Bass Pale Ale
Bass Brewers Limited

Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - English
Ranked #401
Ranked #47,620
3.37 | pDev: 16.62%
Bass Brewers Limited
England, United Kingdom
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
Notes: A classic pale ale. This version of Bass for the North American market at 5% to comply with USA ale regulations.
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Reviews: 1,116 | Ratings: 2,798 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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OK_Denise from Oklahoma

3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad Pale Ale at all. Would I drink a lot of them at one But it is honesty not a bad ale at all. It pours well and has a nice look. The initial taste is good and the finish is not too bad. I recommend you try this if you are in to this style.

Today at 12:23 AM
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BigGold from Mississippi

3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had Bass Pale Ale in the late 1980s, always from the bottle, when it seemed great beer--and compared to the American macrobeers then available in Mississippi, it was great beer. In 1996, after asking the publican in a London pub why no one was ordering a Bass Pale Ale, the free half he poured me, without a word, revealed it was only average by comparison with his selection of bitters and other English ales. Still, in the summer of 2017, finding myself in Uttoxeter, England, 17 miles west of where Bass Pale Ale is brewed in Burton-upon-Trent, I stepped into The Vaults of Uttoxeter pub, which (in)famously has four separate Bass Ale taps behind the bar, and enjoyed a few with the lads on cask, always into a Bass logo pint tumbler.

It has always been a beautiful beer, amber-gold with that lovely creamy head. The aroma is English ale muted caramel malt and fruit, and that's what you get on drinking. And I will again, too, on appropriate occasions, like the next time I'm in the Vaults of Uttoxeter.

Jul 11, 2020
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gatornation from Minnesota

3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A wiser in the cooler at a party yesterday never had it. Pours a bronze copper color with smells of malt caramel and dark fruit. Hoppy and fruity with pale malts caramel simmering baked bread . A medium mouth feel with nice bitterness.

Jun 28, 2020
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bass is apparently the original 'pale' ale brewed in 1777, but let's see if the historic brew stands up its celebrated legacy. Color is very delightful. We're talking a very rich malt, nearly that of a popular traditional lager brewed in America. Head is gone within seconds, no lacing, mild carbonation. The smell of fuggle or golding hops(?), but they cannot be because one was a US-based and the other was 1800's UK based radiate behind a solid malt backbone, no smell of adjunct to be found. Probably Northern Brewer hops as they're some of the most basically used ones, though this bitter is more about the malt and the finish of hops is just a balancing note.

Here is my only real problem with BASS today. This is not an import (at least in the USA), and is just another AB chain brand that is made on one of the factory floors and bottled and distributed like every other brand. I'd like to have had this in the 1990s before Interbrew and the final ABInBev acquisitions that split Bass Charrington group up.

Beer was poured around 40˚F, the taste is of sweetened caramel body, a rush of brewers yeast, and the finish of clean water and a kiss bittering hops. The hops play a lesser role, as a lot of us know within the style. Even on the bottle, the 2-row barley malt is celebrated and I can see why because the malt is very tasty but very heavy on the palate. That is my only drawback is the mouthfeel.

Jun 21, 2020
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1DCCX from England

4.1/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

4 cans from Sainsbury’s. Toffee caramel colour, no head, floral, light tea aroma. Brief floral notes and immediate sharp, strong lingering bitterness that lasts. Thin mouthfeel. Drunk it from a pewter tankard that was frozen for half an hour (like at Simpson’s in The Strand) on a hot summers day.


Jun 04, 2020
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Radome from Florida

3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted on tap at Crown & Anchor Pub in Las Vegas, NV. This is one of the first international beers I ever had, back in the early 90s. It was better then, and has faded in flavor, but it still holds up as a good UK pale ale, especially on draught.

Feb 26, 2020
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CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Truly clear deep amber color with minimal head. No lacing poor retention. Plenty of visible fast rising bubbles.
Smell: Aroma of bread crust or toast. Some herbal and grassy notes as well.
Taste: Taste is bread crust with the sharper English bitterness from the Burton-on -Trent water that they use to brew.
Feel: Medium mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation the carbonation is very finely bubbled and it comes across as clean, not prickly at all.
Overall: A good, solid balanced English Pale Ale. I think it holds up quite well in its category. This beer does not benefit from the newer style glassware that exposes more of the aroma. A pint glass or even a pilsner glass works just fine. For what it is worth, this beer tastes a lot better when the beer I drank before it was an English IPA, It was less notable when consumed after an American IPA.

Feb 06, 2020
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.

Pours reddish light-amber with limited head but enduring lacing.

Aromas of caramel malt and fruity yeast meld with hints of grassy and earthy hops.

The brew is well balanced between a caramel malt and sweet opening, a fruity/zest yeast interlude, and a nice hoppy finish. The flavors aren't remarkable but they are solid and play together well.

The brew is well carbonated and finishes well. Quite drinkable.

Overall, a solid EPA I hadn't had for awhile. The EPA is a nice drinkable style, and Bass is a nice example.

Jan 05, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Looks amber. White head that dropped quickly.
Smells sweet, malty, light citrus.
Tastes Malty, sweet, with light citrus.
Mouth feel is medium.
Overall this was my go to beer back in the day. But, there are just too many great American Craft beers these days.

Jan 04, 2020
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Mark-Leggett from Missouri

3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle. Caramel in color with a small head. Smells of malt, orange and lemon. Taste is sweet and follows the smell. Feel is a little thin but not bad.

Dec 18, 2019
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James94 from England

3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: Clear golden colour, weak lacing
S: Slightly spicy bubblegum, general candy
T: Sweetness, perhaps somewhat artificially so. Hints of orange.
F: Very drinkable, but nothing complex

O: 3.5

Nov 18, 2019
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Thisdrinkinglife from Switzerland

2.19/5  rDev -35%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Review: 500ml can of Bass Pale Ale: 3.8% vol.

Bought these cans, cheap, in local supermarket back home, and not sure exactly which version of the iconic beer I am trying. Is it the one brewed in the Uk, the old or new version, or the cheap import version from the States, or even the Belgian version! I think its the British version as that’s the one I have drank over the last few years. It used to be well popular growing up in Ireland and was a beer you would find served in pubs, but these days it has fallen out of favour. It was especially popular up in Dublin. But they sell them now in shiny cans with the famous iconic Bass image in the supermarkets here so that’s good enough for me. Whatever, the Irish version in the shiny can comes at a pathetic 3.8% alcohol volume!

Yes a shiny can, but with the famous Bass logo in red lettering and a red triangle, a classic and iconic.

On pour it looks pretty damn good I have to say. The carbonation fizzing away, making the beer come alive in the glass.

Get a dark amber colour with a decent sized foamy white head, but it all fits together well, beer looks very appealing on the eye. A nice deep look, inviting. Some lacing left on the glass.

On the nose I get a smell of some adjuncts, not great, overall very, very light smells and virtually odorless.

Served cold, getting lovely mouthfuls on the tongue, nice and crisp.

They do advise to “serve cold” on the can, and I can concur. Nice to sip straight out of the fridge.

There are no massive overriding tastes, enjoyable all the same though as it goes down well enough.

Getting the nice sweet malts, some fruits and deep earthy floral notes hitting the taste buds, nice.

A nice, light, smooth, and enjoyable beer to drink, but overall not many clear tastes or flavours.

It is an ok beer, but I fear I am giving it a slightly positive review for nostalgic reasons. More macro than fine ale.

Nov 11, 2019
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EmperorBevis from England

3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled and definitely not bottle conditioned and served up with guests and tapas
Pours a brown sugar coloured body with minimal white head
Smells like barley sugar
Stewed tea
Good body

Aug 21, 2019
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Mrbob558 from New York

4.17/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer has a smooth flavor, with little or no hoppiness- its a true pale ale versus an India Pale Ale. Color was good and the head dissipated quickly Its a good, though not great beer.

Aug 07, 2019
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Beerdoc1169 from Tennessee

4.88/5  rDev +44.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great taste. Not so hoppy you can’t taste anything nor so light it tastes like water. My personal favorite, but hard to get around here, and that’s a bummer

Aug 03, 2019
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mushroomcloud from Texas

3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a 19116 code on the label (opened 7/24/19).
1/2" off-white head with limited retention - falls to an island quickly. Clear, clean copper color. No lace.
Fruity esters, pear-apple. Some caramel sweetness, light toffee.
Sweet, some initial flavors of nuts, toffee, caramel and then pear/apple skin follows.
No perceptible hops in the flavor or aroma.
Light body, light to medium carbonation. Cloying sweetness.
Not for me.

Jul 25, 2019
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defunksta from Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a semi-cloudy dark amber color that leans brown. A mild head that fades rather quickly. SRM of 15-16. (3.50)

Aroma: Great aromas here. Citrus aromas of orange marmalade and cherry. Strong aromas of toffee, licorice, cherry, and lychee.
Second review much different: only faint aromas of orange marmalade, vague syrup and spice. Maybe some toffee. Not much there at all.

Flavor: Taste follows the nose pretty close here. Orange marmalade citrus flavor mixed with toffee and cherry. Subtle caramel, and licorice. A mild pine bitterness, but overall finishes darker & sweet.
Second review light on the flavor. Only faint flavors of orange marmalade citrus mixed with some vague syrup and honey. Finishes slightly sweet. Leans toward the first review as the beer warms. (3.25)

Feel: Lighter bodied, but huge carbonated and crisp. Slight pine and carbonation dry out the heavy malt flavors, to allow it to finish only mildly sweet. Doesn't leave much on the palate. Slightly sweet, but drier than expected. Agree w/ the second review. (4.00)

Compared with Goose Island (English) IPA: This one is much better. Pours much darker. Stronger toffee malt and orange marmalade aromas. Heavier body. Sweeter. I much prefer this to Goose, which could hardly be called an English IPA.

Compared w/ Old Speckled Hen: Pours a slightly lighter amber, with less carbonation. Much less aroma and flavor. Maybe more citrus and less malt? Fainter overall. More carbonation and zesty. Less malt and spice, but similar sweetness though

Overall: A pretty damn good beer right here. This is honestly my first of the "English Pale Ale" style. I would say it drinks similar to a Vienna Lager or Califonia Common, but slightly hoppier. It's like an orange, pineapple marmalade with toffee, but mixed with a carbonated pine to leave only a subtle sweetness left. I'm definitely a fan of this beer. (First Review 4.00, Second Review: 3.33)

Jun 16, 2019
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SmokySignals from North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 0z. bottle of the version that's out now in 2019 ok, not some historical myth. Pub tumbler used.
Looks - bold golden/ light amber, like crystal clear ultra filtered tea . Small head, fades to nothing swiftly.
Smells- sweet, floral, bubblegum happy caramel malt syrup
Taste - quick sweetness, smooth and very slight hop attenuates. Nothing adventurous at all, but satisfying like a sweet tea.
Feels- a bit watery/flat, making it heavy-ish in the belly. Nice finish.
overall - I say it's decent cheap-ish beer to chug in spring (12.99/12pk).
I say try it if you want a decent smooth light amber beer. MUCH Better from the bottle.

Apr 30, 2019
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Stringer1018 from Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Used to be a great pale ale when imported from England prior to 2000. Now brewed locally has lost much of it’s aroma, flavor and taste. Not many restaurants or pubs still carry this in my area.

Mar 24, 2019
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CodyBasden from Texas

2.67/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A little darker than most pale ales good size head that leaves lacing and fades away fast, smells like a good pale ale no real standouts, taste is bitter and kind of metallic

Mar 06, 2019
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monkist from Hungary

4.31/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very good English Pale Ale. Been wanting to try it out for years and when I finally came across it at a Chinese restaurant, I didn't even have my phone with me to commemorate it...
Anyways, the impression is long lasting: pleasant fruitiness in the aroma and perfectly balanced taste! Lightly sweet, fruity, flowery, just enough body presence, just enough bitterness abd carbonation, with remarkable English hops. Reminded me of some great English Ales I had back in the day in Prague... like the Hobgoblin and the like.
Would drink it again, a nostalgic experience, a "bug trapped in amber"-like feeling of all the great times passed.

Feb 23, 2019
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Osprey2900 from New Jersey

3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sadly I have to agree with many of the other reviewers on board, bass used to be my favorite beer, used to never have a refrigerator without it, but avoid things have changed, a bit skunky a bit rough. Not the beer I remember or loved. I'm now off to craft Brews to try to fill that void such a shame cuz bass was awesome in its day.

Feb 06, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing as part of BJCP training. 11C strong bitter.
Light fizzy head, low retention, no lacing, crystal clear amber color

Nose quite muted, a little grassy herbal hop, hint of amber toasty malt, otherwise light, I suspect adjuncts

Taste sweet caramel toasty amber malts, little biscuity, toffee too, then hops bring mild herbal earthy notes, some fruity esters and a little bubblegum phenol note, melon fruits, bitterness is fairly light but increases to a mild bitterness late, again light but drinkable, quite fruity as it warms

Mouth is medium to lighter bod, decent fizzy carb

Overall meh, very light, not much of anything, easy drinking but made for 11A style maybe, but somehow this is listed as 11C for commercial examples, way too light for overall profile but I guess classified as 11C specifically due to abv which is sad

Jan 27, 2019
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ColtR40 from Ohio

1/5  rDev -70.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

No! No! No! Sigh. Once again ABInbev has screwed beer drinkers. I had not drunk this pale ale for a long time. I tried it at a pub and regret my decision. Color of weakly brewed tea w/lots of streaming bubbles. Faint whiff of something I couldn't quite put my finger on but whatever it was wasn't pleasant. Same for the taste. I usually don't make the infamous "yuck" face but I did this time around. The head of foam was like soap and there was a very nasty aftertaste. Looked at the bottle's label-for some odd reason they didn't have it on tap but in bottles only-and now I see why. Brewed in New York of all places. I really don't like to taste corn/rice/cereal grain funk in my beer. This was so bad I almost ordered a Bud for my second round...almost. I already had a low and I mean low opinion of products coming out of AB-Inbev and this just confirmed it. If you like it more power to you. Bass just isn't what it used to be and clearly not my cup of tea. Should have known. Oh well live and learn. Over all a very nasty and pale imitation of what was once a decent pale ale. A rep for AB claimed that the formula or recipe had not been altered. Given AB's track record I don't really believe that. I don't think I will be making this mistake again. Grade wise I have to give Bass Pale Ale an F (The American brewed version at least).

Jan 26, 2019
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Hanglow from Scotland

3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle, 4.4% Marston's brewed version.

Pours light orange, perfect clarity, small head that lasts.

Aroma of light toffee apple, raisin, boiled sweet.

Taste adds a bit of nuttyness. Far too mild bitterness for my liking, drying finish.

It's ok, just wish it was so much more.

Jan 03, 2019
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 2798 ratings