Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

1,059 Reviews
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Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bass Brewers Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-17-2001

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Reviews: 1,059 | Ratings: 2,640
Photo of servo12
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say, this is my absolute favorite beer. I should not even review this. It is that old friend that I can always depend on. It is easily available at my local pub. I will admit that it is a mass produced beer. However, among the others it stands out as a time tested favorite of generation after generation of brew aficionados.

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Photo of bondjedi
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Fiesta Henderson.

One finger of off-white foam, into a schooner instead of a pint glass. Very nice copper color, translucent. Goes down very well, with a sweet malty finish.

Dee-licious! I can drink this till I collapse. I like to drink it from the bottle, but from the tap it's arguably the best brew pound-for-pound on the planet.


Ever since the Bass destined for US consumption has been brewed in upstate New York, the Beer Advocate ratings have slumped. This is a case of "haters gonna hate." Bass Ale is still the best g-damn beer out there, and the keg of it that I just bought the other days attests to that.

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Photo of jab7
5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Pale Ale for every day drinking that I have come across. Not too Hoppy, not too bitter. Not an over powering after taste. Smooth and flavorful. Don't think it is made in England anymore though, I believe I heard Anheuser-Busch brews it now. Wouldn't that make it an American Pale Ale?

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Photo of pinkykatt
4.8/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I finally found this beer at the Wine Cellar Warren Michigan-USA
----it is usually on draft at places like Bennigans- pubs- yes- its nutty-fruity great color -great taste--get tired of all the light beer-with no taste-- this is is very satisfying-need more vendors here-

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Photo of sfsean28
4.76/5  rDev +40%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't go wrong with Bass in a bottle but I prefer it on tap. I know a few good pubs that serve it very well and others that can ruin the whole experience for me. Who wants to drink flat beer? I love it and I tell others who don't like it at first taste that it may take a few samplings for the taste buds to get used to all that flavor and hoppiness.
Although its dark I still insist on drinking it during the hottest days of the summer. Its refreshing as iced tea. Theres a sweetness to it from the malt that quenches my thrist but also makes me crave for more.

I always enjoy hearing what people say about Bass ale. Its been a long time favorite of mine and every steak dinner I have is always with a Bass ale.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.68/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, so it's my favorite beer. I've had some of the world's best, but Bass' flavor is second to none. The only complaint I have is that it is a little too watered down. If it was a little stronger, it would be too good to be true. Perfect color. Perfect "roasted" flavor, even if you have to concentrate on it. They say it's not the same beer Napoleon cherished, but so what, I love it to death.

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Photo of Orutra53
4.68/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great clear amber beer. Super taste. Balanced smell, feel and look. Even tough it is a soft pale ale, it has a solid flavor strength that fills any of higher expectations in this kind of beers. Cheers !

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Photo of skeetermoses
4.65/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know what happened tonight but I feel like I have rediscovered this beer. It poured a nice brown amberish color, and tasted pretty damn good. I have recently quit smoking and seemed to have gained a new taste for beer, I would definately have to say this is now one of my favorite pale ales.

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Photo of rell
4.63/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is by far one of the better beers I've had in my time. It pours out with a nice healthy head and a rich glow. The smell is not perfect but definitely intruiging, and the taste - it goes down extremely easy, begging you to take another sip. The mouthfeel is pure - it tastes good and can't steer you wrong. I'd recommend this beer to anyone and always keep it stocked in the fridge.

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Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.55/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface by saying that Bass is one of my all time favorites, always a go to when I see it in the pint bottles. And that is the the point, for some reason the smaller 12oz bottles do not taste quite as good as the pint bottles, more like the pub I suppose. Anyway in my opinion a very, very good beer for almost any occasion, I am a fan of Ale style beers though, so perhaps I am a bit biased.
A-Pourned clean with appropriate amount of head.
S-Standard ale smell, really when you think about it this is probably the template for ale.
T- Amazing, one of my favorites, really standard ale taste. Yes I know there are better ones out there, but I always enjoy this one!
M- Normal for an ale
D- I usually drink these whist hanging out with all my mates at the pub, so I believe that explains the amount a person can drink of these.

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Photo of kdawg105
4.54/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good Pale Ale. This beer looks very refreshing. It has lots of fruity notes in the smell just not what I was hoping for kinda of musty not sure if they mean for it to be that way but doesn't throw it off any! It is a great tasting beer leaving lots of sweet fruit notes as the finish, light mouthfeel almost not noticeable overall a good beer drink up!

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Photo of SargeC
4.52/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep golden-tan color with a manila colored head. Nice movement for an ale.

Smell: Strong malt aroma that is apparent from several feet away. Accents of toffee and a touch of coffee.

Taste: Burnt caramel toffee. Strong malt character with minimal hop accents.

Mouthfeel: Excellent body. Perfect balance of refreshing and hearty.

Drinkability: Classic taste, one of my long time favorites. Very consistent.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consistent indeed - with nearly 100 reviews, all the qualities of this excellent pale ale have been pointed out already. Great on tap, great bottled. Forget that Bass is now owned by Big Bad Interbrew, and just enjoy it!

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.5/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was sad to see this get such low marks. I have enjoyed this beer for quite sometime and it, though I won't buy it all that much, will never leave my rotation. It has a very understated but refined taste that I find very comforting.

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Photo of SSJPhatMatt
4.48/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear reddish amber with a decent tan head that dissipates quickly. You want your imperial pint glass filled to the brim with nothing but the good stuff, and that's how this beer is designed. The aroma is mostly the sweet malt.

It's a balanced beer, though. Plenty of flavor, but nothing dramatically interesting. Those sweet caramel malts register first, then the hops give it just a touch of a bitter ending, barely worth mentioning. The flavor coats your mouth for awhile. You don't forget what you've drank after the swallow. It's light or barely medium bodied, but the taste sticks around.

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Photo of Nixon
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It features the perfect dark amber English ale color with a really nice flavor of malt and just the right amount of hops. The gravity is at the proper level too so you get the right amount of both flavor and refreshment. Bass features the mineraly, hard water of the region where it's brewed which sets the perfect foundation for this well balanced, classic English ale.
The packaging is nice too with a parchment-style label, making it look the way it probably did a hundred years ago.

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Photo of TechMyst
4.45/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Container Volume: 355ml

Container type: bottle

Head: dissapates to <1/2 inch

Lace: good

Reflected- yellow/red tint
Transmitted- yellow

Aroma: sweet

Mouthfeel: medium

Palate: adjusts quickly

Start- bitter
Middle- sweet
Finish- bittersweet

Comments: PERFECT balance between sweet / bitter. Palate adjusts well to making the ale taste smooth. One of my standards.

Mowing/Working on car- n
With Friends- Y
Sipping- Y
Get my buzz on- Y

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Photo of Reinbeck11
4.41/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App: Wonderful cedar (tan, with hint of orange) color, thin white head that goes away quickly.

Smell: Very light too the nose.

Taste: Cool and soft nutty finsh.

Mouth: Excellent finsh of light carbonation, that complements the subtle flavors.

My favorite, go to beer, always a case in the fridge.

Enjoy it with meal and on its own.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.41/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

568ml brown bottle obtained at McKinnon's in Salem, NH. Pours a crystal clear dark amber body with a good inch of slowly-dissipating off-white head. Smells biscuity with some husky caramel and a tinge of herbal English hops. Biscuit, caramel, toffee, hints of nut, licorice, just the lightest touch of diacetyl (butter), with a good bite of herbal slightly minty and piney hops. Very well-balanced and in many ways subtle in flavor. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. An easy-drinker for sure. It's been years since I've had this beer and I have a new appreciation for it. Balanced and enjoyable, bright, drinkable... A bar for the course to be sure. Just plain good.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance - Amber color, some head but then goes low after awhile. Not much lace here.

smell - Nothing interesting, sweet malt smell.

taste -Nice balanced beer, sweet malt taste.

drinkability - Nice beer on tap, never tried it in a bottle. A few times on tap though.

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Photo of Mark
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I broke out some tasting notes from my trips to London and will post the reviews of those beers spaced over the next few days or so. Bass from the cask is where it's at! The bottled version we get here pales in comparison. Nice inviting copper color with nice head. My British pint glass was sheeted with lace. Cask conditioned smoothess, and drinkability are it's trademarks. Man I miss London!

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Photo of manofmanners
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

To me Bass on tap is a step down to Bass in the Bottle. Depending where you go and the shape of the keg will make a difference. Sometimes it will have a bit of a tinny taste to it, but thats is very rare. And when that happens to me a few minutes later they kick the keg and start fresh. If you get Bass from a fresh keg Bass is the king of beers. Nothing will beat it, maybe Sam Adams, but it is a close fight. It has a good dark, amber color, witha perfect head on it. It can either go down quick or you can take your time with and enjoy it. It is a bit more bubbly in the mouth as compared to the bottle, but not enought to really notice. But all in all it is just like the bottle, but just enought to be different.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No doubt about it, Bass was one of the flagship ales that started me down the path of appreciating beer styles other than lager beer long ago. I used to drink bass quite consistently (back in college, 12-odd years ago, a buddy got me a case of Bass for Christmas). I recently bought a six-pack of this beer, and it's been a long, long time since I've done that. What I found didn't disappoint in the least.

The beer poured vigourously, with a nice off-white head which sustained throught the drink. The color is an inviting medium-copper. When I pour a Bass, I can tell by the color that I'm in for a treat.

The smell is of the classic British, biscuity and lightly roasted malt, with the understated yet unmistakable 'earthy' English hop aroma. (Sidebar: the one thing I appreciate with bitter English beers--they don't have to kick your face in, like many American ales, to prove that they're genuinely bitter beers).

The taste pretty much follow suit from the aroma, with the biggest difference coming in what surely must be described as the 'Burton water effect'. The hardness of the water lends itself immeasureably to the character of this beer. Yes, you still get the subtle sweetness of the malts and the understated bitterness of the hops, but the tangy motif of this beer comes, I believe, from the hardness of the water in middle England. The Bass folks know how to play it to their advantage, and millions of fans can't be wrong! This is a medium-bodied beer, and will pair nicely with a Chicago-style pizza, or BBQ chicken.

A highly drinkable beer, my only critique is that I enjoy it slightly more on draught. Having said that, this really is a wonderful beer, often overlooked by the average beer geek. Don't take this well-made English ale for granted, even if the marketing department at Bass promotes its product all over the place these days.

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Photo of atrus138
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a brown 12 oz bottle with "Pub Pour" (not exactly sure what that means). Nice deep amber color with a weak head and moderate lacing.

Smelled nice and bitter with plenty of hops present, which is what I'm looking for in a good pale ale.

Taste was nice and bitter, though it was followed with an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. This subsided after letting it warm a bit to be replaced with a sweeter caramel flavor. Let it warm up a bit, as the flavor improves significantly.

Felt nice in my mouth. Nice and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

Bass is normally one of my favorite drinks, but the metallic flavoring was an unwelcome surprise. Definitely allow it to warm a bit before drinking or just have it on tap.

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Photo of D-Rock
4.37/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Pouring into the glass shows a transparent deep brown amber liquid with a slight reddish tint. A thin white head composed of fine bubbles is about a half a centimeter deep and immediately thins out to a thin film. Flecks of lacing adorn the rim of the glass.

Smell: Uniquely buttery and malty, the smell here is deep and rich. A hint of autumn, decomposing leaves, and some subtle smokiness can be found at play. Overall quite savory.

Taste: Buttery and roasty pop up first with a solid malt sweet presence. The taste does a quick 180 in the aftertaste though with a sharp caramelized bitterness. Earthy tones are strong here with fresh soil, autumn leaves, and a slight hint of ancient gum popping up.

Feel: Thin mouthfeel with mild bitterness. The flavor lingers but the burnt bitterness keeps you going back for another swig. The carbonation is subtle but keeps things easy drinking.

Overall: Complex with some very unique smells and flavors. Quite a contrast between the initial taste and the aftertaste keeps things interesting. Low ABV makes it a good candidate for sessioning, and the taste is mild enough to allow it.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.4 out of 5 based on 2,640 ratings.
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