Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

1,060 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,060 | Ratings: 2,642
Photo of kerouac
2.43/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I remember Bass being one of my go-to beers, over a decade ago, but I just recently bought a 12 pack and I am quite disappointed. As you might imagine, it might have something to do with AB INBEV bringing production of the classic English Ale to the United States, and, I'm guessing, changing the recipe (particularly the carbonation) to fit what they estimate to be expected by American tastebuds.

Probably won't be buying this again anytime soon.

 449 characters

Photo of Jcarriglio
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured a deep amber with very little head, which also dissipated quickly. Taste is of English malt, some slight bitterness. Thin feel, which got worse as the beer got warmer. In some beers, flavors are unlocked as a beer gets less cold. This is not one of those. Begins to taste like dirty water near the end. Not a memorably good or memorably bad beer.

 353 characters

Photo of AfricanPete14
1.75/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found a dusty six pack for 10 dollars at my local convenience store. It had a nice golden brown look to it and a rather foamy head. The smell was horrific. It smelt like soy sauce and old vegetables. The taste was a little bit better, with notes of English malt and a bitter caramel taste. The mouth feel was average with low carbonation and an aftertaste of malt.

 365 characters

Photo of Schlitz74
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It pours a nice deep gold color, what head there is goes away pretty quick. There is very little to no lacing left in the pint glass. This is just an average beer.

 163 characters

Photo of BeckHardy
1.34/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I am revisiting this. My first review was very negative. Poured from a glass bottle into a shaker pint glass. Amber(ish) in color with a two finger head that somewhat quickly fades. Some lacing left clinging. Faint aroma that to be honest I can't put my finger on it? Slightly rotten fruit maybe. The taste was the biggest drawback. It did not taste at all like I remember. Looked at the label and sure enough it said brewed in New York. I have nothing against beer brewed in the US but some things just should not be tampered with. The mouthfeel was somewhat watery and not at all enjoyable. My over all opinion is this is a bad beer. Sorry Budweiser but you screwed this up big time. I won't be buying this again.

 715 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second-to-last bottle from the six-pack. No best-by date, but a code of "16340" which I assume is a Julian date. 25 days before the end of 2016, so that'd make this about two and a half months old.

Looks pretty nice -- it's a medium-darkish orange color, and very clear, with lots of rising bubbles. The foam on top is just slightly off-white and forms a decent little layer when poured, shrinking a bit afterward and leaving some trails behind on the inside of the glass. As I drink more of the beer, it's leaving a nice pattern of rings around the glass with lacing in between.

Smell is somewhat difficult to describe, but pleasant. There's an almost doughiness to it as well as something that I assume must be hop-related, though it's not strong enough or clear enough for me to really point out a specific thing that it smells like. Some slight toastiness in the background as well, and some sweetness too. Maybe a bit fruity? I'm thinking maybe something along the lines of apples (not like cidery, but like freshly cut apples) or pears. Seems like after a while a bit of a metallic smell starts to come through, which is not a welcome change. Fortunately, the last little bit of beer left in the glass didn't have much of the metallic smell, with the raw apple/pear-like fruitiness standing out again.

Taste is similar to the smell -- that fruitiness I mentioned is definitely there right away and comes back for a little while again in the aftertaste, before giving way to the doughy malty flavor that lingers a bit longer. There's also a much more noticeable bread-crusty malt flavor that only showed up a little in the smell, and another sort of "grainy" sweetish malty flavor mixed in with that from time to time to add a little extra something to the beer's flavor, which is a nice surprise. Seems slightly sweetish in flavor, but at the same time feels much more dry.

Mouthfeel overall is pretty nice too. It's definitely very drinkable, fairly light but not even close to watery, just a bit of a nice substantial feeling to it. There's a noticeable crispness to it, and like mentioned above it feels pretty dry despite the sweetish flavors present.

Overall this is a decent little beer that I'm glad I finally picked up to try. It's not my favorite English ale so far, but it's certainly not my least-favorite either. Drinking the last few of these makes me want to try more of the Samuel Smith's and Fuller's lineups that I keep seeing at the local beer store but for some reason just haven't gotten around to trying yet. Maybe you'll be seeing me review another English pale ale in the not-too-distant future?

 2,646 characters

Photo of AB1945
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Always one of the great beers - suddenly I buy a 6 pack and the first bottle is tasteless - as are the rest. Check the bottle and it is brewed in the US. Of course it still sells at import beer prices! It's the last I'll buy until I'm back in the UK. Not knocking the US - Sierra Nevada brew a great pale ale and they'll get my business.

 337 characters

Photo of joetardi
1.46/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bass Ale, was for the longest time, my "Go To" beer especially with ALL the beer choices these days, Bass was fine by me. Until, just about 3 weeks ago I noticed 'something' different about the smell AND the taste. It was DIFFERENT, but NOT in a good way. Then for the 1st time in a long time, I noticed on the label...Made in the USA!...Not Burton-On-Trent. I was Very in VERY. Sorry, but unless I can get the UK version...I'm done with Bass. the USA version simply isn't Bass Ale....

 503 characters

Photo of mainejohn
2.89/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

This used to be my favorite English ale, until it started to taste differently a few years back. Then I looked at the bottle, and it read "brewed in Baldwinsville NY". Well I know that's a Budweiser brewery! So what they did was when Bud bought Bass, they decided to brew the ale meant for US consumption in NY instead of England! I did a side-by-side blind taste test of the English version (while it was still available) and the NY version, and NO comparison! Sorry Budweiser...I now refer to Bass Ale as "Bud Heavy!" Gotta believe you've lost sales because of this.

 581 characters

Photo of tucson_brewson
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Imperial pint glass

L - Deep, copper-amber color with a clean inch of head that thins out and leaves a nice bubbly lacing.

S - Caramel, malt, toffee, slight citrus, pear, apple, and earthy hops. Nothing overpowering, nothing too unique.

T - Starts off with a rich caramel sweetness, follows up with biscuit malt, a fruity bite with a hint of hops at the end.

F - Light to medium bodied, soft, slightly carbonated but very drinkable.

O - A nice English Pale Ale, very different from American Pale Ales. Not too light, not too hoppy. Much like other hearty beers, this one starts to bring out more flavor the longer it sits. But it's also refreshing when ice cold.

 693 characters

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 !

 204 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.84/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark yellow in appearance, 1/4" white head for the most part. Aroma was non descript, just wasn't much there to speak of.

Taste super mild hop quality, earthy malt and hop tones. Under carbonated it seems. Super mild, balanced, pedestrian even. I find it to be expensive given the value and lack of flavor. Some mild tea, bread, toffee, unsweetened notes.

 361 characters

Photo of acmurphy696
4.04/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer was my goto for the longest time before I discovered microbrews. It used to be the only solid beer you could find in most places during the 90s.

 154 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: clear amber, modest off white head and lacing.
Smell: light malty caramel with a touch of hops. Not rich or spectacular but a good showing this.
Taste: much like the nose. This was a gateway beer for me and I guess many, a step ahead of the pre boom choices and still not bad at all.

 291 characters

Photo of Kirbyderby
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

For pale ale, this one caught me by surprise. I'm still developing a taste for these kind of beers but I thought this was almost on par with the beers I'm used to drinking

 171 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(12 oz bottle, code 16090 MX 1700, brewed in Merrimack, NH... poured into a nonic)

L: fifth bottle outta the sixer this week, and the head always fizzes out... liquid filtered perfectly clear, sports an umber amber color... beautifully bright, no head - that always raises suspicions

S: cheap honey, dried out lemon flesh, lil bit of cracker, lil hint of stale ground black pepper... any hop aroma is of leafy greenness... the thing that stands out is the dry, vaguely acrid toast aroma against the familiar thin pale malt with a handful of caramel malt just poking out... esters seem sanded down, reigned in... overall intensity mild-moderate

T: thankfully, it tastes better than it looks/smells... relatively solid caramel-y foundation... bitterness is fair, humming but not quite biting, feel like it's enhanced by carbonation - the flavor is nameless bitter weed, not so much hop, a bit of rusted metal in the back as well... the caramel core is pleasant, but the other flavors around it seem old, dull, neutral... it does have base similarities to a number of the similarly-colored import pales, but this seems stripped, raked over

F: kinda has a syrup-cut-with-water feel... there is a light, prickly sizzle with each sip, which doesn't seem right... pleasant level of dryness, but its body has little curve to it, so it flows across somewhat stiff, like it doesn't want to make contact with the insides of my mouth - needs to loosen up a bit

O: surprised that it tastes better than expected, but it's definitely devoid of depth in character... I'm curious if they import any or all the malts for this... while I am enjoying it for what it is here, I doubt I will buy it again for many long years... still, I would most certainly try this on cask if I ever came across it in the UK

 1,792 characters

Photo of PhilsPils
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle at a golf club bar, being the best offering available. I drank it from the bottle because the bartender already seemed peeved that he had to go in the back and look for it and I didn't choose to bother him further by asking for a glass. Much thinner tasting than I remembered with a slight metallic taste and lots of dried fruit flavors. Kind of reminded me of some dry-yeast homebrews that were fermented at too high of a temperature, even for ales. Somewhat wine-like aromas and even some ...corn? Surely they don't put corn in this beer. Bet they add some form of sugar though. I can't believe I used to enjoy this beer.

 644 characters

Photo of matcris
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Red-amber in the pint glass. Thin layer of off white head. Slight lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Earthy, bready, caramel, slight citrus.
TASTE: Very mild. Some bready/biscuit qualities, and some mild citrus.
FEEL: Good carbonation, mostly on the dry side, and medium thin body.
OVERALL: Very mild, drinkable glass of beer. It was very cold and I enjoyed it. Nothing off putting about it.

 400 characters

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-

 273 characters

Photo of Kazahkstan
3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Had a 12oz bottle at Donnoley's in Iowa City.
Look: Pale yellow, mostly clear and transparent.
Smell: Light malt smell, not a lot of scent here.
Taste: Sweet malt followed by a slight citrus sourness, closes with a crisp bready malt flavor. Minimal hop character.
Feel: Very light and very carbonated, perfect for a cold drink on a hot summer day. Refreshing and cool.
Overall: Average ale, nothing special but it definitely meets the mark. Would be a great beer as the summer heats up.

 486 characters

Photo of avalon07
2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Smelled of a lot of malt, some fruit elements, and a metallic quality that's a little off-putting.

T: Tasted of some bready malt, a light floral quality, a vinous ingredient, a light hoppiness, and the aforementioned metallic flavor. The problem with the flavor here is that it's simply too thin, and what taste there is unbalanced.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat bitter finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is a beer I used to drink years ago before I discovered better brews, so I decided to retry it. Bass Pale Ale isn't as good as I remember. There are worse choices, but many way better ones.

 765 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date. Finally getting around to reviewing this one; acquired a single bottle of this stuff from my neighbors.

Poured to clear tulip-ish stemware.

A - Dark golden pour. Lots of bubbles rushing around the glass. Little over a finger of dark off-white bubbly head that falls to a skimming. Semi-translucent. Looks good for what it is.

S - Aroma is dusty, malty, grapey. A bit of a medicinal cherry sort of sweetness. Slightly phenolic.

T - Taste follows the nose: grapey, musty, grainy, & medicinal cherry sweetness. Dusty, grainy, musty, phenolic.

M - Feel is crisp, adequate carbonation. Light-bodied, medicinal aftertaste. Not very good or easy to drink, in my opinion. Cheap & dusty tasting. The quality of the ingredients used shows.

Overall, another tick. Not something I'd go for again.

Bass Pale Ale -----2.5/5

 868 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.96/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber color, light fizz/carbonation. Not much nose to it. Tastes of wheat and aluminum. Goes down ok with a slight twinge. To be honest I grabbed this for St Patty's Day thinking it was Harp.

 197 characters

Photo of Myotus
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 46°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 27Jan16) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 03Mar16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of white foam that shrivels into a line within 20 seconds. Copper in color. Rising bubbles are medium in size and moderate in quantity. Lacing is thin and nearly non-existent.
SMELL: Subtle aromas of buttered white bread, plums, and peaches entangle with hints of floral and earthy hops.
TASTE: Mild salt-like mineral flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by subtle flavors of floral hops, plums, and peaches. Subtle earthy hop flavors and hints of bitter hops and buttered white bread enter last as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Finishes with a mild and pleasant dryness.

 808 characters

Photo of bradco57
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was at my favorite beer distributor yesterday and they had cases of Bass and 12 packs of Bass stacked up high at the front of the store for what seemed to be an unusually low price. 14 dollars for a 12 pack including tax was almost the price of some domestics, so I bought the 12 pack. I had always enjoyed Bass Ale over the years but had gravitated towards the new craft beers over recent. I poured the Bass when I got home and it was not as good as I remembered. I then read the reviews here at BA and found out this is not the Bass I remembered but the INBev variety brewed here in the USA that does not hold a candle to the British original. This USA variety had no creamy head, lacked flavor and was just mediocre at best. If you are a Bass Ale drinker from the past, make sure to get the original and not the USA variety as its certainly not worth the time with so many good beers out there.

 899 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.4 out of 5 based on 2,642 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.