Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

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Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
2,721 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,721 |  Reviews: 1,080
Photo of Groomsy
3.16/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap with my lunch/dinner today. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Typical of the style, it poured a clear amber/copper with a thin, 1-finger soapy white head. Left some nice sip rings down the glass during consumption. Very light and scant carbonation bubbles rise to the top of the glass.

Smell: Again, typical of the style, but underwhelming. Generic is the word we're looking for. There were some pretty intense pale malts as well as some caramel, but there were also some nutty undertones (kind of like Newcastle). Nice earthy hop and yeast aroma as well. Balanced, basically. Hoping the taste follows suit but stronger.

Taste: Some nice roasted malts hit the tongue first with the initial taste, but there are some very earthy hops there to balance the flavor as well. It's kind of a generic flavor, but not bad by any means. The mentioned nuttiness in the smell comes through as well. Finishes on a slightly bitter hoppy note. Very clean and crisp, overall. Refreshing after a long day of working on final papers, but nothing outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and drying finish makes me want another sip. The low carbonation makes it go down fairly smoothly. Not thin by any means, but not robust either. Moderate body overall.

Drinkability: I could definitely put down a few of those if I wanted to. Very drinkable for its simplicity and straight-forward nature. Also very refreshing for a long day after work (or papers, in my case). I would love to try this from the bottle.

While this pale ale doesn't do anything to offend, it doesn't necessarily stand out. Of course, it was the world's first pale ale, so it sort of set the standard for what would come. Definitely worth going after again.

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Photo of Reinbeck11
4.41/5  rDev +32%
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 Tnkemist
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of nickdank
2.75/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 20-ounce pint glass; decent head, about what's to be expected for this style, with some lacing. Color was what I remembered from when I was a kid begging to taste my stepfather's beer. Aroma is interesting but nothing that really excites me; there's more hop aroma than the stouts I usually drink, but that's to be expected.

I must admit I didn't like the taste of this beer the first time I tried it, but it's grown on me. The carbonation tickles a bit, and there's a nice bitterness from the hops in the finish, but it doesn't overpower the malt at all. A good, balanced character. However, it seems that this beer was meant to be consumed at the temperature it would be served in an English, rather than an American, pub--the English tend to serve their beers a bit warmer (though not "warm," just closer to room temperature) than do Americans, and I think Bass is suited to a slightly warmer serving temperature. It tastes fine cold, but it smooths out a lot as it gets just a bit warmer, and I think the smoother flavor is what the brewer was going for.
As for drinkability, very good when it's warmed up a bit; I could drink 4 or 5 without noticing. But the sharper flavor it has when it's cold would prevent me from being able to drink a lot of it at that temperature.

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Photo of beeroclock
3.03/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice beer to drink w/ a meal, maybe a steak or something. This is one of the more common beers found on tap in my neck of the woods. Its a copper colored beer w/ slight head. Smell is a malty smell, maybe a hint of nut. Flavor is similar, it has a bitter aftertaste. Its pretty easy to drink, reminds me of Harps.

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Photo of javiernano
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of Tech_Savy
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The venerable Bass Pale Ale. It might not be very extreme for a Pale Ale, but it certainly is drinkable. It pours a nice amber color and has a nice white head that it retains well and it leaves lots of lacing on my glass. There is a touch of hops and a nice crisp malty aroma, nothing exciting, but good nonetheless. It has a very mild flavor, again nothing extreme, but it is very pleasing to drink. It definitely is a great session beer. It is an all around decent British Pale Ale and it is no wonder it has remained so popular since it's creation.

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Photo of TechMyst
4.45/5  rDev +33.2%
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 SMark
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber/copper color with slight head. Head dissipated leaving a nice lace which really showed as beer was consumed.

Didn't get much from the first pint and second was only a little better with a whiff of malt but not much else.

Thought the first might have been a little 'off' as the second was tastier and provided more maltiness.

Again, not a lot here but still better than tongue numbing lagers served at 35 degrees.

Overall, slightly above average and worth the $2/pint special price.

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Photo of bondjedi
5/5  rDev +49.7%
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 acmurphy696
4.04/5  rDev +21%
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 mophie
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I have to admit I had long ago dismissed this beer as yet another macro with a British accent. When a friend handed me a bottle this weekend, though, I was reminded that this really is not a bad beer at all. Typical pale-ale amber color with a billowy white head. Slightly herbal hop aroma, a bit tangy, with a barely-perceptible malty sweetness. Starts with a tangy, almost metallic taste that gives way to a barely noticeable sweetness. Finish is pleasantly bitter. Overall, more balanced than I recall, and not a bad example of the style.

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Photo of countrybat
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of cunning_stunt
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jasewaaang
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of greengorilla
3.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this in a pilsner glass poured from a tap at the local BW3. I have had Bass before, but it has been quite a long time ago.

It has a nice orangish amber appearance with a decent white head.

The smell is very weak though. It doesn't smell bad, but not good either.

The taste is quite watery also. I can pick up a little bit of bitterness, but not any real hops flavor.

The mouthfeel was okay.

It was drinkable, but not real pleasing.

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Photo of jgiordano88
3.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PUbeer
2.66/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of zacalabeer76
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of Aidan_Stewart
2.96/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Pantalones
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
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 grynder33
3.64/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a small head that didn't stay long. Nice initial hop wood malt bouquet. First taste had a nice carmel tinge full, and smooth, but that seemed to fade rather quickly, it seemed to get dry and well ordinary as it went along.No bad aftertaste. Drinkable but not bragable.

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Photo of prosper
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a very clear dark yellow with very little head that disappeared quickly. No lacing.

Smells estery, with some caramelly malt flavours and a solid grassy/grainy note. There's a herbal/earthy hop note in balance with the malt.

Initally hits the palate somewhat sweet and fruity and a little sour/tart (though not unpleasantly so), with some subdued darker caramel flavours of dried fruits coming through. Finishes clean and bitter, with a definite mineral character. Some hops flavour initially, and I think it's balanced slightly towards the hoppy/bitter side than malty-sweet. Very drinkeable. Light mouthfeel.

It's a session beer - not a ton of character, but what there is is very pleasant.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 2,721 ratings