Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

BA SCORE
78
okay
2,650 Ratings
THE BROS
68
poor
Read the review
Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bass Brewers Limited
England, United Kingdom
bassale.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,650
Reviews:
1,062
Avg:
3.39
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
337
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,650 |  Reviews: 1,062
Photo of VolcomBrewer
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have heard people in our local beverage center rant about this beer constantly, so I decided to give it as try:

A: It poured a dark golden color. The head was an almost white color that faded quickly into a nice white ring. Lacing was decent, but nothing to brag about.

S: It smells of slight malt sweetness and very mild hop. Very unimpressed.

T: Slight malt sweetness and almost no hops whatsoever. Tastes watered down.

M: Kind of a watery mouthfeel, but still decent...better than most commercial brews.

D: Goes down very easy and can be good enough for a session beer. Smooth beer.

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Photo of progress518
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've never been certain as to why Bass has such a good name, or why it's always considered one of the "better" beers. Perhaps in comparison to other things on tap at most bars it's good, but other than that this a thoroughly average beer at best.

It does have a nice appearance, a good looking amber color with a good head on it. But the aroma is barely there, and such is the case with the taste as well. It's rather bland, even in comparison with other English Pale Ales. I'd say that even Tetley's far outstrips Bass. The body is okay, if a little over-carbonated and it's drinkable. It is, after all, what I usually order at the local pubs. But, were there some other EPA on tap, I'd surely order that instead.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been a while since I had a Bass Ale, and since it's free I figure there's no better time.

I like how it looks -- a somewhat dull gold color, with a nice cap that has pretty decent retention.

Smell is hard to pick up, but I was in a bar and my allergies are kind of killing me at this point. What I can say is that it didn't smell bad by any measure.

Flavor was very intriguing. I had Bass for the first time last summer, and I don't recall this at all. I'm picking up flavors of pale malt, slightly biscuity, an undertone of hops, and maybe a bit of sour?
Either way it's slightly confusing, but all the flavors are quite muted. Nothing really asserts itself, which makes this even stranger.

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Photo of kneeland
3.76/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ohhh yea. I had a couple of these with dinner the other night and it hit the spot. Such a beautiful color, and a great filling taste. It's one of the few beers with some body that I could drink a lot of. I don't know why I don't drink more of these. I think I will start.

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Photo of GENNER
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Old Faithful! First Ale that pulled me from piss water.

A-Burnt Sienna with a bit of Mahogony, with a nice Almond color head.
S-Nota big sent, light biscuit.
T-Delicious sweet carmel notes with a light bitterness at the end.
M-Medium body with a nice refreshing carbonation.
D-Very drinkable, I'm thinking of picking up a keg for my Forth of July party.

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Photo of John1985
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just got back from a cruise and this was the "ale" on board. I haven't had this in many years and my last experience wasn't all that great but I figured this was better than Bud or Coors Light.

A - Poured a beautiful amber with an ample one inch head.

S - Not much aroma with this, seemed kinda sterile.

T - Nice Carmel malty flavor, adequate hops to balance but the malt flavor was the Star in this one. Aftertaste was mildly bitter.

M - Very smooth and full bodied. The finish seemed to be a little watery.

D - Couldn't pound too many of this by the pool but this ale went very well with dinner.

This was a pleasant surprise. I would have walked 5 miles for this 20 years ago. With the new craft ales this doesn't stand up so well but this is still a very good ale in the English style.

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Photo of tgat
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color: Medium amber with a touch of red.

Flavor: A touch of bitterness up front and a mildly sour aftertaste. Much more malty than a lot of the other beers I've tried. It seems that the slower it's drunk, the more bitter it is, and the faster it's drunk, the maltier it is. A couple of the six pack I bought had a slight metallic taste, but they might have just been a fluke or clashing flavors in my pallet. On tap, it seemed much more bland than when I tried it in a glass from home.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers. It's not too bitter for someone like me with a sweet tooth and doesn't have any surprises. Definitely a beer to keep around for dinner time.

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Photo of vitalnj
4.25/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 1 pint 9 oz nitrocan. Sampled on April 20,2010. Golden amber with 2 finger head. Sweet and crisp orange/caramel with little hops. Easy light drinking, smells sweet and fresh. Balanced carbonation. Highly drinkable, not as the most pale ales and not as bitter.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Brown pop top, classic label; what might be a date code, but it's impossible to decipher

Appearance: Light copper brew, fairly high levels of carbonation and a decent ivory cap which fades to a finger but shows decent retention

Smell: Mild pale malts, hint of apple...not much else going on. Not unpleasant, but not much going on either.

Taste: Mild pale malt with just a hint of buttery toast...mild fruitiness as well, almost reminiscent of fresh Newcastle...medium-dry with mild bitterness...inoffensive but pretty boring...

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied

Drinkability: I don't really want another...

Conclusion: Loved it back in the day, was one of my BMC-to-craft in-betweens...sadly can't find the love for it anymore...

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Photo of bob3701
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Bass pint. Pours a clear rich amber color with a creamy/big bubbled head that hangs around a while before slowly going into a film with minor lacing. Mild malty and bread aroma with slight sour notes. Clean malty taste with subtle hints of caramel and a slightly sour finish. This was one of my go to beers back in my college days. I feel this brew does not get the love it deserves being the original pale ale and all.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice light brown color, not too much carbonation. A fair amount of foam.

Smell: Bass smells like caramel to me a bit, definitely a plus. A pleasant smell that doesn't leave you feeling gross.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very enjoyable taste. Very malty with little to no hoppiness. Has a bit of a spicy bite to it, as well as a sweet tanginess in my opinion. Pretty unique and distinct.

Drinkability: Awesome pub brew that goes well with anything sweet.

Overall: Considering I haven't had many/any beers similar to this, I know I'm not the expert. But Bass as a great foreign beer that is easily found.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a clean pilsner glass and got a light copper colored clear beer with about 1.5 fingers of white head.

A. Looks good but nothing too spectacular. Pretty clear with good head retention and lacing on the glass.

S. Smells clean and cool. Slightly earthy tones but decent depth.

T. Sweet malty flavor that reminds me of an iced tea or something similar.

M. Flat yet smooth and fairly heavy.

D. I could drink these all night but would probably want to rotate them with something else.

All around not too bad but not my first choice. Perhaps it would be better in a black & tan

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours an ultra clear amber. Sparse carbonation, fluffy off-white head that tapers off soon enough, leaving a trail of lacing. I'm not getting a ton of aroma, mainly sweet, modest grains and some fresh grass.. Taste is fairly smooth, flat, and perfume/floral-like with a bitter twang at the end. Finishes like a pale ale, leaving enough balance of flavor and dryness to inspire another drink.

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Photo of nick76
3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a very pretty beer. It has a very large foamy head that takes up 90% of the glass when poured. The color is amber with just a slight haze. The smell is sweet with caramel and toffee. It also has a good English style yeast to make it almost butterscotch like. Then taste is close to the aroma with the exception of being a bit astringent. The palate is smooth but not thick enough. Overall a good session beer but it falls short of greatness.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, this classic pale ale pours a copper colour with a 1 finger, bubbly head, reducing to a thin film and leaving some decent soapy lacing on my glass.

Faint smells of bready caramel malts, some metal and biscuit and some very light hop notes.

Taste is nice and malty with substantial caramel and brown sugar notes hindered by a bit of metallic-ness, giving way to bread and butter with a bitter twang on the finish and linger.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a good level of carbonation leading to a clean, crisp finish.

Drinkability-wise, this one does the trick. Not too complicated in terms of flavour (but not too boring either) and very easy drinking. An ideal session ale. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Scored on a move.

Swamp water copper color with a thin white head. Swirly skim retention. Aroma is identical and indicative of taste: fruity esters, minerals, and a dry, spicy herbal hop. The quintessential English pale IMO. Not my favorite, but a standard nonetheless.

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Photo of icetraxx
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden brown with a one-finger white head that dissipates into a cap soon after. Head retention should be a lot better for the style.

S: Sweet, almost honey-like, malt and a hint of British hops. The hops have a bit of a spicy character, but nothing overwhelming.

T: The flavor opens with a hint of hops, then a light biscuity overtone is revealed that soon fades into a crisp finish. The hops have a perfume-like flavor. There isn't anything complex or amazing going on in flavor of this beer.

M: A tad watery and over-carbonated.

D: Easy to drink, I could drink a second one without getting bored.

O: A good beer for the masses [in England].

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Photo of JunkYardJake
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
The classic english ale. Little head even with an aggressive pour. Nice brown/amber color. Smells a little bready. Not a huge nose. Taste is of carmel malts with a very mild hop profile. Fluid mouthfeel. Nice clean finish. Drinkable for sure. Good session pub ale.

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Photo of jovy1097
3.83/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful reddish amber liquid with a 3-finger head that gradually dissipates to a haze. Leaves nice lacing along the glass. Very transparent with continual carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Earthy caramel and butter on the nose. Also a little floral hop.

Taste: An interesting and pleasant metallic twang on the front of the tongue followed by sweet malt and very flowery hop bite at the end. A nicely mild and pleasant flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Easy carbonation and a slight slickness. A little bit sharp, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy due to low ABV. A common and simple brew that just hits the spot for me tonight when I don't want anything complicated. I know this doesn't get rave reviews, but I like it a lot. For those days when you don't want an assault on your taste buds, this is a good choice. It's very mild, but yet still tasty.

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Photo of isualum12
4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It looks wonderful on the pour with a golden color. There was no head at all. almost a white ring of carbonization around the top of the glass as I drink this beer down

The smell is really light and not over powering.

The taste is wonderful. I am struggling placing the taste as much as I can with a heavier beer but this is smooth and taste great. Let me give one disclaimer. I typically can't stand pale ales but this one hits the mark for me.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden red color with a pretty thin off white head. Just a touch of lacing here and there. I thought this one was a little darker in color than I expected and overall a disappointment in the head.

S- Ok not really anything going on here. I picked up some caramel malts, bready, floral hops and a touch of citrus.

T- Great disappointment. Pretty much nothing at all. Bready and caramel malts come through and that's it. No apparent hops at all.

M- I thought this one felt watery. Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation.

D- Ok not really anything special here at all. I think I will pass on this one from now on.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- This beer pours a deep caramel orange body that is crystal clear with a soapy antique white head supported by a strong carbonation of big bubbles.
S- This beer has a soft sweet hint with a dry hop hint that was slight sulfury.
T- This beer has a soft slightly sweet caramel with a big hop bitter bite but not much hop flavor. There is a slight sulfury bite that lingers with the hop bite.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy finish that scrubs the flavor and cleans up the finish.
D- This beer has a big hop bite with not much malt support or even hop aroma or flavor.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Meh, standard English style pale, looks good enough, a little darker yellow. Aroma is lacking anything good or bad.

Taste, no discernable hop quality, seems unbalanced, malt domination. So little hops, the ratio makes it feel like a lame malt bomb. Very much an earth, dirt, tree taste to it. Not the most enjoyable beer, but it isn't horrible. Pricey for what you get.

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Photo of tjmuncy
2.76/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I went to my local liquor store, and interesting in trying something besides my usual budget PBR, I decided to go by an old standby, something I knew I would like; something that was reliable, no matter whence I got it. People hated the metallic taste, but that is what I liked.

I was shocked. The thing about Bass Ale was that it tasted of well water I drank when I was a kid. It tasted of iron. It was from the wells of Burton-Upon-Trent, and said so on the label. It wasn't sweet, and it was slightly bitter but still refreshing. All that has gone by the wayside. It is not made in Burton-upon-Trent, and the bottle makes no such claim, ,like it it used to. It is now made by InBev in a hellhole somewhere in Britain.

The beer this most reminded me of was Red Hook, and I hate Red Hook with a passion. The minerally well water taste was gone. The refreshing bite for beer out of the bottle was gone. All that was left was this beer, which I regret having bought. All that was left was a slightly sweet, no-head version of the beer Bass used to be. Back to PBR.

Screw you InBev-AB.

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Photo of dasani
4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My review isn't all that detailed, but I bought a 6pk on a recommendation from a friend. First thing I noticed when I drank one straight from the bottle was no carbonation hardly at all. The taste and smell was good though. So the next bottle I poured into a pint glass and still had no carbonation and no head at all.
Did I drink it too cold perhaps? (38 deg F)

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.39 out of 5 based on 2,650 ratings.
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