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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 1,218
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.

 389 characters

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.

 515 characters

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?

 816 characters

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).

 545 characters

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.

 1,089 characters

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.

 461 characters

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.

 529 characters

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.

 280 characters

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.

 418 characters

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.

 823 characters

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.

 434 characters

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.

 579 characters

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.

 357 characters

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.

 424 characters

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!

 253 characters

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.

 702 characters

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.

 417 characters

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

 330 characters

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.

 693 characters

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.

 402 characters

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

12 oz. bottle. Painted label...nice!

Pours with a really crisp "snap krackle pop" to the head. Always nice to hear your beer.

A extremely clear red-amber body, with fine carbonation, topped by a rapidly declining bone-colored tabletop, which is heading toward oil skid.

A very subdued nose is accented by some herbal hops.

Taste begins with a quick light malt surge, and a wash of herbal, earthy hops, which is all that remains as it quickly fades away. It's quick, it's clean, it's all too easy.

The mouthfeel is light. It's easy to drink, because there is no resistance to anything.

The bottle is nice. Overall the beer is a rather average pale/amber ale. If I find myself on Nantucket I'll give it another shot.

 734 characters

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!

 657 characters

Photo of fdrich29
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked bottle with a retro, simply stated label.

Lots of thick, out of control, crazy head on this one with nice lacing. Smells of hops and malt and tastes of the same. Lots of carbination starting trouble in the mouth before it settles itself down and behaves. I'm glad I tried this one that called to me from the bottom shelf at Gordon's in Waltham, but I don't know if I would get it again if I had something hoppier to choose. According to their website it was intentionally brewed to be not so hoppy. Some people like less hops, some like more. I'm the later so please grab me a 90 Minute.

 603 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I was a little embarassed after I poured this. As the head consumed about 2/3 of the glass and the beer barely taking 1/3 at the bottom. The head falls amazingly fast but not fast enough. The texture is that of a bubble bath, very weak, bubbly and frothy. On top a plateau is standing. The color is a lovely orange. The head is a constant battle.

Let's let it sit for 10 minutes.

The head dies down and to much surprise the lace is not sticky.

Aromas of cherries, grapes and orange sweetness.

Not much flavor to begin with. Excessive carbonation which affected the flavor and the mouthfeel. Not hoppy enough to satisfy me. Still, the sweet orange flavors and the spicy aftertaste is enjoyable. Some light fruits in the flavor as well.

This isn't a bad brew but it isnt a special one.

 800 characters

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Judged strictly as a pale ale, this isnt much of one. Its too fruity and way too carbonated. It actually tastes a bit like a lambic, or a cross between a light ale and a really fruity Belgian (like the 3 Philosophers). The appearance is nice, a cloudy apricot color, with a huge head that looks like sea foam. Smell is extremely fruity, with cherry and apricots, mixed with spice. The taste is very tart (hinting at the lambic style) with the taste of sour apples and limes. The mouthfeel is overly carbonated, with tiny bubbles hitting the tongue. Disregarding style, this beer is intersting to drink, and in properly small quantity, is good. But as a pale ale, it isnt quite right.

 683 characters

Whale's Tale Pale Ale from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,218 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.