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Whale's Tale Pale Ale | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 1,186
Photo of rorykanderson
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Balanced malt/hop flavor that drinks easy, albeit with a really light finish. I prefer a more hop-forward profile as opposed to the lighter side of a pale ale. Solid beer but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overall it's a pretty nice pale ale, definitely on the side of English rather than American. Hops are more in the background and they are bitter, earthy, and a hint piney. Malts are sweet and caramel and dominate most of the palate. Finishes clean and bitter. Overall easy to drink, but more mediocre than anything.

 315 characters

Photo of IIPAHOP
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Pale Ale. Light looking. Very smooth going down. Taste is also very nice. Had a can..would love to try the bottle. Next time I am at the cape I will search one out.

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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 seedyone
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Nice toasty taste with a mild sweetness. Late easy bitterness combines for a pretty good quaff. Texture tempts to take deep gulps which with the session friendly (almost)5.6% ABV makes this a nice find.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hazy gold with a finely bubbled 2” of white foam cap that dissipates to thin film. Smell: very bready, fresh baked white bread Taste: rich malty sweet fruit with a gentle hop accent and a slightly dfry finish. Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation.

 263 characters

Photo of jrich8919
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Out of a can, poured into a pint mug.
Look: Nice cloudy, orange, amber hue. Ample head that sticks to the side of the glass.
Nose: Gentle citrus hop character, bright.
Taste: Excellent balance malt/hop. Hops start as potpourri, end as grapefruit/orange variety of citrus.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is noticeably higher out of a can in relation to a bottle or draft (had all three). I prefer it with the higher carbonation because it's dry and crisp, and it sets the hops free... the hops are certainly more present in the nose with the higher carbonation.
Overall: While the carbonation in a can is higher than might be stylistically appropriate for an EPA, it is an exceptionally drinkable medium-body beer with great flavor characteristics. Don't expect the huge hop profile that you would from an APA... it is a true EPA in that regard.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

One of the cleanest tasting beers I've tried. The beer pours a light yellow with a very thin head. The smell is pine from the hops and then a bit of a bread scent. The taste was very clean with focus on the hops in the beginning leading to a lot of great citrus notes. The finish had a nice bite with little aftertaste which was very refreshing.

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Photo of DStrauss1987
4/5  rDev +8.4%

This is just a straight up solid beer. Decent body and good finish. I'm not crazy about hops but this could use a tad more. Still, just a very very decent beer.

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Photo of crhensel
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a light copper, almost Amber with a thin head of light foam. Aroma was spicy with a sweet fruit note. Great carbonation helped bring out the bitterness of the hops very well and finished with a sweet caramel flavor. Very nice and refreshing.

 250 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A minimal head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted and slight sweet Maris Otter malt follow by herbal and slight orange citrus hops.

Taste: Chewy and crunchy bread, pale malts, herbal, and slight hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, and medium carbonation.

Overall: As for an EPA, more earthy and fruity notes would be good.

 564 characters

Photo of jman42
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: AWESOME! Beautiful copper finish, crystal clear. Good head retention and nice lacing

Smell: Good hoppy aroma. Nothing outrageously great about it - maybe a slight undertone of vanilla

Taste: Good, but not grabbing me. Definitely has some pale ale hoppiness to it, but nothing that is really grabbing me

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, but I'm left with some bitterness that takes away from it

Overall: Looks better than it tastes. I bought a six pack of cans for taking to the golf course or drinking on the riding mower while cutting my grass. More than good enough for that (better than the typical Yuengling or Heineken you find in cans), but I think I'd rather buy Six Point in cans for that for now on.

 719 characters

Photo of TippedMixology
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A very nice pale ale, a mouthful to say but not to drink.

Appearance - Very nice amber, deep caramel. Does not look like a pale ale. A good finger of head, dissipated quickly.

Smell - Pretty bland smell. Slightly fruity, but not much there.

Taste - Pretty much the same. There's some character for a pale ale, but you wont be overwhelmed by an particular note. Slightly overpowered by bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Good carb, lingering bitterness. Nothing interesting to report.

Overall - A good pale ale which pretty much gives you everything you want if you're not in the mood for a really interesting beer.

- Adam from Tipped Mixology

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Photo of barnabasdog
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A- copper color, half a finger head, little head retention, good visibility

S- nutty, toasty, sweet notes along with bread

T- sweet fruits, caramel, light hoppy elements,smooth creamy dry finish

M- light body, medium-high carbonation, crisp texture

O- enjoyable unique pale ale

 319 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can -> Dogfish Head snifter

A - pours up a mostly clear deep gold/light amber with a creamy three inch head, good retention, and good lacing.

S - grass, bread, pine, citrus

T - The first flavor notes was the sweetness of the malt, sort of an apply sweetness, sweet but with a slight tang to it. There is also a metallic note lingering somewhere in the middle with a distinct pine flavored bitterness on the finish.

M - loaded with carbonation with a prickly feel not unlike what a fresh Coco-Cola feels like, lots of little miniature bee stings inside of the mouth. Texture is thicker than expected.

O - This is a pretty good little pale ale. If the metallic taste that is running loose would just go away, I'd rate it higher. I have several more cans and I won't be giving them away however.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

The color is clean bright copper with a filtered complexion. The head surfaced bright white with a fizzy thin look but a thicker longer life than anticipated.

Nutty, roasted, grainy, tea leaves and malts all join to form a nicely complex aroma. I do catch a thin whiff of hops on the tail end.

The flavors are malt forward with plenty of malted barley, grain, roasted nut, sour mash and cracker like breads. There is a touch of hops, bitter and herbal, but it's more to balance.

The feel is overly crisp, almost harsh, with a bubbly carbonated prickly sensation.

Overall, this is a Pale Ale that is simple yet has a wide array of style appropriate flavors and aromas.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, coppery color with a decently sized, off-white head. Retention isn't great, settling to a thick film in just a minute or so. Some scattered lacing remains.
Smell is a bit heavy with the scent of sourdough bread with malt, wheat and floral notes behind. Balance is off but it's still an enticing nose.
Taste is more traditional with notes of malt, yeast, wheat, crackers, floral and evergreen. Balance is better and it's a very drinkable and tasty brew.
The body is medium but finishes lighter, while the carbonation level is spot on middle for the style. A slight warming well after the swallow leads to a bready, thistle flavored aftertaste.

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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 WyethBednar
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've had this beer on tap and in a can, and while it's considerably better on tap the can is a good alternative if there's nowhere around you that has it. My one complaint would be the price. I paid $18 for a 12-pack, and while it's a pretty solid pale ale, there's nothing about it that should warrant such a steep price point in my opinion.

Appearance - Really inviting orangey-amber color, very transparent. Pretty weak head though, dissipated quickly and there was very little lacing.

Smell - Refreshing, hoppy aroma. Notes of citrus are present.

Taste - A little maltier than I prefer, but that's to be expected in an English-style I guess. You can still feel the hop presence though, and the citrus is there, especially in the aftertaste. This beer pairs well with most foods though and functions really well as a session-type ale.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with a great carbonation to it. Sort of a dry finish which I wasn't expecting but it was nice regardless.

If you can find this beer on tap, I highly recommend it. If not though, the can still keeps the elements in balance and is a perfectly good session beer as long as you don't mind the price.

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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.

 552 characters

Photo of illpass78
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: It's a clear orangey color. If I didn't know better I'd guess it was an orange wheat ale or something similar. Lacing is very minimal. Head starts out strong and then settles down to about a third of an inch that holds on throughout.

Aroma: There's some fruity maltiness in the nose. Doesn't have an off-putting smell but doesn't scream "Drink me!" either.

Taste: Smooth, refreshing, mildly fruity. It's a solid session pale ale. This is another one of those crafty pale/amber ales that are good starters for folks just getting into craft beer. If a friend came over to watch the game and was looking to get faced on Keystone Light I'd probably be like, "Let's just have a couple of these and chill out. We're in our 30s now."

Mouthfeel: Very easy drinking and pleasant on the palate.

Overall: Solid pale ale. Not remarkable, but it's not trying to be either. This would pair well with most food and is a perfect choice for a backyard party or cookout. I got this in a mixed six and probably wouldn't run out to get a whole six pack unless I was having people over and wanted a likely-to-please craft ale. But I'd certainly throw it in a thematic "American Pale Ales That Aren't Wacky-flavored Or Mondo Alcohol And Are Pretty Decent" mix.

 1,305 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cisco Whales Tail Pale Ale

Look 8/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 34/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 83/100

Nice Pale Ale with solid Hop presence. Has a real nice smooth and refreshing taste. I would suggest it to a friend, I don't see myself bragging about it though. Not enough complexity. Would session very well~

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Photo of schoolboy
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm getting kind of tired tonight, so an easy one now ... a nice simple pale.

It comes out a little dark and tastes the same, but only slightly so It has a nice hoppy aroma. The taste is a clean, crisp pale ale taste. Correct for the style

The aftertaste is clean as well, and it lingers long and nice. Overall, a competent pale and a refreshing drink.

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Photo of Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This medium orange-colored brew is bright and completely clear. It forms a sort of frothy little 1/2 finger-tall head with a yellow tint to it. The retention is fair, and eventually just a firm layer is left. Lacing is moderate in both quantity and heaviness.
This comes off very clearly as an English version, and I think it's important to pick that up from the beginning. The character is all there the whole time. It starts off and, all things coming together all the way through, ends with toast, some caramel, herb and tea-like leaf, earth, mineral, and some fruity esters all thew way through. The hops and malts are at pretty even levels, enough of each for plenty of flavor (& aroma), depth and complexity, leaf and earth marrying steel, caramel and toast in particular very nicely.
This beer has a big, crisp bite and a certain brightness, though it gets a little too heavy in the prickle at times and could be somewhat cleaner. It certainly is bright, and there's a layer added with some dryness easing in lightly, but smoothness is affected.

 1,052 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy (some slight chill haze, goes away a bit as it warms up) medium to dark amber beer. Thick light tan head which lasted for awhile and eventually died down to a good thin skin of foam across the top. Persistent lacing in sheets and occasional strands.

Smell: Fruity hops with some sweetness to it - hints of cider and honey.

Taste: Reminds me more of an English bitter, but definitely English in style. Fruity notes, honey, apples, cider, tea-like bitterness at the finish. The bitterness is strong, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but on the high side for an English pale ale, sticky on the teeth and little bit creamy underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: Tasty beer. Not sure I'd want another one right away, but I wouldn't mind having it again, or having a full pint vs. a 12oz glass. Went well with food (parsnip soup, grilled cheese sandwiches) and I think it might go well with other food as well.

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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.
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