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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 1,216
Photo of ppoitras
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from 4-pack purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" light beige head over the light amber brew. Head is dense and foamy, and lacing is very nice. Aroma is slightly sweet pale malts, overrun by yeasty, doughy scent, with nary a hop in sight/smell. Taste is slightly sweet light grain upfront, quickly bowing to a tart middle, and a bit of a crisp hoppy bite to end. Mouthfeel and drinkability both okay. Nothing particularly wows me here, but I'm not driven away at all, either. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at a local Trader Joe's for $5.99. A relatively local brew, I was excited to try this beer from Cisco Brewers. This is my first time sampling anything from this Nantucket, MA brewery.

Had this from a 25.4 oz brown bottle and served in an imperial pint glass. I like the label design. There is also a brief description on the beer and brewery on the side label. This brew is bottled conditioned and weighs in at 6.8 % ABV. Such a combo makes this a good beer to cellar for awhile.

Pours a hazy and cloudy orange. Its very easy to produce to a fluffy head on this beer with just the right pour. Attractive sticky lacings are clinging all over the glass. I notice some chunky brown sediment on the bottom as well.

Whiffs of floral hops, biscuits and fresh apples.

Apple cider like zing mouthfeel. Very juicy and sweet. I love the Kent Golding hops in this beer. They add just the perfect hop presence. A tad creamy with a juicy malt feel.

This is a well crafted quality brew. Nicely balanced and so enjoyable. I will have this beer again soon.

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Photo of marburg
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-ish color, well-carbonated. A thick, foamy, clumping marshmellow of a head forms a pretty picture perfect beer. Some lemon peel cooked in sugar with a crispy cracker-like malt nose -- highlights of more piney citrus and some other fruits. A very lively mouthfeel combined with a spritzy flavor leads to a effervescent, dry feel with a sour earthiness and a mildly tangy bitterness -- all in all, quite enjoyable. Very mild upfront with the light cracker-like malt flavor being the light (but primary) impression. Just ever-so-perfectly balanced. I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper appearance. Almost clear. Slight haze is noted. Thin coating of ivory white head. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is pretty thick with the caramel maltiness and nougat like sweetness. Some hops are noted, but not enough. Good aroma anyway. This pale's got some balance. Maybe a little too much balance in favor of malt qualities. But it's a pretty beer overall. The midsection is heavy with caramel and nougat. Some piney hop tones prick the tongue every once in a while. There's a lingering huskiness and bitterness. Not really astringent, but not your typical "APA" bitter finish either. Decent enough beer and by far, the best I've yet to encounter from Cisco.

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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 Jacobob10
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ The Squealing Pig in Boston, MA.

Nice golden appearance with a small frothy head. The aroma was very dull. Not a lot of hop presence for a pale ale, but the hops showed up when it came time for tasting it. A nice hoppy taste that is well-rounded by the malts. Easy on the palate and oh-so-drinkable. I found this beer to be very average, but it would make a great session beer.

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Photo of jvajda
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice looking ale. Subtle yellowness and small head.
Smell: Fresh malt in the nose.
Taste: At first I couldn't taste the hops, just big, fresh malt like a dunkel. My taste buds have been bludgened by quite a few double IPA's recently. About half way through, I realized that there was a significant hop presence. Very balanced and an excellent ale to enjoy with spicy food.
Mouthfeel: Crisp and well carbonated.
Drinkability: A good session beer, but if other things are available, I might move on.

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

Appearance – The body here is rich orange in color. The head was rather small but very clingy.

Smell – This nose is nicely balanced. The light, even hops are mostly citrus and supported well with a good toasted malt backbone.

Taste – Again, a very balanced Pale Ale. The toasty malts are a bit bigger at the taste and did a good job of holding up the fruity hops.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied with some light carbonation that keeps things interesting. I even picked up a light dryness at the finish. Nice.

Drinkability – This is a good, easy-sipping East Coast Pale Ale that I would definitely buy again.

Comments – I had the pleasure of tasting this one at the Anam Cara pre-party for the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. A pub full of great beer and great friends; what more could you ask for?

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Photo of bonbright7
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this delightful ale in 750ml wine bottles at my local Shoreline Beverage of Huntington, NY as I was prowling for a new ale. Its light fruit flavors in a reddish-amber coloring made it easy to serve to fellow beer drinkers as well as their wives at a late summer/early fall cook out. It also has a slight bitter/dryness in the aftertaste.

My only regret was not buying more of it to hold in reserve as my guests were somewhat elated as to where this came from, did I have more, and could they take a bottle home (even if it was empty).

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

Label Lore: Plain 12 oz. Browner with a Whale Tail poppin’ out of the water.

Filtered clear coppery amber under a tight quickly dissipating off white head, and some bubbles breaking away.

Light sweet malts of ripe apples and some honey hops.

First Swigs: Well balanced carrot cake notes of earthy grain malts and English hop hints of Fuggle hops. Some fruity orange impartedd characteristics of cantaloupe and table sugar sweetness.Woody spicy balanced pale. Well balanced. Some powdery Pez candy notes peek out. Cedary hop flavors and dry slightly lingering syrupy aftertaste. When this one calms down and warms, some more flavors are palatable like a more tart orange and lemony citrous fruit.

Crisp carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

Last Swigs: Dry cedary balanced pale. Maybe some Fuggles in there. Went back fast. Quite tasty, despite being narrow. Amazing that this is a 6.8% ABV ... well hidden!!! Would like to try a big bottle of this one. Paid $3 a 12 oz’er. Dry hopped with Kent Goldings. A tasty English style treat.

Beer is good. Happy Pale Ale Beering.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Citrusy hop and flesh fruit aroma is fresh and inviting. Hundreds of streams of carbonation race towards the beers surface. Big, pearl white head holds strong leaving a scattered coat of lace. Slightly hazy, golden apricot colored beer. Tasty citrus flavor is balanced by a mild caramel malt, finish is barely bitter. Body is moderately thick and carries the flavor well. A well done tasty pale ale. I still think $8 for a bomber and $10 a 4-pack is a bit much.

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Photo of stirgy
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautifully looking beer. Bright and clear, orangey amber in color with a soft carbonation. This beer seems to glow when held up to the light. A thin creamy peachy head tops the beer off and leaves small crests of lace on the glass. A classic looking pale ale. Appealing. The aroma is fruity and light spiced with candied malts. The taste is light and grainy. Very flavorful and finishes with a light and pleasant fruit tang. A musty, earthy hop character is apparent along with some nuttiness. Very nice. Simple and drinkable.

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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 beerluvr
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, once getting past the goofy name, it pours a rocky, lacy cream colored head that settles out over clear softly carbonated deep golden/brassy liquid. Nice breadlike doughy nose with subtle hop tones. The taste is light fruitiness with a toasty edge washed aside by good bittering hoppiness that becomes more apparent as it warms. Finishes nicely balanced without an overbearing hop bite, quite a drinkable ale here.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Very creamy off white head with large bubbles that settle to a rocky sheet after a moment. Some spotty lacing throughout the glass. Slightly hazy; a glowing light amber in color.

Lemon citric aromas from the hops that gives way to a light and mild bready malt fragrance.

Moderate hop flavors up front with some citric notes. Very clean toasted malt taste that bottoms out nicely at the end of the sip. A very nice balance of hops and malt. Low bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied APA. High carbonation that makes this ale so light and refreshing (it also subdues and complements the toasted malt well). Very clean.

Very refreshing and clean tasting. I would be happy drinking this all night. Great version of the style: dead on IMO. One of the better APA's out there. Worth a try.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very pale yellow in color with a foamy head that recedes to the edges of the glass which creates a nice lace. Very carbonated. Which is kind of odd after most other APAs I've had recently, but that may have been a result of the tap. It actually made it quite refreshing. The hops were very smooth and mild, sweet too. I also noticed what tasted like banana hiding behind the hops and the very subtle malts. A very good session beer.

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

Found a fresh 4 pack of this stuff at a local store was I was glad to see it and picked some up. Poured out an amber/peach color with a nice head that reduced down to lacing. Smell consisted of citrus notes, hops, a little bit of caramel, and some spiciness. Taste was nice. Some citrus notes along with some pine-like hops hit the palate first with some underlying malts and spiciness. Finished a little bit dry. The carbonation was quite good in this brew, perhaps they fixed the problem? This bottle seemed fine to me, but I'll see what the rest of them are lile. A good brew.

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Photo of yen157
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light copper in color with an orange tinged head. Hops suggesting fruit appear in the nose along with caramel and candy-ish malt. In the mouth the light body is bolstered by moderate bitterness and fine, but plentiful, carbonation. Fairly dry and light in the mouth, and much restrained bitterness with hints of phenols and a metallic note. Very lackluster.

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Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange / amber color with a nice 1.5" head that forms some light lacing through the drink. The aroma is simple as citrus and malt are light but recognizable. The flavor has nice fruity and citrusy tones that are well balanced with the caramel, malt, and hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a mellow malt and light bitter finish. Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level. Very nicely drinkable and a good session beer.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pale ale is a nice amber color. There is a descent foamy head which lasts for some time. The smell is a mixture of sweet malt and hops. The taste is a pleasant blend of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is a beer worth giving a try. Enjoy!

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Photo of Stimack
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gave this brew a try last evening while at Mahars,. The brew is labeled as a Pale Ale but it did not remind me of one. The brew poured to a golden amber color with a very small white head that broke down quickly and left no lacing. The aromas where of sweet malt with fruity highlights, think I can sense some peach, and a bit of orange scents. The taste is very mellow, starts somewhat sweet with caramel highlights than breaks to some fruity flavors that seem to be a somewhat weird mix, not bad but a bit different. It also has a slight bitterness that seems to complement the other flavors nicely. Over all it is a nice brew, not one that I am craving but will give it another chance in the future.

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Photo of palma
1.5/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The cap came off like a rocket and the head was the biggest i've ever seen. Stong hop flavor though still seemed a little watered down. Extremely high carbonation. I did not like this beer at all. I'd like to give this brew another chance but because it doesn't have a born-on or exp date Im not gonna get suckered into picking one of these again. I'll try it when Cisco Brewers gets smart enough to date their beers.

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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 GreatPondBrewer
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy copper color with a fizzy and quite thick white head that ended up as a thick film along the top of the beer. Smell was incredibly... interesting. I am not sure what to think of it and am unsure whether this was a bad bottle, however it didn't smell (or taste) bad, just really different. The smell was fizzy and funky like a lambic with the tart berry smell almost of a framboise. But it was distinctly different because the berry was masked by a hop presence not seen in lambics. Taste was much more like a pale ale with a hoppy lemon zing up front with a good toasty malted middle and a incredibly refreshing finish. All in all an interesting beer and one I would try again.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at Redbones

A cloudy orange amber served with no head. Faintly sweet scent.
Nicely balanced with the subtly spicy hops lending an earthiness to the fruity appley malt with hints of apricot. Moderate body with mild carbonation. Dry finish. Best of all, the pulled pork is making this beer taste great.

I'm not so sure I'd call this a pale ale. I'd say it's pretty decent for an amber ale.

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Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,216 ratings.
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