Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

1,055 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: 1,055 | Ratings: 2,631
Photo of BeckQuint
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.

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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?

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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.

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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....

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Hodgson
4.31/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I just had the draft in Toronto, which is brewed here by Labatt. The import (bottle or keg) used to be a lot like many reviews: buttery, decomposing leaves, caramel, banana, sometimes sulphur.

This Toronto draft was anything but that yet far from generic, for the first time I think I really liked Bass Ale. Whether it replicates the original - at least the original keg - better than any distant-shipped version I can't say, but it had good malt sweetness and complexities and a mineral hop presence, maybe German I thought (in part anyway).

You had to let it sit for a while and swirl it to get rid of excess carbonation, but it was very good, most people here would surely like it.

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Photo of predikit
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean clear copper color, left a fizzy off white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is beautiful. Fruity yeast swirl around which offer some amazing notes. Banana, fruit punch, just amazing aroma.

The taste falls short of the aroma, but the smell is in the taste. A rather thin bready malt character, the fruity yeast show up for the middle and the end. The aftertaste is a bit earthy.

Light bodied, medium carbonation, not really smooth, not really crisp either, but very drinkable. Leaves a bit of coating behind.

Overall not a bad ale at all, which was a surprise.

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Photo of dangerpint
1/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Warning this is faux US version of this beer brewed by A&B Inbev ( brewed in Baldwinsville, New York.) Not going to waste much review time on this imposter pint . Any reference to Bass&co of England or the red triangle really should be removed be removed out respect of the original bass & co product. A&B INBEV please have clearly marked packaging stating made of puddle water in the USA, instead of the double dutch labeling This is NOT the Bass you remember or liked. head disappears quite quick no lacing , weak colour ,no body , none of the nice Burton Trent favors , and the body one would expect of this once fine pint ,no midlands malt ,British hops ? probably not . Michael Jackson is turning in his grave!!!!!!! not the pop star FYI . It's just another watered down American beer from A&B inbev . LIFE is quite short Don't waste the effort it takes to lift this pint . if good beers keep getting corrupted by big beer in the name of profit ill stay home and brew my own !!!!!!!!.my bass ale clone malt extract easy recipe. coming soon to this site soon ." when pints get corrupted home brew its the only way to go" ." HOMEBREWED BASS EXTRACT RECIPE SHORT .2 CANS OF MUNTONS OLD ALE MALT EXTRACT...3 OR 4 LBS OF MUNTONS LIGHT DME 1.20 OZ CHALLENGER UK HOP FOR BOIL 0.75 0Z FUGGLES UK HOP O.75 EAST KENT GOLDING UK HOP. BURTON WATER SALTS FOLLOW PACKET INSTRUCTIONS 2 PACKETS OF MUNTONS ALE YEAST. 60 MINS BOIL TIME.. batch prime with with 3/4 cup brewers surgar or 1 cup light dme FERMENT TIME 7 TO 14 DAYS .BOTTLE to PINT GLASS 7 TO 24 DAYS LONGER TIME THAN 7 DAYS FERMENTATION WILL PRODUCE A BETTER PINT ..LONGER TIME IN BOTTLE BOTTLE WILL PRODUCE A BETTER PINT". cheers enjoy

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Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Here is a bottle that I CANnot believe that I have never reviewed before now! There was a bar down the street from my uncle's apartment in the Noe Valley area of S. F. in 1988 - '89 that always had this on-tap and I used to frequent them when in the neighborhood. I guess that it is time to get reacquainted.

From the bottle: "The World's First Pale Ale."; "In the British Tradition of [undersigned] Wm. Bass & Co.'s"; "Originally Brewed in 1777 by William Bass Brewers Limited, Burton-on-Trent, England"; "This Fine Pale Ale has been brewed in the Great British tradition using the finest two-row malted barley"; "Iconography [-] As Bass Pale Ale's popularity grew, unscrupulous imitators used to pass off inferior products as Bass by copying the unique red triangle logo. In 1875, concerned for the reputation of their beloved brew, Bass brewers applied for and were granted England's first registered trademark."

Ah, the nostalgia that goes with Pop!ping this cap. In fact, the cap reads, "Pry Off". Piss off, mate! I'll do as I bloody well please and I won't have some wanker giving me directions! That sorted, it was time for a heavy-handed pour, such as we were accustomed to giving such twats as couldn't keep their blowholes shut. This bit of action got me two fingers of foamy, rocky, tan head with good retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity & if I find out who called the coppers on me, there's to be hell to pay! Nose had a tropical fruitiness that is just how I remember it from a lad. Sweet, but with an earthiness borne of English hops. I just broke a cunt's nose with the last bottle, let's see how this one fares. Mouthfeel was medium, but prickly, more carbonated than I remember, although I'm relatively certain that they wouldn't have had it on cask in 1988, or would they? The taste was lightly fruity, but sharpened at the edges by the hops. Speaking of sharpened, the bloke next to me is about to feel the sharpened knife in my hand slipping between his ribs if doesn't give us some room, right?!? Got him sorted, tickety-boo. Now, then, where was I? Oh, yes, the finish. Finish was semi-dry, not really one for sweets, myself. Yeah, it had that fruitiness that I keep coming back to, but the hops held it all in check. Speaking of checks, I've got to pay mine & go! I hear sirens & I feel like I may break out in handcuffs.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.4 out of 5 based on 2,631 ratings.
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