Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

2,662 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: 2,662 |  Reviews: 1,065
Photo of AlephNull
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Having known Bass for a long time, as I've gotten more adventurous with beers, I've missed formally tasting this one -- it being a fairly common import.

A- Pours a warm copper color with a moderate 1 finger of chunky, offwhite head. Clarity is good.

S- Slightly carmely malt scent with a crisp malt scent.

T- A nice slightly carmely, slightly grainy malt flavor comes through early Good, clean British hops rounding out a nice, well balanced flavor. A bit of a buttery flavor in there doesn't detract much.

M- The weakness of the beer - moderately light body feels a little weak to me. Light carbonation doesn't add much.

D- A good session beer available all over the place -- not a spectacular choice, but it works well in many situations.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It could be a poor batch that I am rating this on, because I don't remember my first Bass tasting like this one, but it has a rather skunky odor to it. Almost as though it were made with actual bass, as crazy as that sounds. But the taste was fine. Mild malts and hops, very dark brown color, and a bitter finish. I don't drink Bass often, but I do pick it up on occasion to make some kick-ass Black & Tans. Overall, it's what you'd expect of a pale ale, nothing spectacular, but nothing disappointing either.

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Photo of skeetermoses
4.65/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know what happened tonight but I feel like I have rediscovered this beer. It poured a nice brown amberish color, and tasted pretty damn good. I have recently quit smoking and seemed to have gained a new taste for beer, I would definately have to say this is now one of my favorite pale ales.

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Photo of ianrca19
3.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very British treat! Pours a sparkling red-blonde... lots of little bubbles, and a thick, cidery head. Cidery is what really describes this beer. As you drink, the carbonation sparkles all over your tongue as your mouth is awash with appley and malty flavors. There's a bit of a woody finish to it, and then a long lingering apple cidery after. A very relaxing warmer on a chilly fall evening.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2003.

Appearance: A beautiful amber brown, white foam.
Smell: caramel nose
Taste and mouthfeel: Very round in the mouth, with a fruity Bass quickly joined by a sweet caramel. A thin and long carries bitter beer in a long sprawl.
Drinkability: correct pale ale

Review added 10-30-2007, translated from french 1-21-2008.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Bubby half finger head produced some decent lacing. Very bright and clear amber color.

S- Caramel and light notes of toffee.

T- Very smooth comlpex and balanced malt profile. Hops are just enough to tame any sweetness and are very subtle.

M- Very crisp and smooth, a little on the light side.

D- Rather drinkable due to the light body.

Being one of my first non macro brews there will always be a special place in my heart for bass, or underneath my Guiness.

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Photo of SargeC
4.52/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep golden-tan color with a manila colored head. Nice movement for an ale.

Smell: Strong malt aroma that is apparent from several feet away. Accents of toffee and a touch of coffee.

Taste: Burnt caramel toffee. Strong malt character with minimal hop accents.

Mouthfeel: Excellent body. Perfect balance of refreshing and hearty.

Drinkability: Classic taste, one of my long time favorites. Very consistent.

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Photo of Amalak
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown and bubbly, not head, or it dissipated from the time the waitress brought it to me.


T: Caramel, nut kind of taste to it.

M: Leaves a very distinct taste in the back of the mouth, but I can't put my hand on the flavor.

D: Drys quickly, but very smooth going down.

It is a very solid all-around beer. Nothing amazing, but everything done well.

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Photo of crwills
3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I remember drinking a lot of this and enjoying it five or six years ago, before I really got into craft beer. I had a pint of this at some restaurant (don't remember which one) in New Jersey, and was disappointed with how badly it fared compared to what else is out there. Nothing distinctly wrong with it, although there was a mild cooked corn note to the aroma, and I found the carbonation to be high for an English Pale. But... meh.

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Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came to me in an american pint glass amber color with little head that eaves some lacing. Theres some smell of hops not much. The taste is great a little bitter but not in a bad way. Mouthfeel is very good light carbonation makes it very smooth. This is one of my favorite beers I could drink it all night long.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Finnegan’s Wake in Providence, RI on 10/6/07, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin but even lace on the glass.

S: The smell is faint but contains light malts, honey, caramel and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty, sweet and decently balanced, but still light with flavors of honey, caramel, pale hops and I'm even sensing some mint in there. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are other English Pale Ales that I would pick first, but if my choices were this or a macro, I would take this beer.

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Photo of atrus138
4.38/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a brown 12 oz bottle with "Pub Pour" (not exactly sure what that means). Nice deep amber color with a weak head and moderate lacing.

Smelled nice and bitter with plenty of hops present, which is what I'm looking for in a good pale ale.

Taste was nice and bitter, though it was followed with an unpleasant metallic aftertaste. This subsided after letting it warm a bit to be replaced with a sweeter caramel flavor. Let it warm up a bit, as the flavor improves significantly.

Felt nice in my mouth. Nice and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

Bass is normally one of my favorite drinks, but the metallic flavoring was an unwelcome surprise. Definitely allow it to warm a bit before drinking or just have it on tap.

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

Reviewing the last one of a six pack. For some reason these had no head at all despite my best pour attempts. Doesn't taste stale so not sure why...

Nice copper color with no head or lacing. Poured into my favorite snifter so I could get a whiff. I can tell Bass any day. Taste is medium strength for this type of ale. Pleasant. Once again, mouthfeel is not too thin but definitely not all that heavy. Drinkability is fine for me, had quite a few of these in college so all I can say is - typical Bass. Good go-to when everyone else is drinking BMC products. Most places have it.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very nice copper color with tinge of orange and good 1 finger foamy head that is an off white color and turns to a nice thin collar that lasts the entire way down,very nice lacing that sticks well to the glass.
The nose is,,,,is,,,you really got to whiff at this one to take it all in...kinda faint at first but comes at ya...the freshness hits first than a little fruit,lite caramel and a little buttery...all comming at you kinda faint.
Taste is sweet with toasted malts a little caramel and strong bitterness at the end finishing off dry with a medium mouth to it and a little strong on the carbs comming at you like a soda drink.
All in all this is a full flavored beer that is actually quite enjoyable,best to let it warm a little than all the flavors and aroma comes at you a little stronger,,,,quite tasty..worth a try.

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Photo of latercol
3.39/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a nice clear copper color, with a decent looking head. Settles to a ring after a minute or two. Minimal lacing.

At first I smelled some floral scents, but that went away quickly and I started noticing some more metallic smells as the beer warmed, which wasnt all that desirable.

The medium strength flavor is difficult to describe... maybe breadlike with a mild bitter aftertaste, but overall mostly pleasant.

Medium bodied with noticable carbonation making it fairly refreshing.

This is drinkable. Didn't care for the smell that much but this is a crisp and refreshing ale.

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Photo of beeritron
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber in color with an off white head about 1 inch thick. After the head diminishes, the foam clings to the edge of the glass and leaves minimal lacing down the inside.

S - Very malty, sweet smell with a mild bitterness present

T - Very nice taste. Malty with a great balance of hoppy bitterness. Leaves a bitter aftertaste that is very pleasant.

M - The maltiness leaves a medium body over the tongue. There is light carbonation that bubbles down the throat and doesn't cover anything up.

D - A classic version of an EPA; something that you can drink very easily. This is a good beer for the beginner beer geek.

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Photo of Strix
4.24/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer just has a good taste to it. It's nothing particularly fancy, but it just has a good taste. Malt dominates, with the taste of alcohol, but the aftertaste turns sweet, almost fruity, like a hint of cherry? Maybe it's the red tint in the brew that makes me think cherry. Not much hops evident to my taste. Very smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of inbeertruth
2.62/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this in a bottle on the Princess cruise ship /Emerald Princess/ during my honeymoon.

A: Amber, clear, small head that fades leaving little lacing.

S: Toffee-ish, malt and toast with hop.

T: Alchoholly, with an echo of malt and hops.

MF: Ample carbonation, refreshing when cold, but not as rich as other English ales I’ve tried.

D: Average. It is a novel and fad for those visiting British style pubs. Made me miss my St. Arnold’s brews, though.

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Photo of ericj551
3.6/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bass Pale Ale pours a clear copper with thin head that doesn't linger. Its aroma is a light fruity maltiness, I smell a hint of berries, maybe strawberries. The aroma finishes with hints of toffee and a bit of bitter hops. The flavor is crisp, almost tart. There is less maltiness in the taste, but some sweetness sticks through with light, metallic bitterness. I think the beer is a little thin over all, but it's fairly solid, good in a pinch when there are few other options.

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Photo of Overlord
2.58/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Given that I see this beer every-where, but it doesn't have a macro brew reputation, consider me very disappointed.

Pours a mildly appealing reddish color. Not a lot of head. Taste is surprisingly sour. Not much in the way of hops, no fruit flavor. Decidedly unappealing.

If I was going to make a black and tan, I could think of about a dozen better "tan" portions than this.

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Photo of genog
3.01/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby red color with a white bubbly head that comes to the top and then fades away slightly. Smell is of caramel malt, along with some grain smells. The taste of this one is the grain and some of the malt and very little of the hops come through. Mouth feeling is bubbly and not too filling. A nice beer.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.55/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my 400th review. (woopie doo)

1pt. 3.25 oz brown bottle>mug

AP: Burnt golden amber, a few tiny bubbles that are very slow moving creates a sticky white head that is thin and bubbly.

Nose: Light wheat malt with slight vanilla, herbal hops, oats 'n grains, wheat field smell and a slight metallic bitterness.

Flavor: The thin and rather watery wheat malt and some acidic flavored hops come out first, the hops mature into a green-veggie flavor and the mild metallic bitterness ends it.

Feel: light to medium bodied, only mildly crispy but pretty smooth...but later lifeless.

DA: It starts out o.k, but very quickly goes down hill fast.

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Photo of Budro
2.22/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Poured into a room-temp pint glass, Bass presents quite beautifully with a white foamy head the width of 1 1/2 fingers atop a dark copper body--almost bronze--with glassy clarity. The head settles quickly, leaving a thin layer of foam across the surface. Lacing sticks to the glass in strata as you drink it down.

S: This is not a pleasant aroma. It's vaguely metallic, evoking a handful of pennies. There are grassy notes as well, but mostly I detect old wood soaked in stale beer--kind of like I just walked into the Star Bar in Athens, GA, or any number of undergrad bars in any number of college towns across the nation.

T: Doesn't taste so good, either. The front is weak, there's nothing in the back, and there's a musty wash in the middle. The malt imparts a slightly sweet character, but just barely. The flavor profile disappoints, kind of like week-old bread. The beer sours slightly as it warms, which isn't unpleasant. At least it's doing something.

M: Not bad. The sharp tingle of carbonation burns out quickly, like a firecracker fuse. It's a nice bit of drama and flash. The beer doesn't quite coat the palate--it absolutely collapses in the back--but it leaves the mouth moist.

D: A most unpleasant combination: filling and unsatisfying.

As recently as two years ago, Bass was one of my go-to brews. My wife remains fond of it, so it pops up in my fridge with some frequency, but I've moved this one onto my stay-away-from list.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

classic clear amber color, moderate head that fades somewhat quickly, but manages to leave a few traces of lace on the way down.

there's an almost buttery, toasted maltiness and a hint of mildly herbal hop. my glass is probably still a bit too cold though. actually got a whiff of just plain alcohol too.

tastewise, the toasted malts are there, along with noble-like hop flavors; nice and clean. has some momentary caramel sweetness on the finish, with a pleasantly mild bitterness that lasts into a soothing aftertaste - a feature that does more for overall drinkability than the flavor score.

there's some substance, but it's still somewhat thin. while smooth and refreshing enough, it's not creamy like some of the better english ales.

this used to be an old standard of mine in pre-craft days, when i felt like putting down the cash for import prices. unexceptionality aside, it's still reliable enough, especially if a bar has nothing else but american macro piss. its main feature is a pure and simple drinkability, accentuated by that great finish/aftertaste.

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Photo of rell
4.63/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is by far one of the better beers I've had in my time. It pours out with a nice healthy head and a rich glow. The smell is not perfect but definitely intruiging, and the taste - it goes down extremely easy, begging you to take another sip. The mouthfeel is pure - it tastes good and can't steer you wrong. I'd recommend this beer to anyone and always keep it stocked in the fridge.

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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
3.4 out of 5 based on 2,662 ratings.
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