Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

2,655 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,655 |  Reviews: 1,063
Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size frothy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for just 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, pears, tea

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of malts and caramel. There are also notes of pears, tea, and a slight amount of hops. The beer finishes with a malty aftertaste with a small amount of lingering hop flavour.

Overall - A nice easy drinking beer. It might be a little too sweet to have a whole bunch of it, but it's still good nonetheless.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Met with some old cronies today at the Tilted Kilt in Chi-town!!! The Bass Ale was served in a 20oz solid glass that was chilled to perfection! The appearance was a clear amber with low carbonation with little /no head. The smell was very subtle malt and hop and grain. The taste was very nice and smooth....common for a typical English style pale ale. The mouthfeel was awesome for this situation....session ale for sure!

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Photo of
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - darkish amber-brown with a thin white head.

Smell - a sweet and floral blend of rich malt and aromatic hops, with the balance tipped toward the malt.

Taste - Sweet malts, butter, dusty English hops. The butter is due to diacetyl, which is handled well in this beer and is not a flaw.

Mouthfell - full bodied with just enough carbonation to break through the slight slickness.

This is a great session beer on tap and certainly is the best of all-macro selection at my local in the craft-beer desert of Windsor.

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Photo of Raven3464
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice copper color with foamy but thin head.

Smell: This is weakest aspect of the beer. There really aren't any pronounced smells to speak of other than a slight "floral" smell.

Taste: Hints of caramel dominant initially. There is a nutty flavor then apparent in the aftertaste as the beer warms.

Mouth feel: There is more combination than I expected for the style, which is not a bad thing. Overall, very smooth and refreshing.

Overall: This a well balanced beer which taste good both chilled and warm. It has become a stable of mine recently, perfect for when I'm in the mood for a good, but inexpensive, pale ale. It's not the best drinking experience but above average in every aspect.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bass Pale Ale pours a clear copper color with a small, frothy off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is faint with caramel malt notes and a touch of grassy hops.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is dry on the palate, wet liquid feel with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor is sweet malt with caramel and toasted malt. In the middle some light fruit notes and a hint of tea appear. It finishes mildly bitter with a touch of grassy hops. Once gone the caramel malt lingers on the palate.

A tasty well balanced beer that would go great with dinner. Well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
4.23/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this English Pale Ale from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer poured a nice reddish brown and made a nice head with off the charts retention. Lacing on this beer was about the best that i have seen. Holy Stickage. The nose of the beer was a nice malty caramel and a slight hint of hops- kent goldings perhaps? This ale has a nice medium body and is very drinkable. The taste is simple malty, somewhat dry. Very good example of a English Pale Ale. Perhaps the flagship.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Single 12oz bottle poured into a Shaker pint glass. There is a date/time stamp, but what it means is not obvious to me.

Appearance: Orange brown on the table, clear orange-copper when held up to the light. Poured an initial 1/4" off white head which died down to a very thin skin across the top and an equally thin ring at the edge. No lacing noted.

Smell: Very faint floral and orange citrus, but beyond that nothing. I really had to inhale very deeply and I still didn't get very much.

Taste: Quite smooth - toasted malt with some toffee and caramel flavors up front - a little buttery even. Transitions smoothly into an English bitter flavor. Not a very complex beer, but well done in balance.

Mouthfeel: A bit overcarbonated for an English ale. Almost fizzy. The beer after the carbonation leaves the tongue is just a bit thicker than water, but not by much.

Overall / Drinkability: Not bad, but not great either. I've had better English pale ales. Okay with a meal of fish and chips and after the meal not as good as it was with food. I probably won't get again.

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Photo of servo12
5/5  rDev +47.5%
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 Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beer pours a nice crisp/clean copper color with active carbonation throughout. Head is foamy and maintains at about 1/2-finger leaving very infrequent but clingy lacing.

Smell: Pretty decent. Grapefruit with just a touch of floral hop action. Bitterness blends in with a toffee malt infrastructure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is lightly oily on the tongue, lots of bitter citrus in the flavor palette. Nice gentle malt carries the mellow hops right on through straight to the brain. Despite the smoothness, there's a light bite to the brew which cannot be denied.

Overall: A good beer. Done for centuries for a reason. It's not outstanding or innovative in any way shape or form, but it's arguably worth its price.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Country Corner in Setauket, NY. Served in a pint glass. Though I've had it before, I've never gotten around to reviewing it and quite frankly, its about time I reviewed this classic beer.

Look: orange/amber body with a thin, creamy head of slightly off white foam that doesn't retain very well and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: a bit of English hops and some toasted malt, caramel and toffee. The hops are surprisingly modest and the malt is surprisingly robust, but that's probably because I'm used to American pale ales. Smells good.

Taste: follows the nose with a smattering of toasted, pale malt, some earthy hops, and a background of caramel, toffee and some hop spice. Good.

Feel: medium to light, moderately carbonated, sweet up front with a malty finish.

Drink: easily sessionable at a modest 5%. I could have a few of these without much issue and its interesting enough to make for a long session.

Overall: decent but nothing extraordinary. I have to wonder how much this recipe has changed since it began production. One of my favorite things is drinking beer that's been around for a long time and well, if I was a British beer drinker in a pub in 1800 and I could order a Bass or any porter, stout, mild, or bitter... I would definitely choose anything but a Bass. Still, worth it just because this is one of the iconic British Pale Ales and its important to know where you're coming from. Cheers!

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bass Pale Ale is one of the first beers I ever had. Figured it was time to review. Pours a clear orange with a small white head, no lace. Plenty of carbonation pops up from the bottom.
The smell is of buttered bead, minerals and a bit of lemon rind.
Taste is very much the same. A very crisp beer. A little thin and carbonation heavy but not bad.
Though I prefer beers with a heavier flavor, Bass will always hit the spot on a warm day.

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Photo of ghetto90007
3.55/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at LAX. Is much better on tap than out of the bottle.

Poured into a tall pilsener glass. Orangish amber color, small white head, decent lacing and resilience.

Malt comes through the nose, mostly sweetness with just a hint of bitterness underneath.

This is not an aggressive beer - real subdued and smooth. Mild sweetness and malt, very mild bitterness. Hints of vanilla and spice. Much better flavor coming through than out of the bottle - well formed and consistent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly soft. This was not a nitro, but had hints of that softness.

Much better than the bottled version. Drinkable and actually somewhat enjoyable.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium brown crystal body with plenty of visible carbonation. Small white half finger creamy head with decent retention and great lacing.

Smell - Very pronounced banana and malt.

Taste - Banana with a slight adjunct bitterness in the finish. A little metallic aftertaste, which I consider an off flavor.

Mouthfeel - Good and creamy.

Overall Drinkability - If it wasn't for the metallic aftertaste that puts a strong damper on the drinkability of this beer, it might be something I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of ryantho00
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12oz bottle that I poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a light amber reddish color that has some carbonation and a lacing that sticks down the side of the glass throughout.

I smell some earthiness and a sweet maltiness (slightly) and a tiny hop smell that has citrus notes. Some strange metallic undertone as well....very slightly.

I get a maltiness from the beginning, some sweetness, slight noble hops, an earthiness, some smoke, and some sort of a metallic tinge. It has a little bit of a bittiness but finishes very smooth and creamy like butter.

****after drinking a couple I think I get a very very slight apple aftertaste that I couldn't place before***

Overall a nice macro-brew, nothing outstanding but definatly not pee water like certain pseudo-macro brews. Has a nice medium mouthfeel with slight carbonation. Very balanced session beer.

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Photo of racer2k
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle in to my favorite pint glass/

A- Golden amber color to this beer which produces a thin element of off white head which clings to the sides of my glass.

S- A bit of earthy hopped aroma with a slight hint of hops with a solid malt background

T- Sweet malt flavor with a buttery dry finish to the beer. There is minimal hop presence other than the back end finish of the beer.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium body that yields a nice creamy feel with a dry finish

D- A solid go to import beer that would be a last resort if there were not viable craft beers available. Very drinkable session beer.

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Photo of Sensaray
3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Emmas pub (20 oz'er)

Tastiest Bass I remember having. Great example of pale ale. I really enjoy the balance of delicious sweet malt flavor and the hops throughout. Also had a great reddish brown color. Very drinkable, good mouthfeel. Could drink a whole bunch of em! Overall very good pale ale.

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Photo of Nixon
4.45/5  rDev +31.3%
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 thagr81us
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a minimal pure white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight fruit, and slight hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, subtle banana, and slight skunky hop. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this wasn't too bad for a readily available mass produced brew. One of my gripes is that the aroma and flavor on this one were not very intense at all. Sure this would make it easier drinking, but kills the beer in my opinion. It is still a good gateway brew or a go-to when in a pinch, but that's where I leave it.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear amber body with a nice two-finger creamy light tan head. The head dissipates at a normal pace and leaves a light film of lacing along the glass and a slim film on top of the body.

The aroma is faint but yields mostly earthy, herbal hop tones, with a hint of sweet malt.

The sweet malt dominates the flavors with a touch of caramel. A small amount of hoppiness follows the malt and the buttery diacetyl flavor is ever present.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but lacking in carbonation, which would help. Hopefully this is not due to the tap set up.

Overall, a decent brew. I haven't had this in a very long time so it was nice to revisit it.

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Photo of afrye29
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber color, clear, very little head maybe one finger but disapeared very quickly, lace stays on the side of the glass for awhile.

S- at first you notice a nice mellow hopiness, with a under tone of malt.

T- Very little hop taste more of a sweet malt taste, with a buttery taste as well.

M- Medium body, nice creamy feel with a dry finish

D- This is a good rich brew, alittle sweet, but again, I would recommend this beer to any one who wants a good english beer, I understand why its been around for quite sometime.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.41/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice old weathered copper brown color, with a white head building, holding for about two minutes, leaving a good amount of lacing on the glass.
The smell is not very strong and hints sweetness of honey, maybe a little caramel and malt.
Tasting the beer those flavors will come through up front, changing to earthy tones in the middle and becoming grainy and doughy at the end. I miss the hops in this beer.
Over all drinkable light bodied ale, but not spectacular. More like a mass production product.

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Photo of bondjedi
5/5  rDev +47.5%
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 rarbring
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The brew is clear deep amber, an off-white head with good lacing.

The smell is rather weakly of bread, toffee, fruits and hay.

Tasting of brown bread, caramel, pears and peaches, a small grassy bitterness.

A medium carbonation, soft and refreshing, a light dryness.

A nice easy ale. Has survived for 200+ years for a reason.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.06/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

So I give a lot of pride to beers with a history to them. I think it's awesome that this beer was the flagship brew on the Titanic. That makes me want to try beers like this. To me it's kind of like time travel, you can put yourself in a specific time and place and get a little idea of how things were during that time. Bass Ale has the history but it's not the greatest historical brew I've had. Every time I've tried it, it seems for be on the flat side. It's got a really nice color to it but the hops and malts used just don't please my palette that much. I know a lot of people who love Bass but I've just never been able to enjoy it.

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Photo of HockeytownBrew
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear copper orange. About a finger width head that lingers for a bit and bits of lacing left behind.

S: Pale malts and hints of hops. Didn't expect too much with a pale ale.

T: Almost the same as the scent. Light pale malts with some hops, and hints of caramel and a slight earthiness. Not too bad.

M: Light to medium mouth feel, about right for a pale ale. Goes down smooth, plenty of carbonation.

D: Decent drinkability. More than a few can be had comfortably.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.39 out of 5 based on 2,655 ratings.
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