Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

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Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
2,717 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: 2,717 |  Reviews: 1,081
Photo of crossovert
3.14/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

568ml bottle. "Pub Pour"

Pours amber with yellow on the edges. THe head is foamy and off white and dissipates quickly.

The smell is rather pungeant, with a large metallic whiff. This bottle doesn't smell like normal bass.

The taste is better, normal Bass favor with sweet malt and not much hoppiness. The hops are english hops.

Overall for a pedestrian cheap macro it isn't bad, this bottle seemed to be not as good as previous one's I have had.

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Photo of decimator
3.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Labelled as Bass Imported Pale Ale 5.1% ABV.
500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear amber copper colour with a 1/8 creamy head that dissipates into a very thin cap. Doesn't produce much lacing.

S - Delicious smell of caramel malts are quite prominent. There's a hint of something fruity or flowery in the background but I can't pin it down.

T - Caramel sweetness followed by a some hop bitterness in the finish. Good balance. It's inoffensive but light.

M - Medium carbonation on the tongue with a creamy & oily feel.

D - Could easily drink only this in an evening. Wish I had bought more then one can.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 355 ml. bottle L8331SK-13:24. Sampled on January 10, 2010. The famous old stand-by that pours a decent looking amber-copper color with a thin white head that dissolves into a thinner ring. Limited lacing. The aroma is full of English caramel malts and the mouthfeel is medium. Bass has a distinctively English bitter taste with a slightly dry ending. I am not sure what I can add that has not been said before. It has always been one of my go-to beers.

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Photo of taigor
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into mug glass.

A - Amber, brown transparrent color with small head that quickly dissipates leaving almost no lacing.

S - Malts upfront with grains afterwards and a hoppy finish.

T - Sweet malts to start, followed by bready taste and a hoppy slightly bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very good beer with decent taste and low abv.

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Photo of Chambic
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Found it in the fridge -- along with some others that must have been strays from 6-packs that accompanied holiday-party guests in attendance over the weekend.

A: the perfect "tan" balance to the absent "black," because, unfortunately, no one left any Guinness

S: can't tell through the bottle

T: nice, friendly, middle-of-the-road

M: average, nothing to write home about

D: could have any another, but didn't -- definitely would have preferred to have a Black and Tan

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a Bass glass, a light copper, transparent, with a thin head.

Smells of sweet malt & cereal grain, light, almost bubblegum-like. Malt smell is not that different from a lot of macros, but boosted by a clean & crisp hop profile.

Taste is mild grain sweetness up front, with a clean hop finish, almost like a fuller-bodied lager, Oktoberfest. Subtle residual bitterness & cereal taste.

Mouthfeel is smooth, finishes with a snap, medium-bodied.

Very good drinkability, a tasty but understated beer, good & sessionable. What's with the crazy Bass glass with the feet & lop-sided mouth?

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bass Pale Ale poured flat clear light amber with a two-finger creamy head. It left behind a lot of sticky lace.

It smells and tastes like a malty caramely wet cellar. The smell is a little metallic and it has the musky flavor typical of English Ales. The feel, like the appearance, is flat and fleeting. In keeping with the feel, it's as drinkable as water.

Bass Pale Ale is a typical example of an English Ale; however, it lacks life. It's a little too flat for its own good.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice light brown color; perfectly clear with a one-finger head which dissipated quickly. I find it quite appetizing.

Smell: nice sweet malt aroma with a little bit of grain and a hint of nuttiness. Quite nice.

Taste: similar to the aroma, but with a little more nuttiness. Not notably bitter but there's a little there; this is a well-crafted example of a subtle style. I quite enjoy it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice level of carbonation. Run-of-the-mill, but it works here.

Drinkability: very drinkable. No aspect of this beer is overpowering, and overall it is simply a tasty beer.

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Photo of Dawkfan
2.86/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- 500ml can poured into a pint glass. An extremely clear copper looking color in the glass, 1 finger of head that quickly subsides, virtually no lacing. Tons of carbonation bubbles clinging to the walls of the glass.

S- Fairly light scent. A bit of malt, maybe some floral hop.

T- Better than the smell. Caramel malt, nuttiness, mild hops, and a mineral taste as well.

M- Thin body, medium carbonation, finishes dry.

D- This is definitely better on tap from what I can remember. I think it also makes a decent black and tan. Nothing off putting here, but not something I go out of my way to have.

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Photo of CowboyNeil
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review for me

a - nice reddish color, initial lacing, little head, light carb

s - malty, little hop aroma

t - mostly malt, sweet, bitter finish, nice balance, the pale ale style

m - good body, lighter

d - can work through a six pack of these nicely

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Photo of rgrholmes168
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass, this is a common staple of my wife's family so I thought I would give it a go.

The beer poured with a one finger head that was not very impressive, however, it does leave a nice lace along the glass and on top of the beer.

The smell is hard to place, possibly a little bit of malt? Not a hint of anything hoppy.

The beer was a nice copper with slow carbonation bubbles floating to the top. There is a slightly bitter taste to this beer that doesn't leave much of an aftertaste.

Bass seems to have a bit of a flat taste to it, and is light on the palate. The beer tastes decent and could be fairly drinkable.

Nothing bad about this beer, but nothing seems to stand out either.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A=deep reddish copper color with little of the tan head

S=malty flavorings initially of banana, little hops to speak of

T=crisp, malty, some late hop notes

M=great carbonation, medium in feel, some oilyness.

D=very, a very good sessionable beer.

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Photo of Keblar
1.96/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Update: This review used to be a 4.4/5, but no longer since the only Bass I can ever find is no longer the UK original but an overpriced, bland, bastardized, pale (no pun intended) shadow of its former self.

There should really be a separate listing for the US and UK versions lest folks be mislead - as I'm sure is the Anh-Busch intention.

In Short - Don't waste your time or money unless it's truly imported, and I don't mean from Canada like the current US Guiness and Harp offerings.

Old review below:


great color, even straight from the bottle.

Great balance all around. nice head. maintains.

slightly sweet, malty without being excessive.

Hops not a significant factor, but not lacking.

can't expect much more from mass production.

A perennial favorite.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very little head. Almost none at all, instead there is a loose gathering of bubbles floating on top. This is a clear caramel colored beer.

S- Sweet malty and almost fruity at times. Notes of toast, apple peals, butter and grape.

T- Smooth malty, buttery, toasty and a plum like sweetness.

M- Round, smooth and medium carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. This is one of the beers I go for when Im out or have little option.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.04/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the type of beer where I say "I really like this" but hard to put your finger on just why. I see why the English has their own category of Pale Ale because this didn't resemble the American Pales much at all. The beer had layers of flavor but not amped up with hops or strange fruity overtones like a lot of Americans I've had. There was a tartness or twang to both the smell and taste that I liked, and while it didn't have a lot of sweetness I definitely got interesting malt flavors. I'll have to explore more of the English Pales.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a clear amber gold with a thin white head.

Smells sweet and malty, kind of a brown sugar and bread aroma.

The taste is malty sweet too, perhaps ever so slightly toasty, and very mildly grainy. Hardly any hint of bitterness.

Feels average in the body department, with mild but consistent carbonation.

Pretty taste ale. Nothing special but solid and easy to drink.

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Photo of BrewitYerself
2.94/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a sentimental beer for me; I reviewed it before in the bottle and wound up giving it a "D". I felt maybe the beer was cheated, so I tried again on tap; I had three pints and took extensive notes:

Pours a medium coppery brown - very clear. Dense 1 finger cream colored head, retains a thin crown of foam with light lacing; laces very well the second time in the same glass.

Some sweet malt aroma, bread and caramel. A touch of sour fruit on the nose. As it warms it smells more of honey and esters. A touch of herbal hops.

Taste is of slightly sweet, slightly bready malt, a hint of honey, some caramel and fruity esters. A watery sourness takes over mid-palate. Moderate bitterness throughout. Good tingle on the tip of the tongue, which fades sharply. Finish is a bit dry, minerally; there is some lingering sour bitterness, and a hint of sweet/bready malts. There is a mild hop flavor. Sour-stale flavor becomes prominent about 2/3 of the way through a pint.

Mouthfeel is good; a bit too much carbonation, very slight chewiness.

Overall it's very drinkable; I mean, it's Bass on tap, seriously. There is a sometimes overbearing fruitiness from the esters and honey-like malt. There is a definite sour-stale flavor, less than in the bottle. Unimpressive, but satisfying and decent.

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

As a beer, this one truely is different if drank in Can/Bottle/Tap. I do enjoy the real glass bottle version (the can's are just awfull).

OLn tap, by far the nicest.

Minerally, mild malt with some mild hop's. I always enjoy the way the mineral's and special water mix with the malt. Its an enjoyable beer when heading to the pubs for some Fish and Chips. You just can't beat Bass for a nice pub food and ale beer. certainly doesnt match up to the big German, Quebec and Belgian Beers, but a nice pub beer for sure...

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A - This pours into a standard 1.5 fingers of beige head and has a deep honey/wheat color. The fuzziness dies quickly and the head slowly creeps away, but leaves a legacy of attractive lacing.

S - Sweet hops, no yeast, bit of alcohol. The malt smell is pretty mild, what you can smell seems to be just simple pale malts.
* There is a second hidden-easter-egg hop smell that I struggled through the whole beer to identify but couldn't name.

T - Initial flavor was dry, bitter and creamy with some more of that mystery hop-X. Tastes of sweet breads left to dry in hop leaves. Tastes go from dry to sweet back to dry with a pink grapefruit aftertaste that lasts about 30sec.

M - Decent body, some fizzy bubbles to play around with in your mouth. Nice creamy texture.

D - Highly drinkable. Not as simple as some pale ales. This beer has a great balance of smell and flavors. This would be good with burgers or tons of other foods. The flavor is complex enough to compete with what your eating but not so complex that it would dominate your meal and mask it's flavor. This is a good anytime beer.

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Photo of JeremyBrews
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden wheat, apple juice appearance. Lacing hangs out for awhile while initial, fluffy finger of head fades gradually.

S- Strong aroma hops stand out and dominate over a weaker, sweet malt scent. A brief, uninvited whiff of evaporated malt liquor stings the nostrils.

T- Strong initial hop bittering, slowly rounds out to sweet maltiness before retreating back to a strong hop finale.

M- Good carbonation that matches well with the hop zing. Light-medium body, a little oily.

D- Hops- to sweet malt -to hops. Not a complex beer, but easy to drink with a nice, bitter aftertaste. Enjoy with red meats such as sausages, where the aroma can compliment a secondary flavor.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of malts with a slight hint of hops. Tastes like it smells with a bit of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and had good drinkability. Overall this is a quality beer.

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

A dark clear copper color pour with a medium sized white head that dissipates quickly leaving traces of lacing , light carbonation . Aroma is semi sweet , malty with spicy english hops . Flavor is quite malty , semi sweet like the aroma , lightly bitter , slightly floral and spicy , a bit earthy with a faint hoppy finish . Medium body with an oily mouthfeel . Drinkable and sessionable but not too impressive to me at all , sorry .

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one from the local packy. Pours a medium amber in color with a good two finger head and lots of lace. Biscuity malt with a slight caramel sweetness with light hops to balance. mouthfeel and carbonation are good. Drinkability? had no problem drinking several for this review.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Guinness-branded pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent tan color. The thin head dissipates quickly leaving little lacing.

Smell: Smells sweet and grainy. Not much here really.

Taste: Malty with a hint of hoppy bitterness. A little bit of a buttery/biscuity taste as well.

Mouthfeel: A little chewy but with just a bit too much carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent pale ale but there are certainly better ones out there. Worth it if you can find it or afford it.

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Photo of Risser09
2.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden orange color with ample bubbles flowing to the surface. A 2.5" ivory, cakey head grows and lingers for some time.

Smell: Biscuits, caramel malts and a subtle hop bouquet. Floral hops and slight.

Taste: Bitter hop resins aren't citrusy but rather throw off a metallic bitterness that also is vegetal and green. A backbone of caramel malt adds some sugar content. A classic English ale style.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, bitter, medium-bodied, some alcohol and a dry finish that is fresh and green. Keeps you coming back for more.

Drinkability: A classic British ale. Sweet and bitter, with the bitterness winning out. I would reach for it if the craft brews weren't available.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 2,717 ratings