Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.34 w/ 2,666 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: 2,666 |  Reviews: 1,065
Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Canterbury Ales, Huntington, New York.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a a light grainy malt and a touch of grassy hop.

The taste was rather well balanced with a touch of diacytl.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent ale on draft.

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Photo of deanhead
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper colored nice tightly laced head, with small tiny bubbles.
Bready, biscuity caramel aroma
Clean malty taste. Well balanced, slight caramel notes with a hint of buttery toffee.
Medium bodied, clean beer.
Overall highly drinkable, goes down easy. A nice standby or gateway beer for friends.

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Photo of NODAK
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this many times, never reviewed it. Let's rectify that travesty right now.

Smell is of toasty malt and maybe even some minerals...weird as it is.

A little bit of hop crispness hits the tongue right away but fades fairly quickly. The body is mostly of creamy, toasty malts. A bit thicker than would be expected. There's a bit of hoppy bitterness on the finish on the sides of the tongue but it's nothing too heavy. Aftertaste consists of a little bit of the malt hanging around but is pretty clean all in all and it doesn't take long for the palate to be barren.

Very drinkable beer all in all and it's always been a favorite for me. Excellent beer to start people off into the world of better beer, too. Could it be more bold and complex?? Sure. But not all beers need to be like that and this is a great session brew.

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Photo of bum732
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange, not much head and not much lacing. Smells of moderate caramel sweetness, faint breadiness, earthy hops, some faint fruitiness. Tastes of sweet caramel like malt followed by a nice moderate bitterness. Finishes with some soft fruitiness and fairly neutral. Fairly thin mouthfeel, bordering on being watery.

A decent beer, nothing special, good session beer to slam back.

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Photo of efitton
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, light copper color/ orange tea like appearance. Half-inch of head that slowly dissipates, no lacing at all, carbonation is average.

Smell- The aroma is of a typical English pale, a good amount of sweetness, fruit, and malt.

Taste- The taste is quite creamy and has a good amount of body even though it's a lighter beer. The taste is like cream or honey, then light hop flavor mixed with the malts

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is very medium bodied for the lighter style. This is a true English ale and even though it's a bit darker almost like an amber, it retains the lightness very well without being too thin.

Drinkability- The drinkability of this beer is pretty high, I could enjoy a few of these in session, the flavor is well balanced and rich, the overall drinking experience is good and not overpowering in any way.

Being a fan of English ales, I initially thought this beer would be just a macro-esque type of imitation, but it truly is a good "go-to" beer.

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Photo of kflorence
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light copper, amber in color with a thin white, frothy head atop. Carbonation looks moderate.

S: Smells very rich; malt, vanilla, caramel, candy and hops. Overall the notes are hard to distinguish, but the general smell is predominantly on the sweet side.

T: Much like the smell, the flavor is very rich and creamy. Malts, butter, vanilla and cream to start it out, followed by a bittersweet transition to the hops and a crisp, dry, almost bitter hop finish. A semisweet malt, hop and vanilla flavor is left in the mouth.

M: I quite enjoyed the mouthfeel of this beer and felt it is exactly what a light beer should strive to be. While there are obviously more complex, chewy beers out there with more substance, the body of this brew fits the style. Very enjoyable without being overly thick or syrupy and it compliments the creaminess of the flavor well.

D: This is a great beer to have on draft, and as such makes for a very nice session brew. That said, I am not a big fan of pale ales but do enjoy them every once in awhile and this one is certainly no exception; probably one of the better of the style in my opinion (for the price, that is). Overall I found it a very enjoyable beer to have on occasion.

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Photo of OzarkElmo
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap June 17, 2009. Amber color with moderate off-white head. Caramel, slightly sweet malts. A veery enjoyable brew on a warm day, especially on draft at an Brit's in Minneapolis. Above average, but nothing hits me as setting this beer apart. But within the atmosphere, bring me more!

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Photo of fullsweep
3.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can poured into a pint glass.

Bought a four-pack and drank each one in different settings (fits in with my moderate drinking habits anyway, plus I had a nice beer order this time).

Bass grew on me. The first one was okay, but by the time I had finished all four (separated by several weeks), it had really grown on me.

Minimal head upon pour (1/2 finger?)

Unlike many beers that start sweet and finish bitter, this one does the opposite. Bitter on the first sip and sweeter both on the end of the sip, but also as I moved farther down the glass. Hops and mild citrus, of orange and lemon.

Crisp and refreshing in the mouthfeel.

This is definitely a go-to beer. It's not outstanding but it's readily available and easily drinkable.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal-clear, copper-amber body topped by a finger and a half of creamy off-white head that features only passable retention and lacing.

Aroma: Lightly-toasted malt, some mild earthy hops, and a few notes of banana.

Taste: True to the aroma. A base of lightly toasted caramel malt accompanied by mild, earthy hops and some decent fruity notes. It's nicely mineraly, giving it that classic English Pale Ale feel. The aftertaste is lightly grainy and rather short-lived.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied with sharp carbonation. Dries a little in the finish.

Drinkability: It may not come as much of a surprise, but Bass is a highly sessionable beer. Quite refreshing.

Verdict: Bass is simply a straightforward and sessionable British classic, and it's obvious why it has endured for so long. While it may not offer the serious beer enthusiast too much to ponder, it's still a satisfying and refreshing experience that really typifies the English Pale Ale style.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Irish Pub in A.C.
Poured into a pint glass. Poured an amber color with a thin white heading that stayed throughout.

Smell was very sweet and a very subtle hop aroma.

Taste was malty with again a very subtle bitterness of hops on the backend. Not much different from the smell

Mouth was medium bodied with great carbonation. Creamy and smooth on the palate.

Drinkability for a session would be great. A very easy going beer.

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Photo of thekanna
3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Buffalo Wild Wings in College Park, MD.

A: Somewhat clear dark amber which glints red when held up to the light; sort of like Killians. Somewhat thin head which nonetheless leaves lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Faint malts and general sweetness. Not much else.

T: A profusion of sweet maltiness make it very biscuity in taste. Not much else can be discerned. There's a somewhat strange, artificial hop bitterness kicks in at the end.

M: Maltiness causes a creaminess to permeate the mouth. Nice and crisp (somewhat dry) finish.

D: Extremely drinkable as the feel is well-rounded and creamy. Nothing special, but nothing offensive in there either.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Brown with a minor red hue to it. Decent head that lasts a little while with some good lacing.

Smell: I was expecting more from the smell than what I got. There was a somewhat hoppy smell, but not much.

Taste: Has a bit of a sweet start and a good, solid bitter kick at the end.

Mouthfeel: It has a little substance to it without being thick or anything. It felt like an average beer that one might get at 7-11.

Drinkability: It was pretty good and it's certainly something I wouldn't mind drinking again. With that said, however, I was not overly impressed.

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Photo of PsychoJedi
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color is a mix between gold and orange. Darker, but not dark. Not a proper color by any means. Pours clear and a nice head. Smell is good. Rather rich. And of course there is the taste. Not all of that. Not watered down by any means, just not what I want in a beer. Has a bitter touch to it and I do not like bitter though I know some really really like bitter. A bit of an after taste, but not a real bite. I could not drink this much. Verdict: try something else.

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Photo of IPhantom
2.89/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours about the color of iced tea, with about a finger worth of off-white head that dissipates with unexpected quickness.

Aroma is flat, otherwise malty...not what you would expect from the "pale ale" label.

Taste follows suit, sort of underwhelmingly malty. Not bad, though--it's actually very well-balanced, buttery-smooth and mouth-filling, with a pleasantly crisp finish.

It's drinkable, nice for a changeup, but there are better beers for the price and in the style.

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Photo of glid02
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at a random place on Edgewood Ave. in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark copper-brown color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with a good deal of earthy and somewhat spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light toasted malts are joined by earthy hop flavors midway through the sip, then give way to the malt flavors again before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a thickness that's a bit on the thin side with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass easily and could have another.

Overall this is a nice EPA, but it's nothing to write home about. A good standby.

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Photo of rbbchbum
2.03/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On draft in a pint glass at a chain restaurant. After just a few swallows, I sent it back.

Appearance: Light brownish orange. It had zero foam.

Smell: None noted.

Taste/Mouth: Very mild hop finish with moderate malt. Very simple tasting.

Drinkability: This was so flat it seemed like drinking water. Zero carbination. I think I would order wine before I would order this beer again.

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Photo of cavedave
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hello, old friend. A vigorous pour produces a light, lovely, nearly white three inch head. It recedes and leaves spotty islands and clinging arms of lace. It is a nice gold color, clear, glowing.

Smell is a mild treat of light citrus, sweet biscuits, yeast, and flowers

Taste is a marvel of goodness, a well-balanced mix of citrus, earthy notes, herbosity, biscuit. Very clean and balanced. Finish is semi-dry, herbal, and mildly bitter. Nice. Not complex, but yummy.

Mouthfeel is light and very fine for the style. It's more carbonated than many English pales, less full bodied, but it is as pleasing now as it was thirty years ago. Not a superstar, more a working class hero.

Drinkability is exceptional, best thing about this brew. To paraphrase R./D. Davies (other British imports)... Bass, I want to drink your brew, all of the time, all day, and all of the night.

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Photo of donmonkey1
3.19/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Brownish orange with a nice head that doesn't recede too quickly. Good lacing and carbonation.

Smell: Not very strong. Sweet, malty, with a touch of caramel & molasses.

Taste: The hops were too faint, maybe a touch piney but they offset the sweetness, at first. After a second it tasted sweeter, with acidity.

Mouthfeel: Not enough carbonation. You know when you put a 9-volt battery to your tongue? When I held the beer in my mouth, there was a similar tingling on my tongue, just not as strong.

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Photo of berserker256
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my pint glass. Dark bronze in color and a bit orange. The head head is lasting a decent legnth of time. It's off white and consists of bubbles of medium size. Lacing sticks around as well. The smell is sweet, metallic, and spiced. Carmel and steel and a miniscule bit of hops. Bittersweet carmel and earthy sweetness in the flavor. Slightly metallic with a clean aftertaste. Kind of thin bodied and easy to drink.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft in a standard pint glass at "Bear and Grill" restaurant in Fairfield CT. My experience is that this a decent brew on draft that loses some of its luster in the bottle.

Color - brownish, burnt orangy. Interesting. I had no foam, but I think that was intended by the bartender.

Smell - can't get much here. Some buried malt, a little sweetness, but otherwise not distinguished.

Taste/Mouth - slightly sweet start, mild hop finish, moderate malt in between. Not a lot of complexity here, though not the same as some other English pales I have had.

Drinkability - I could go for more, especially coming out cold from a tap.

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Photo of Poormon79
3.61/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Looked alot like a burnt orange

S. Sweet smelling. Malt and hops

T. Was somewhat bitter. Drinkable though

D. Fairly drinkable. I enjoy Bass more in my black and tans but thats just me

Final Thoughts: A pretty decent, beer. To me made better as a tag team with Guinness

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Photo of julian1117
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Visual appeal: stunning burnished orange

Smell: disappointing, slight hop

Flavor: rich and mildly creamy, hint of hops

Mouthfeel: satisfactorily maintains carbonation, mildly creamy

Drinkability: highly drinkable, thirst-quenching

I tried one after helping my brother do some landscaping work in Jersey before Mother's Day. Perfect thirst-quencher.

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Photo of Onenote81
1.83/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Waiting in the Seattle airport, and this was one of the "better" offerings at a restaurant there. Came out a deep gold with a small white head on top. Decent lacing rings around the glass edge. Not bad looking, but it's downhill from here...

Smells of malts and breads, pretty sweet smelling. Not too bad. Mouthfeel is extremely watered-down and slick. No crisp bite, no sharp carbonation, nothing. Flavor was like if someone soaked a biscuit in water for 2 days, pureed it, strained it, and drank the dessicant. This was one of the most watered-down, flavorless beers I've ever had. My wife even said this was really weak, and she doesn't know beers that well. Very disappointing. I'll possibly try to get my hands on a bottle and give that a try to compare, but I'm not that excited about it. Avoid.

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Photo of biegaman
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bass Pale Ale is neither pale in the conventional sense nor is it the deeply coppered amber colour it would have been around the time of its conception. It has a more golden tinge shaded by only the lightest brush of amber. The clarity is immaculate but its head, disappointingly, is non-existent.

The smell is not exactly hoppy nor does it really showcase much of the hard, mineral-rich water that Burton-on-Trent is so famous for. What is most noted, I'm sorry to say, is a cloying hint of corn syrup. It possesses the same kind of high fructose odour one can usually lift from soft drinks. Apart from that, there is really only a smidgen of amber malts.

Bass became famous for two main reasons: its exceeding hop bitterness and the harsh, clipping mineral rich water of the Burton-on-Trent. Fast forward to the twenty-first century and forget all that. Forget bitter, forget crisp - this is borderline cloying with hints of corn syrup landing way ahead of any earthy hops or rich caramelized malts.

It could just be me, but I find all of these British macro canned offerings to posses the same taste of artificially induced nitrogen (even in the samples, like this one, that are not the nitro-cans.) It has a very gassy texture that far exceeds any maltiness or bitterness.

The original pale ales made for export, Bass is surely included in this, were massively hopped at anywhere from 6 to 8 pounds per barrel! (The average beer will use a couple ounces, most IPA's around 1 or 2 lbs and most DIPA's still falling short at maybe 4lbs or so per barrel.) Of course, this has no impression of hops in taste, aroma, or mouthfeel.

Which really is no surprise, English breweries like Bass were, as far as I can tell, the first macro breweries, meaning the first to start compromising on quality and tradition in the name of efficiency and profit margins. (Bass production had already reached 56,000 barrels a year, 12% of which was exported, by 1849. They would open two more massive breweries in the decades that followed.)*

Bottles of Bass can be seen in many paintings by Picasso and most famously in Edouard Manet's 1882 painting "Bar at the Folies-Bergère." I'm inclined to believe the product has changed much since those times, however. Bass has a rich history no doubt. It is ashamed the company seems so unconcerned and indifferent to abandon it, the beer I mean.

*All information taken from Martyn Cornell's "Beer: The Story of the Pint", an excellent read for anyone interested in the subject.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
2.51/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Color: Light Copper, crystal clear with and off-white head that's a bit fizzy.

Aroma: Touch of crystal malt with a gassy, floral and earthy hop aroma with a hint of spice.

Flavor: Medium mouth feel with a silky touch of buttered toffee and not much else except grains. There are some hops for bittering and a smooth, dry finish. Esters of alcohol come in at the end and make for an unpleasant taste

Overall: I'm really not sure what the fuss is all about, it lacks flavor all around except for the bitter taste of alcohol and tannins at the end. Not a good Pale Ale, I can think of dozens better

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
Beer rating: 23.4% out of 100 with 2,666 ratings
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