color. It produced a lace that seemed to just simply stretch and stick to the insides of the glass. The aromas that came from the bottle and the glass were of hops, sweet fruits, caramel, malt, yeast, flowers, spice bite (peppercorns), slight Christmas tree, ash and earth. I was surprised that all this came from the glass, but the smells seemed to keep coming each time I poured some into my glass. The flavors that came from the glass were of hops - a good amount but not over powering – fruit, pine needles, flowers – dandelions – roasted malt, ash, some earthy flavors and alcohol. It left a light hoppy aftertaste across the tongue and mouth, but again not overpowering. This is a light and very refreshing beer. Crisp and clean and very smooth beer. Very drinkable.

Thanks to Loren (VENOM) for sending this to me. I made this my #200 because I knew that any beer that he sent me would never disappoint and would be worthy of a century mark or 2.

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Photo of Murph
4.53/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice cloudy peach color with a huge frothy white head that dissipates rather slowly and leaves a monster lace all the way down the glass. The aroma is of subtle, earthy hops with a bit of fruitenes thrown in and some light biscuity malt. The flavor starts off with some mild biscuity maltiness before going to a great light fruity flavor that is accompanied by just enough hop bitterness for the rest of the brew. This is one seriously carbonated brew, as all of Cisco's beers seem to be be, but it remains creamy and crisp and exceedingly drinkable. I need to try some Cisco brews on draught and that is all their is to it.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.53/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at McKinnon's split with BA Checkmate. Pours a slightly hazy amber-red body with almost an inch of off-white head that clings to the side of the glass. Biscuity malt shares the aroma equally with herbal hops. Biscuity and caramel malts hit the palate initially, but are almost immediately overwhelmed by really pleasant herbal grassy hop presence, with some butterscotch on the finish. Medium to almost aqueous in body with moderate carbonation. Super-drinkable. Reminds me more of an English-style Pale Ale, but either way this is a super-solid pale ale and an excellent beer all around. Definitely getting this one again!

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Photo of jmerloni
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale hazy yellow with nice pillowy head. Sticks pretty well to the glass. Really pure and pristine looking.

S - Yeast, hops, citrus, lemon.

T - Exactly as on the nose but yeastier and breadier than expected. Really really delicious. It tastes like a wheaty fruit garden.

M - Medium to full bodied, very clean, dry.

D - I would definitely get this again. Great great great summer beer.

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Photo of albern
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a surprise this beer was. It pours a nice thick frothy head with substantial lacing. It is a nice amber color and the smell is hoppy, floral, and not overpowering. Very enticing smell, color, pour, and head. The taste is very nice. You will find a well balanced, slightly hoppy, creamy, moderately carbonated ale that has a biscuity or bready taste to it. It is medium bodied, and for a beer with a 6.8 ABV, you won't notice the alcohol. I don't detect much in the way of floral overtones, but you can taste some of the hoppy esters as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is excellent. This is a pure vanilla cream on the tongue and very satisfying. The only negative is a overly hoppy aftertaste that becomes a bit more pronounced as the beer warms. This beer is a very good offering and a nice surprise I didn't suspect buying it "cold" off the shelf. L'Chaim.

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Photo of natasharai
4.48/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured with a creamy frothy off white head that dissipated to a thin layer of silky smooth head that left some lacing all down my glass. The beer is clear with a orangish gold color.

Smell: Floral hops, strong toasted barley, earthy, and an almost minty smell.

Taste: Lightly bitter floral hops up front, warm toasty barley, honey, again very nice earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth texture, some tingle on the tongue, not much carbonation, leaves mouth feeling clean.

Overall: Great drinkability, the flavors all play well together!! Nothing is overpowering. Not many complex flavors but what is there is very enjoyable. I really wish this was available in my area!!

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Photo of CheckMate
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at McKinnon's split with BA MrHurmateeowish. pours a slight hazy amber red with a half inch of off white head. slightly hints of herbal hops and biscuityness from the malt in the scents. There really isn't a whole lot going on in the aroma. tastes of herbal hops quickly plays on the tongue, some biscuit in the background with hints of caramel and butterscotch. medium bodied with light carbonation. the drink is very inviting. i am very impressed with this beer can't wait to try more.


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Photo of SoulFroosh
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
English style through and through.
Great English ales are flavorful yet subtle with a beautiful mouthfeel.
They nailed that with this beer.

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Photo of DJED69
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Delicious! Amber in the glass with a hint of hazy orange. Keeps a nice white head to the bottom. Taste is malt with subtle hops and very fresh flavors. This is one I go out of my way for, esp if you can find bombers. Smaller bottles seem to be a bit less flavorful and lighter bodied??? Weird but true. Also, not cheap at 7-8 bucks a four pack.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, not the 750. A kickass pale. Hazy muted copper with small head, full fruity aroma. Big bready malts swoop down right off the bat, creating a sweet, fruity malt profile. An extended, excellent hop finish takes over with strong grapefruit elements and some very light grasses all the way at the end of the finish. Overall this is an expertly balanced beer that keeps you coming back for more. Would be a fine session were it not so deceptively strong (6.78 abv). Pairs perfectly with roast chicken, and I'm sure it would treat other meats just as fine.

1/24/03 Currently drinking the 750mL version. Noticeably more carbonation, with a denser creamier head that works very well in smoothing out the beer. Also a more prominent yeast flavor, dare I say overabundant, which I have noticed in other Cisco beers. While this is still very good, I have to recommend the smaller bottle which will seem perverse to many seasoned beer drinkers. However, the smaller bottle has a truer pale ale flavor, with less yeast, sweeter malts and more prominent hops. It is also more bang for your buck: my 4pack of 12-ozers was 9.99, while I believe the 750 is typically 6.99 (although it some places it may be cheaper).

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Photo of mshallah
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Multiple growlers purchased at the brewery on Nantucket. This beer has a very soft and subtle malt flavor with more floral than bittering hops and a hint of banana fruitiness. Mouthfeel is luscious and creamy. Have had this beer on-tap at many locations including the brewery and have also enjoyed it in the 12 and 22oz bottles. My advice is to seek this beer as fresh as you can get it, and you will never tire from the delicate flavor and creamy mouthfeel. Older samples do not compare.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful bottle I picked up from a kind New England trader recently. I got soo many new beers in the last week, I hardly any what to do with myself, but that is neither here nor there, lets get to the beer shall we! Twelve ounce bottle was served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 10/07/2008.

The pour was standard fair for the most part with a hazy, light amber color that came forward rather quickly. Some nice and light carbonation could be seen bubbling up from the bottom of the glass that came to the top as a two inch layer of white foam that quickly settled down, leaving little side lace in its wake. Nice layer of sediment on the bottom was noticed after it was all said and done.

The aroma was very nice, light grains and nice bready malts that combined with a light almost pear like aroma. Hints of some citric hops dancing around in there as well as it warmed up. Much more of this continued on as the flavor started to roll across the tongue. Nice hints of grass, fresh orange peel and a good touch of light grain all blended together quite nicely. For a pale ale, it was simply splendid. I could have drank this one all day to be honest. Nice quick, clean, and very dry finish left me with the nice long lasting finish of fresh grass flavor that lasted long into the biscuit like malt back. Nice light to medium bodied ale was more then decently carbonated and this only added to its wonderful session ability.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. My first taste of Cisco and I was very impressed. It was light, well balanced and very nicely hopped. I would have no issue with making this one a regular session ale any day of the week.

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Photo of HankSingle
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is basically a perfect beer. Good flavor, but not overpowering, cinching, crisp bite, medium body for a pale, with a nice, sapping finish. Love it. I cant ever turn it down when it is on tap where I am eating.

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Photo of cdizinno
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Cloudy dark amber color with a nice light tan head and moderate lacing.

S: Mainly a malty sweet, bready smell with some citrus & floral hops in the backgorund.

T&M: Medium bodied with a nice balanced flavor. More citrus hoppy taste than the smell would indicate. Smooth.

This is a very good beer. Better than I expected for a pale ale.

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Photo of Botulizard
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Light, refreshing, and supremely easy drinking. Mild hop notes give it flavor and character, but don't overpower. Could be an everyday beer, but for me, this beer says summer.

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Photo of nomad
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dimmed orange, just about transparent, with a big white head that was bubbly and pillowy, slow to fall, and left a fair amount of bits of stain. Also had some small and floating carbonation and a little lace.

Smelled of fruit: apples, pears, grapefruit, and some hop leaf notes, too. Taste was a tasty malt, a fairly pleasing bitter, nice and some pear sweetness that came on late. Had a smooth transition through each of its simple parts. A patient but quality pale ale (this beer is NOT AN IPA); mellow but with a good body.

Great mouthfeel: smooth on the drink, just enough drying afterwards, and a soft leathery finish. Extremely easy to throw down, inviting in its mellow but firmly present character. Had true fruity scents and flavors through out but enough bitterness to give some balance in the end. I liked the nice fruit burp.

A New England rare treat, find it if you can. Apparently the results vary, but I've never had a problem.

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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,207 ratings.
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