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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 1,215
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 Act25
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a .5l glass.

A: Amber-orange in color with mahogany hues. clear with white head that is foamy, creamy, and rocky. OK head retention, excellent lacing. Good appearance.

S: Mild. Bready. Toast w/ hints of caramel and toffee. balanced by hops, lemon and citrus. Complex includes grass and oil and richness.

T: Initial caramel and toffee. Fresh bread and coffee. Earthy, grassy hops in background. Modest bitterness, tea-like. Semi-dry finish with soothing caramel, fresh bread, spice and a little bitter hops.

M: Medium bodied, creamy. Moderately low carbonation.

O: The malt is balanced by the hops. It's a good beer. I found it sessionable. Good first beer of evening or with pub fare and comfort foods. *(grilled burger on pretzel roll, heirloom tomato, grilled peppers, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms)

Came back to enjoy this in 12 pack of cans at WFM - very enjoyable. upped my rating.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber-orange in color with red hues. Excellent clarity. The towering white head is foamy, creamy, and rocky all at once. Superb head retention. Clumps of foamy lacing become a permanent fixture. Great appearance.

S: Bready. Toast and crust. Hints of caramel and toffee. Hoppy zing of spritzy lemon and citrus, grassy and oily as well.

T: Big wave of caramel and toffee. Lots of toast and some crust. It almost flirts with a little bit of roasted coffee. Earthy and grassy hops hold their own. Modest bitterness, slight puckering lemony hop twang. A bit of a tea-like aspect. Semi-dry finish with lingering caramel, toffee, crust, and bitter lemony hops.

M: Medium bodied, but it comes across as a bit husky. Very creamy. Moderately low carbonation.

O: This pale ale lands toward the larger end of today's spectrum. The sturdy malt backbone is balanced well by a confidently assertive hop profile. It's a good beer, but it's size and substance make it more of a one-and-done type of brew than a sessionable option. Perhaps not quite as approachable to the neophyte as you'd want a flagship beer to be, but it certainly has its place. It's a good pairing option for pub fare and comfort foods.

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Photo of ckollias
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark golden-amber hue with a thick, 2-finger, white head that slowly dissipates, leaves a nice trail, and ends in a solid lace.

S: Malty and bready aroma with hints of hops.

T: Similar to the smell there is a malty and bready flavor that is an equal mix of sweet and bitter and finishes slightly hoppy.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just a so-so pale ale. Nothing I would grab again.

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Photo of jera1350
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Absolutely love the label on this. The simplicity of the whale tail and cool looking script.

Crystal clear copper body with a very thin layer of soft looking sandy colored foam that leaves some fair lace.

The nose is pretty light and one dimensional with biscuity/cereal english malt. There is a touch of fruity hops in the background.

Very pleasant flavor of biscuit and cracker with a lighter sweetness from the malt. The hops add a mild fruit and citrus flavor with light bitterness.

Light-medium body with crisp and clean feel.

I put the drinkability on this very high. A very flavorful pale ale that I could easily drink several of. Solid brew.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Best buy November, 2012. Hazy copper body, off white head, moderate retention. Clear lacing, sticky. Aroma includes earthy bitterness, some caramel sweetness. Taste is slightly bitter with slight sweetness on the back end. Really not a bad pale ale, just nothing too memorable.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with a fluffy off-white head and streaming carbonation within a pilsner glass.

Light, clean grains and malt with a light fruitiness, perhaps orange.

Flavors follow the nose quite closely, with light bitterness and a light finish.

Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, no alcohol, and cleansing.

Easily a go-to day-to-day beer which I enjoyed several times during a relaxing weekend while on Nantucket.

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Photo of thagr81us
2.83/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured golden yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, spicy hop, and subtle milk chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, earth, fruit, earth hop, and skunky hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly average brew. Out of the pale ales that I had in this sampler flight this was my least favorite of the bunch. The skunky note I picked up on in this one really wasn’t that pleasant at all and really took me back at first. As it warmed this became a little more sharp. Also the milk chocolate note on the nose felt a little out of place as well. I think this brew might have had an identity crisis if I am honest and didn’t know what it wanted to be when it grew up. Worth trying, but I doubt I will be having it again.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at grand cru in hyannis Massachusetts

A- pours a clear copper body with a medium white head with some sticky lacing

S- not too much going on. Malty and somewhat corny

T- grassy, citrus, slight metallic aftertaste

M- medium carbonation as mouthfeel

A middle of the road pale ale. Could use more hop character

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Photo of micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden amber with a light head on top, more like surface slush. It also has a murky and hazy clarity. Aroma is also malts with very little in the way of hops. Taste is malts and sweet at that. I wasn’t very impressed with this one. Made in the English tradition, I’ve try to take that into account but I think it lacks depth of flavor and in fact think it quite borish

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Photo of beerpirates
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz can thx to Chris from the busy bee Raleigh !

The pour is mostly clear copper with a firm one inch off white head.
The aroma is caramel malt with a dry grassy hop. Pretty faint nose.
The taste is a dull caramel maltiness, along with the grassy earthy hops. The malt is more present than the hops. Palate is medium bodied, dull carbonation, dry finish.
This was OK

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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 greybeardloon
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

At the Cisco restaurant at Logan. Served too cold.

A: Nice dark color, good retention and lacing.

S: Modest, faint hops, not much else. Perhaps it's because it's too cold, but it is being served by a branded restaurant...

T: Good, bready malt, but I'm really surprised by the prominence of the hops. They are much more prevalent than I remember from the bottled version, grapefruity and somewhat bitter. The beer comes into balance as it warms, though.

M: Overcarbonated for my tastes.

O: A solid but unremarkable pale ale.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can into imperial nonic.

An orangey-golden toffee colored body with a small beige head.
Average retention. Virtually no lacing.

Smells biscuity, perhaps even slightly nutty? A pleasant citrusy hop profile compliments the malt quite well.
Mild bitterness.

Overall-- I actually rather enjoy this beer. It is quite sippable and sessionable. It isn't the most flavorful beer out there-- but it is certainly a quality beer. It would make a good crossover beer for a BMC drinker.

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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 FickleBeast
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a finger of fluffy foam and nice lacing. Aroma is English malts and a earthy, ruddy bitterness.

First sip is minerally, sweet, and lightly hopped. A malty-style pale ale. There is a definite mineral/earthy quality to this brew. Overall pretty unexciting, but no real flaws to speak of. Probably wouldn't get again, but I wouldn't complain if it was the only thing to drink at a party.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium orange hue with light to moderate haze and an active effervescence. Head poured a thick finger of frothy ivory foam and leaves a bit of creamy lace as it dissipates. Quite nice!

Smell: slightly toasty dry malt aroma with earthy hops and plenty of yeasty character. There's also a hint of spiciness here I like. Frankly, it's pretty good!

Taste: dryish, toasty malt with lots of earthy hop flavor and a pretty strong bitterness. A little caramel sweetness comes through around the edges, but this is merely a highlight. I find myself really liking this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation and a pretty nice creaminess. I like it.

Overall: I didn't know what to expect here, but I think this is quite a successful representation of the style. In addition to that, it's a pretty tasty and satisfying beer in its own right. Good stuff!

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

Got it on tap at the brewery on Nantucket on 8/25/12, where it was served in a plastic cup.

A: Coppery-amber body with an off-white head. Leaves some lace.

S: Not a lot of nose - some faint hoppiness over a touch of caramel malt.

T: Biscuity, with a bit of caramel malt. Finishes with a dry, metallic hop bitterness. A decent APA, though nothing to write home about.

M: Close to medium in heft, carbonation is modest, fits the beer well.

O: Decent. Nothing tremendous, but decent.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance –The brew was served a clear amber color with a two finger white head. The head faded relatively fast to leave a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was heaviest of caramel and some bready malt aromas. Some citrus and a light pine hop were also present mixed within; although these aromas were on the lighter side.

Taste – The taste begins of a bready malt flavor mixed with a lighter caramel sweetness. As the taste advances from there, hop flavors begin to enter the flavor profile. A more mild earthy and piney hop are the first to be detected followed by a light citrus bitter hop. These in the end take away from some of the sweetness and leave a slightly bitter dryness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A body of the beer was medium with a carbonation level below average. Both suited the more bready nature of the beer quite well.

Overall – An OK brew, but nothing really all that special.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got a bomber of this beer on sale for $4 at my local liquor store. The label is stained and a little dirty, so I figure its been dry-stored for a couple years.

A: Well as soon as I opened this beer, I had a foam-head emergency. So the pour was 70/30 foam in my glass.The head is soapy off-white and the body consists of a hazy and dark apple juice color.

S: Aroma is strong and floats right out of the glass. Has some pungent hops and a strong fruit smell like a pear or an apple. Also get some wet wheat and maybe a hint of honey.

T: Taste is a lot better than the smell. Getting some earth type grassy notes, honey and a bit of caramel. The beer finish with some white fruit and a yeast type, dry finish.

M: Sweeter than I expected, lots of carbonation to this medium-light bodied beer.

O: Not the greatest pale ale I have ever had, but not bad. Does a good job of distinguishing itself as a Pale Ale opposed to an IPA or a cross between. Would not seek this beer out again though.

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Photo of jsanford
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a dense off-white head that settles to a inch-thick cap. Mild aromas of English toffee, caramel, and yeasty bread. Very clean and crisp. Taste is similarly clean and simple, with more mild breadiness, sweet caramel, and a touch of herbal hops. Mouthfeel is light and sharp, with a medium body and good carbonation. Overall another easy-drinker from Cisco, masters of understated and sessionable beer.

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Photo of DivaTron
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Whale's tail is easy, crisp, and refreshing. It achieves this through its simplicity. Despite convention, I would recommend it be served as cold as possible, and when the weather is as warm as possible.

A- Clear orange amber. Thin, dissipating head, but tenacious lacing lining the entire glass.

S- It smells a bit briny, oceany... no kidding! A hint of pine. Very subtle, clean.

T- Bright and refreshing. A hint of citrus... quite buttery without being creamy (who'd have thought?). Quickly resolves into a clean piney aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, as far as palate coverage goes, but very sort lived/ front-loaded. Great carb. Spatially balanced but temporally over-eager.

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Photo of NuclearRich
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug.

A: A gorgeous copper & gold hue, crystal clear with a pillowy thick head of white foam that never really quits and lasts til the last drop. An awesome lace coats the glass all the way down, with nice dense rings where I paused from the tasting.

S: Malty, with some earthy and mildly pungent hops. Smells like something from Germany. A little plain, but inviting nonetheless.

T: Pretty standard pale ale flavor, but thats not a bad thing considering the amount of just OK versions are out there. Well balanced, with an upfront malty flavor, followed by subtle hops. A little toasty and nutty. Not hop heavy, but still assertive. A slight citrus with some earthy and herbal notes.

M: The ample foam kisses you with silkiness. A nice clean, light, and sharp body. Leaves just a little flavor behind, begging for another sip.

O: A great pale ale that I will pick up more often. An easy drinker and light enough to be quite sessionable. Not a first choice, but one that I would still recommend as a second choice to someone at the bar.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a nonic tumbler- pours a clear, relatively dark copper color with two fingers plus of cream colored head, good retention and a little bit of lacing without much lasting power.

Smell is mild and appealing- citrusy hops and carmel sweetness (an American twist on an English style).

Taste is a little odd- strange tang on the backside of the palate. Citrus and minerals up front, followed by a hint of the caramel, back to lemony hops to finish semi-dry. Something just not quite right about it to me.

Mouthfeel is good- medium light body, moderate carbonation, but that weird tang kinda does something to the drinkability. Overall I'd say this is a decent pale ale but lacking direction.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to ChefBergo for this extra bottle. Thanks Shawn!

poured into a glass stien.

No freshness date to be found on the bottle.

Appearance: an orangish copper colored beer that is opaque. One finger of white head that drops to a minimal cap.

Smell: mild sweetness from the malts that smells of wheat and honey. Grassy hops and light citrus notes from the hops.

Taste: This beer is actually sweeter than I expected. Its malts taste just like caramel and honey. Really mild bitterness that is mostly grassy and a slightly fruity note that I can pick out specifically what fruits i am detecting here. I think that this beer is a little old. The hops just dont seem that fresh to me and the malts seem to over run this beers overall flavor profile. It almost tastes like a malt forward amber ale.

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Easy drinker and well carbonated.

Overall: This is a nice beer. Wish that it was know when it was bottled. So that I knew if I was drinking the beer fresh or not.

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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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