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: 1,215
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grape juice, and slight herbal aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, fruit, and some charcoal like flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with an odd charcoal quality that reminds me of burnt steak.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a pretty good pale ale. pours a hazy copper color with a rather small off white head. smells crisp and refreshing, lemony hops and a healthy dose of english malts lends a nice light doughy smell. flavor is refreshing too, a nice pale ale for springtime. the english malts give it just enough body, but the hop profile is the star here. a little fruity without being sweet, and crisp without being at all bitter. excellent with a grilled veggie burger. full enough body to stand up to all kinds of food, i will buy this one again.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured amber in color with a thin, white head. A light level of carbonation is visible and there is a good amount of head retention.
S: There's a light to moderate aroma of earthy and flowery hops in the nose.
T: The beer has a good balance between malt and hops; none of these flavors is particularly overpowering. There are also some hints of spices in the flavor.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and very smooth.
D: The beer is very easy to drink. The overall taste doesn't stand out as being very interesting where I would want to drink this on its own, although it would likely make a nice accompaniment to a meal.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With British influence in mind, the brewers of Cisco chase the taste of English Pale Ale that gets us back to our ale-making roots. And that seldom-seen taste is as refreshing to the spirit as it is the palate.

Whale's Tale kicks off with a bright chestnut hue. With no obvious haze, the light ribbons through the beer's body with amber and honey. Its vastly forming off-cream colored head promptly caps the the beer and easily withstands the session. Trickling with broken rings, the beer lacing is organic and random.

With a light toffee and biscuit scent at its core, Whale's Tale opens with juicy malt aromatics of fruit, herb and toast. Its culmination is somewhat of marmalade, fresh-hung tobacco and cake.

Its early sweetness wraps around the tongue and evokes the nutty taste of cashew and brittle while a savory toasted note butts up with caramel and toffee. Herbal teas offer up a pleasant grassiness to balance the apple, fig and orange in the middle. A late charge of bitterness is broad and woody as it pangs against the gullet in refreshing and spicy fashion.

Moderate in body, the texture is creamy-sweet up front but makes up a lot of distance in short order as it finishes spicy and dry. Its creamy carbonation keeps the beer feeling full until the hops set in and dry the beer with the help of medium-warm alcohol.

Though the classic and understated complexity of classic British versions, it quite accurately portrays the shell of what proper English Pale Ale does so well- just a glimpse, but a glimpse will do!

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a rocky head; a few strands of lace

Smell: Fairly non-descript, with a hint of floral orange atop a toasted malt, toffee base

Taste: Toasty at the outset, with a a tea-like earthy bitterness that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tea-like flavors move in a slightly herbacious, slightly metallic direction, but the finish is dominated by the toasty malt; all in all, very subtle

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Another English style pale ale from New England; unlike some of the others I have tried, I am not really crazy about the flavor profile

Thanks, donkeyrunner, for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks nice, burnished copper orange with a steady plume of rising carbonation. Creamy dense foam, offwhite color and slow to fade. Plenty of lingering frothy lace inside the glass.

Crusty bread, dried apricot, sweet moist shortbread aromas.

Flavor is bready and fruity, though something is slightly off (old?). Light toasted malts. Apricot, apple core bitterness, a slight stale malt oxidation. Medium bodied, lightly astringent. Dry aftertaste, slight bitterness again. Something here doesn't jive and it's hard to put a finger on.

Don't know how old this could be, date is smudged on the bottle, but it's only been in the market for a couple months.

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Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a orange/amber color with a foamy, off-white, two-finger head. Left good trails of lace.

S - It smelled of hops and grasses. There was a little toasted malt aroma, too.

T - It tasted of toasty malt and bitter hops. A nice blend of the two. Slightly more hoppy than an average APA, but not as hoppy as an IPA.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice beer. I had two with a nice meal in Brookline, MA.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slight hazed burnt orange with some chunks and floaties swirling about with a creamy-like slight off-white head.Fruity estures in the aroma along with some caramel/biscuit malt with a lighter herbal note.Very English hop profile quite fruity and herbal in its character with a big caramel base with that herbal note in the finish.Well if you like English style pales this is your thing,for me its quaffable but not my style,saying that its a decent beer to be had.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cisco's Whale's Tale offers a wonderfully balanced and highly drinkable pale ale with a beautiful appearance. It's full and frothy ivory head eventually settles to a short cap of creamy foam that leaves rings and sheets of lace about the glass; and it's clear amber-copper body reveals glowing highlights of orange. The nose is clean, and a bit subdued for the style, but offers a nice combination of sweetish biscuity and bready malt laced with mildly citrusy and floral hops. A very fine-bubbled and moderate carbonation leaves it smooth across the palate with just a delicate zest on the tip of the tongue. Sweetish, biscuity malts return in the flavor, vibrantly infused with the same citrusy (tangerine, mild grapefruit) and floral hop character found in the nose; and backed by a brisk bitterness that leads to a dry and refreshing finish. Nicely done! This is a really drinkable beer and I'd suggest it as a session beer except for its surprising 6.8% alcohol content.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 1 ½ fingers of foamy bright-white head. This retains with some creamy froth around the edges, leaving a moderate amount of patchy lacing behind. The aroma is earthy, citric, and spicy, with the thick doughy sweetness of the Maris Otter malts really giving this a deep smelling tanginess in the nose.

The taste is bitter with earth, citrus peel, and fruit but is well balanced by some softer tropical fruit character and the sweet and tight feeling biscuit flavors of the malts. The finish is dry and spicy, lingering with some leftover earthy tones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp, yet there is a touch of slickness that keeps pretty smooth in the mouth.

This was interesting. This tasted English but had a boldness to the flavors that reminded me much more of American take on the Pale Ale style. The deep earth and tanginess of the profile hindered the drinkibility a bit for me but this was still pretty solid overall. Bonus points for the portability of the container. It's good to see Cisco getting on board with this.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoky malts, caramel, a little bit of citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a pale hops flavor, along with caramelized malt sweetness and some smokiness. There’s a little bit of citrus in the background, but not much. This one seems to lean toward the English Pale Ale style quite a bit. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Somewhat tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style but has a lot of EPA influence as well, I could drink a few of these but it’s not the first that I would choose even within the style.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear copper in color. The beer has a three finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces into a very dense finger tall head that is slightly thicker at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts with moderate aromas of earthy and floral hops.

T: The taste of this beer follows the smell... The beer starts out with some pale and caramel malt flavors and then the hop flavors come in. The hop flavors contribute some earthiness and just a hint of floral notes. The beer is very well balanced.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: This beer is very enjoyable and very easy to drink, I find it to be extremely well balanced. This would be a great summer beer for drinking at cookouts. I could easily pair this beer with lots of different foods. Definitely sessionable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a wispy, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Toasty, grainy nose with some sweetish hints and a touch of citrus fruitiness.

Taste: A taste of toasted grains and English malts with a light sweetness and a faint fruitiness. Light citrus hops with a faint bitterness. Dry, somewhat watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit weak, I must admit.

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Photo of russpowell
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours honey colored with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Pears, not much else

T: Follows the nose, plus a touch of breadyness, some woody hops as well. More pears, plus caramel & dryness as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry with a touch of caramel

MF: Light/medium bodied, firm carbonation, alright balance

This is a passable EPA, but nothing to get excited about

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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 smcolw
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extensive head with extraordinary lace for a pale ale. The head settles into foamy, whip-cream like thickness. The liquor is neutral amber with a moderate chill haze.

Relatively light hop, a touch of yeast. Seems to be well balanced without any sweetness in the malt.

Relatively dry. Smooth finish with a mild hop bite--although it is does not last. The body is like light cream and the carbonation is low.

This is an impressive looking beer. The flavor is decent with a good mouthfeel.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a pint glass.

a - Pours an amber color with one finger of white head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, piney hops, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of bready malts, caramel malts, citrus, and maybe a hint of pine.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent APA that is very easy to drink. Would try again sometime.

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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 vfgccp
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden amber color with a creamy white head. Good head retention

S- Herbal, leafy, with touches of lemon zest. Notes of lemon grass and spices

T- Nice herbal over tones, with a slight soapy flavor. Strong hop presence.

M- Smooth beer with not much carbonation. Light acidity on front end that matches with the bitterness.

O- Very drinkable. Then ice bitterness with the citrus notes makes this a great summertime pale ale.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Again really English inspired ales coming out of New England, pours a deep slightly hazed copper hue with a bright thicket of light khaki foam arising with large bubbles. Aroma is floral and earthy more so than aggressive and citric. This is really nice a fruity/earthy subtle experience versus the average American pale that borders as an IPA. Nice breadiness from the yeast and malts utilized here, definitely a beer that can be drank in number wouldn't mind the 12 pack of cans for tailgating. I'm sure this one is meant to be consumed fresh. Still has a fair amount of bitterness but it's completely different kind of hop flavor more earthy/floral notes coming out rather than the high alpha acid hops that our beers typically are brewed with. There's almost a layer of brine that brings the sweet malts, floral/fruity notes all together along with the thick crusted artisan bread like notes that I get with each sip from the yeast. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied what a great drinking session ale it really packs in the flavor I'm glad I tried this beer after seeing it in BA mag ads for the past few years, it's about time I scored a few bottles. I paid high end pricing on this but it was well worth it.

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Photo of tdm168
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - lighter, clear amber with a short, soft, off white head that has good retention

S - big citrusy aroma

T - citrusy, hoppy, light malt character

M - medium bodied, smooth, crisp

This is a decent but simple beer. It has decent balance and decent drinkability. I think there are probably better pale ales out there so I probably won't be picking this up again, but it was good once.

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Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a thin white head that slowly becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is of tropical fruits and underlying sweet grains.

The taste is of tropical fruits with floral notes - sweet, balancing, bready/grainy malt. Nicely balanced. Buttery smooth. Bittersweet, slightly tart, long, dry finish.

Just the right amount of carbonation in this one. Firm, medium body. Nice texture.

A wonderful brew. Categorized here as an APA - claims on label to be an English-style Pale Ale - truth is probably somewhere in between - an American Pale Ale with definate English influence. Easy to drink - I was very surprised to learn of abv level - alcohol very well covered, with a lasting, fruity flavor.

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Photo of Billolick
1.55/5  rDev -58%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

cought an obvious off bottle this time. Cap came off with a loud blast. Beer poured very cloudy, super carbonated, huge head that stayed and stayed. off flavors of butterscotch and fusil(sp?) alcohol. Sounds good huh? To bad cuz I was looking foward to try this one. Oh well I will give another bottle a try someday hopefully soon

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid peachy hue..huge, soft, delicate, diaphanous head, gently crumbling, leaving lace...Aroma: fresh, airy, citric, but well-rounded and pleasant...
Taste: very carbonate, fruity, and tangy up front, but overall smooth...lightly flavorful, peach and apricot appearances are muted, but appreciable and brightly flavorful...medium bodied, brief, fruity finish, decently fizzy texture.. pretty nice pale, all told, and held in this gi-mongous 26 oz bottle, I've still got some drinking ahead of me apparently...yum, but, oh, the carbonation's a killer and I'm burping like a man afire, here!

Grande gracias to running4beer for delivering this, via BiF 4!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is a decent copper-amber coloring, both dark and slightly hazy, with a slim, low profile, off-white head. Aromas are rich and plentiful, with a malt caramel presence lightly highlighted by a touch of hops and spice. The beer was smooth, yet light and crisp. Flavors are toasty, while carrying a sweet toffee and caramel backbone and spicy, dry, green hops. The aftertaste is peppery spiced and darkly sweet, balanced very well together. The beer has a quick, clean finish. Smooth and effervescent overall, the caramel-hops blend is unbelievably balanced. Very tasty.

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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,215 ratings.
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