Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

1,060 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,060 | Ratings: 2,642
Photo of avalon07
2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Smelled of a lot of malt, some fruit elements, and a metallic quality that's a little off-putting.

T: Tasted of some bready malt, a light floral quality, a vinous ingredient, a light hoppiness, and the aforementioned metallic flavor. The problem with the flavor here is that it's simply too thin, and what taste there is unbalanced.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat bitter finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is a beer I used to drink years ago before I discovered better brews, so I decided to retry it. Bass Pale Ale isn't as good as I remember. There are worse choices, but many way better ones.

 765 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date. Finally getting around to reviewing this one; acquired a single bottle of this stuff from my neighbors.

Poured to clear tulip-ish stemware.

A - Dark golden pour. Lots of bubbles rushing around the glass. Little over a finger of dark off-white bubbly head that falls to a skimming. Semi-translucent. Looks good for what it is.

S - Aroma is dusty, malty, grapey. A bit of a medicinal cherry sort of sweetness. Slightly phenolic.

T - Taste follows the nose: grapey, musty, grainy, & medicinal cherry sweetness. Dusty, grainy, musty, phenolic.

M - Feel is crisp, adequate carbonation. Light-bodied, medicinal aftertaste. Not very good or easy to drink, in my opinion. Cheap & dusty tasting. The quality of the ingredients used shows.

Overall, another tick. Not something I'd go for again.

Bass Pale Ale -----2.5/5

 868 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.96/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber color, light fizz/carbonation. Not much nose to it. Tastes of wheat and aluminum. Goes down ok with a slight twinge. To be honest I grabbed this for St Patty's Day thinking it was Harp.

 197 characters

Photo of Myotus
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 46°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 27Jan16) into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 03Mar16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of white foam that shrivels into a line within 20 seconds. Copper in color. Rising bubbles are medium in size and moderate in quantity. Lacing is thin and nearly non-existent.
SMELL: Subtle aromas of buttered white bread, plums, and peaches entangle with hints of floral and earthy hops.
TASTE: Mild salt-like mineral flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by subtle flavors of floral hops, plums, and peaches. Subtle earthy hop flavors and hints of bitter hops and buttered white bread enter last as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Finishes with a mild and pleasant dryness.

 808 characters

Photo of bradco57
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was at my favorite beer distributor yesterday and they had cases of Bass and 12 packs of Bass stacked up high at the front of the store for what seemed to be an unusually low price. 14 dollars for a 12 pack including tax was almost the price of some domestics, so I bought the 12 pack. I had always enjoyed Bass Ale over the years but had gravitated towards the new craft beers over recent. I poured the Bass when I got home and it was not as good as I remembered. I then read the reviews here at BA and found out this is not the Bass I remembered but the INBev variety brewed here in the USA that does not hold a candle to the British original. This USA variety had no creamy head, lacked flavor and was just mediocre at best. If you are a Bass Ale drinker from the past, make sure to get the original and not the USA variety as its certainly not worth the time with so many good beers out there.

 899 characters

Photo of Hodgson
4.31/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I just had the draft in Toronto, which is brewed here by Labatt. The import (bottle or keg) used to be a lot like many reviews: buttery, decomposing leaves, caramel, banana, sometimes sulphur.

This Toronto draft was anything but that yet far from generic, for the first time I think I really liked Bass Ale. Whether it replicates the original - at least the original keg - better than any distant-shipped version I can't say, but it had good malt sweetness and complexities and a mineral hop presence, maybe German I thought (in part anyway).

You had to let it sit for a while and swirl it to get rid of excess carbonation, but it was very good, most people here would surely like it.

 689 characters

Photo of predikit
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean clear copper color, left a fizzy off white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is beautiful. Fruity yeast swirl around which offer some amazing notes. Banana, fruit punch, just amazing aroma.

The taste falls short of the aroma, but the smell is in the taste. A rather thin bready malt character, the fruity yeast show up for the middle and the end. The aftertaste is a bit earthy.

Light bodied, medium carbonation, not really smooth, not really crisp either, but very drinkable. Leaves a bit of coating behind.

Overall not a bad ale at all, which was a surprise.

 580 characters

Photo of dangerpint
1/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Warning this is faux US version of this beer brewed by A&B Inbev ( brewed in Baldwinsville, New York.) Not going to waste much review time on this imposter pint . Any reference to Bass&co of England or the red triangle really should be removed be removed out respect of the original bass & co product. A&B INBEV please have clearly marked packaging stating made of puddle water in the USA, instead of the double dutch labeling This is NOT the Bass you remember or liked. head disappears quite quick no lacing , weak colour ,no body , none of the nice Burton Trent favors , and the body one would expect of this once fine pint ,no midlands malt ,British hops ? probably not . Michael Jackson is turning in his grave!!!!!!! not the pop star FYI . It's just another watered down American beer from A&B inbev . LIFE is quite short Don't waste the effort it takes to lift this pint . if good beers keep getting corrupted by big beer in the name of profit ill stay home and brew my own !!!!!!!!.my bass ale clone malt extract easy recipe. coming soon to this site soon ." when pints get corrupted home brew its the only way to go" ." HOMEBREWED BASS EXTRACT RECIPE SHORT .2 CANS OF MUNTONS OLD ALE MALT EXTRACT...3 OR 4 LBS OF MUNTONS LIGHT DME 1.20 OZ CHALLENGER UK HOP FOR BOIL 0.75 0Z FUGGLES UK HOP O.75 EAST KENT GOLDING UK HOP. BURTON WATER SALTS FOLLOW PACKET INSTRUCTIONS 2 PACKETS OF MUNTONS ALE YEAST. 60 MINS BOIL TIME.. batch prime with with 3/4 cup brewers surgar or 1 cup light dme FERMENT TIME 7 TO 14 DAYS .BOTTLE to PINT GLASS 7 TO 24 DAYS LONGER TIME THAN 7 DAYS FERMENTATION WILL PRODUCE A BETTER PINT ..LONGER TIME IN BOTTLE BOTTLE WILL PRODUCE A BETTER PINT". cheers enjoy

 1,753 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Here is a bottle that I CANnot believe that I have never reviewed before now! There was a bar down the street from my uncle's apartment in the Noe Valley area of S. F. in 1988 - '89 that always had this on-tap and I used to frequent them when in the neighborhood. I guess that it is time to get reacquainted.

From the bottle: "The World's First Pale Ale."; "In the British Tradition of [undersigned] Wm. Bass & Co.'s"; "Originally Brewed in 1777 by William Bass Brewers Limited, Burton-on-Trent, England"; "This Fine Pale Ale has been brewed in the Great British tradition using the finest two-row malted barley"; "Iconography [-] As Bass Pale Ale's popularity grew, unscrupulous imitators used to pass off inferior products as Bass by copying the unique red triangle logo. In 1875, concerned for the reputation of their beloved brew, Bass brewers applied for and were granted England's first registered trademark."

Ah, the nostalgia that goes with Pop!ping this cap. In fact, the cap reads, "Pry Off". Piss off, mate! I'll do as I bloody well please and I won't have some wanker giving me directions! That sorted, it was time for a heavy-handed pour, such as we were accustomed to giving such twats as couldn't keep their blowholes shut. This bit of action got me two fingers of foamy, rocky, tan head with good retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity & if I find out who called the coppers on me, there's to be hell to pay! Nose had a tropical fruitiness that is just how I remember it from a lad. Sweet, but with an earthiness borne of English hops. I just broke a cunt's nose with the last bottle, let's see how this one fares. Mouthfeel was medium, but prickly, more carbonated than I remember, although I'm relatively certain that they wouldn't have had it on cask in 1988, or would they? The taste was lightly fruity, but sharpened at the edges by the hops. Speaking of sharpened, the bloke next to me is about to feel the sharpened knife in my hand slipping between his ribs if doesn't give us some room, right?!? Got him sorted, tickety-boo. Now, then, where was I? Oh, yes, the finish. Finish was semi-dry, not really one for sweets, myself. Yeah, it had that fruitiness that I keep coming back to, but the hops held it all in check. Speaking of checks, I've got to pay mine & go! I hear sirens & I feel like I may break out in handcuffs.

 2,409 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25


Bottle to pint glass.

AROMA: Floral Nose.
LOOK: caramel color; Creamy Head.
TASTE: malty, bread. mild sweetness.
Creamy feel. Strong carbonation. Smooth and drinkable.

An old standby.

 212 characters

Photo of D-Rock
4.37/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Japan and poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Pouring into the glass shows a transparent deep brown amber liquid with a slight reddish tint. A thin white head composed of fine bubbles is about a half a centimeter deep and immediately thins out to a thin film. Flecks of lacing adorn the rim of the glass.

Smell: Uniquely buttery and malty, the smell here is deep and rich. A hint of autumn, decomposing leaves, and some subtle smokiness can be found at play. Overall quite savory.

Taste: Buttery and roasty pop up first with a solid malt sweet presence. The taste does a quick 180 in the aftertaste though with a sharp caramelized bitterness. Earthy tones are strong here with fresh soil, autumn leaves, and a slight hint of ancient gum popping up.

Feel: Thin mouthfeel with mild bitterness. The flavor lingers but the burnt bitterness keeps you going back for another swig. The carbonation is subtle but keeps things easy drinking.

Overall: Complex with some very unique smells and flavors. Quite a contrast between the initial taste and the aftertaste keeps things interesting. Low ABV makes it a good candidate for sessioning, and the taste is mild enough to allow it.

 1,202 characters

Photo of Onemoresolo
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a dark copper color with a fluffy white head that fades to a dense and persistent film. Body is translucent. Lookin' good!

Smell: toffee and caramel with slight floral/citrus English hops. Not super intense, but whats there is pretty alright. This beer was bottled in February, it is currently October.

Taste: Toffee and caramel again with a fair amount of hop bitterness. I'm getting some candied green apple too. I don't remember Bass being this good. Maybe I like it better after it sits in the basement for 6+ months?

Feel: Hop prickliness is a surprisingly good compliment to the rich flavors here. It gets a little syurpy on the finish, but it's pretty minor.

Overall: Congrats Bass, if I'm at a bar that doesn't have craft, I'm drinking you.

 764 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bass Pale Ale Brewed by Bass Brewers Limited , with an ABV of 5.10% This brew pours out a nice light brown color with a small white head. I like the look of this brew. The smell of Bass Pale Ale sweet with rich malts and grains. You also pick up a hit of hops in the smell of this brew. The taste is bold but mildly smooth. You pick up on grains,malts and hops, in the taste of this brew. There is a lot going on in this brew, it has a nice balance to it. Nothing overpowering about Bass Pale Ale. The mouthfeel of this brew starts out bold with flavor and ends with a nice rich smoothness. Overall I'm giving Bass Pale Ale a solid 4 out 5. I would buy this brew again. Bass Brewers Limited did a nice job with this one.

 730 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
3.84/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It is a clear, reddish copper with a substantial off white head. Falls off pretty quick.

Smells pretty malty. Slight sourness and hops, and fairly sweet.

Tastes like semi sour fruits. Apple/grape. Lots of bready grain. Noticeable hop bitterness. Sort of floral. Slightly creamy texture, but very crisp, especially in the finish.

This had a lot of ESB qualities. Seemsime there is some overlap between the two. Not sure why the ratings are so poor. It is an enjoyable beer, and seems to be an acurate representation of the style.

 534 characters

Photo of alexanderplatz
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A go-to favorite when I want, to borrow a phrase from another BA user, "just a beer and not a religious experience." I like the subtle amount of hoppiness and the overall flavor, and it's widely available.

 205 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice mild pale ale. Pours little to no head, a light amber color. Smells kinda hoppy like an IPA. Mild but tasty initial flavor with very light hoppy finish. I would definitely buy more.

 189 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.21/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

"The Original", so I'm told by the bottle.

Concert going on outside, I can hear the echoes of classic rock bouncing around. It's a calm night. Still a bit damp, a bit hazy in the air yet, but still a nice night for a back porch beer.

Appearance : A blushing mango glow, a body opaque enough where words cannot be read through it, and a 1 finger head that unfortunately dissipates to a spongy ring floating on the top. No lace left behind.

Aroma : So far, so good. It smells delicious, not over hopped in the nose - actually more like a rich Pilsner lager. Lots of barley malt, some baked bread, and the faintest of hop to balance out the smell.

Taste : Home run. I love how balanced this is. Pale malts, lightly roasted; orange rind, baked bread, but it all comes together to form a solid profile. Slight yeast in the aftertaste. It just reminds me of the white powder on the top of a freshly baked loaf of bread.

Feel : It's light bodied enough to be refreshing but doesn't lack depth. It ends slightly semi-dry.

Overall : This is going to become a staple in my fridge. With how incredibly refreshing this beer is, yet it retains a flavor, and is still considered a "pale ale"? I think I found a new favorite for this category (well, close to 12 man).

 1,263 characters

Photo of MUTINY
3.64/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Super quick review. Nice malt character, subtle but pleasant hop touch, great carb. One of the only brews out there that I truly prefer to drink straight from the bottle. Not anywhere close to being a flagship example of the style but damn, very quaffable.

 259 characters

Photo of stoutmen
2.62/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Look: to dark to be called a Pale Ale. Thin head dissipates quickly.
Smell: Fruity with dominant alcohol overtone.
Taste: Best way to describe it is "beer flavored carbonated water".
Feel: Very unsatisfying, and left an unpleasant lingering aftertaste.

 252 characters

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

a darker appearance for a pale ale- medium amber

smells sweet, fruity. slightly alcoholic

the taste is the worst attribute. watery and bland. empty ale

mouthfeel is carbonated and not impressionable.


 208 characters

Photo of DevAJ
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Says it's brewed in Baldwinsville, NY now, but it is supposedly still brewed with the same ingredients in the same way. I would probably tend to trust that claim as you can taste the "hardness" of the water in the flavor profile. Nothing particularly wrong with it, just not something I'll look for from now on.

 314 characters

Photo of megamick
4.08/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I remembered this differently or my tastes have changed, but I think several years ago this tasted more dynamic than the 6 pack I just finished from Merrimack, NH. Haven't had it in so long I thought I'd try it out rather than all the crafts I've been drinking. I do understand where the 76 okay score stands with this one as it was just that.

 352 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Into an English pint glass, pours copper with foamy off-white head with medium retention. Smells and tastes bready, sweet, and a little too estery (reminds me of certain pale or amber lagers well past their expiration dates, or even a Märzen that is overly sweet). Little hops detected beyond the faint bitterness of the aftertaste. Not too thin, not too dry of a finish, and carbonated just enough, this beer can be as thirst-quenching as you need it to be. Overall, though, as taste is the most important aspect to me, and this tasted "off," I was not as pleased with this beer as I hoped and expected to be after hearing its name thrown around so much.

By the way, according to my bottle, it appears this beer has 5.1% alcohol, not the 5.0% given on this site. Not sure if it's a mistake or just a modification to the brew that's been made. My guess is the latter.

 869 characters

Photo of loubar
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Copper color, thin head with short retention. Sweet caramel malt aroma. Flavor of bread, caramel and vanilla. Slightly sweet with a very mild bitterness. Light to medium body with mild carbonation. It could be a tad less sweet and more complex but, in limited circumstances, it holds its own. An enjoyable pale ale.

 330 characters

Photo of Gajo74
3.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Look-Pours a clear light brown/Amber. A small patchy head quickly dissipates, little to no lacing throughout. Not the prettiest looking brew.
Smell- at first I detected a slight metallic aroma. However, as the drink warmed, a sweet maltiness with hints of caramel, honey and toffee comes through nicely.
Taste- an interest blend of flavors. There is a toasted malt flavor that is almost overpowered by a dry and bitter hops finish. There is a slightly astringent aftertaste that causes me to downgrade the taste rating slightly. There is also an element of mineral water that is interesting.
Feel- this one goes down easily and smoothly. My favorite attribute.
Overall, I liked this. I think that it is better than what most people here give it credit for. Of course it's not the best, but it is a pleasant session beer.

 820 characters

Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.4 out of 5 based on 2,642 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.