Bass Pale Ale | Bass Brewers Limited

Bass Pale AleBass Pale Ale
2,671 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: 2,671 |  Reviews: 1,065
Photo of jar2574
3.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish, brown in color. Not a whole lot of head, and what's there is quickly gone.

Below average in appearance, because this looks like an American macro brew, only with a darker orange tint.

Scent is only average. Decent, but hard to find. Some hops, citrus and sweet caramel.

The taste doesn't blow you away, but it's nice enough. Very smooth and malty, with a touch of sweetness. None of that citrus that I was detecting. Nothing acidic about the taste.

Easy drinking. That's probably why it's had such success here in the States.

 539 characters

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

12 oz bottle with "May 08" stamped on the back.

I poured the ale into a conic revealing a deep clear, gold to copper color with minimal head and lacing.

There is the faint smell of hops as well as an almost metallic odor.

The first impression I get from the first sip is heavy carbonation with an ever so slight hop taste with some malty flavor on the tongue. The flavor strikes me as a little thin, even as the ale warms. I remember first trying this ale in the early 1990s while serving the military. At that time, my immature palate thought this was a quite substantial ale. Things have certainly changed. I would still recommend this ale. But compared to domestic pale ales and other English ales such as Fuller's, this one disappoints.

Again the mouthfeel feels thin, but highly carbonated.

The 5.0 ABV and light taste make this highly drinkable. If you have not tried this one, please do. The price at $6.99 a six-pack is not bad for an English ale, even though it is mass produced.

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Photo of AlexLMS
2.16/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: medium copper colour. Brighty appearance. Small off-white head. Poor retention with some lacing.
Aroma: very light caramel. Metallic and musty off-aroma.
Taste: very thin sweet malts. Bitter hops, spices and a cooked vegetable off-flavour.
Mouthfeel: dry feel, average carbonation, medium to high alcoholic presence and a medium body.
Finish: long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Overall: Despite the bitter flavour I sincerely did not like this one. There is something there that did not feel right. Perhaps I was unlucky with the bottle, but Bass did not impress me at all.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.71/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper with an off white head. In the aroma, sweet gingerbread malt. In the taste, a watery sweet malt. A small bite in the mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness (apricot) in the aftertaste. A small fruit presence and a small hop presence, kind of the standard pale. Very non offensive.

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Photo of dsa7783
2.76/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on draft at Friday's... The appearance was about average for an ale like this... nothing to write home about, but decent... Not much going on with the aroma - somewhat bland and not too appealing... The taste was pretty good, I've tried better ales out there, and I've sampled worse, but all in all a good beer to try and goes well with appetizers... A little bitter to my liking, but still drinkable... Being one of the more popular imported English brews, I can't say I was totally impressed, but I wasn't dissapointed either... Definitely not worth buying a sixer but a good choice on tap during happy hour for a $2.00 pint...

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a 20-ounce pilsner glass at Chili's.

A: Poured a clear, copper orange color with a one finger head of pure white foam.

S: Smells a little sweet and bready. The malts can be noticed as slightly toasty, but it's not that clear in the nose.

T: Tastes a little sweet and slightly bitter. There's great balance between the caramel malts and floral hops. It's a little resiny, but solid and balanced for the most part.

M: It's a little sticky, but it doesn't hinder the drinkability at all. I could see having a bunch of these easily.

D: The modest ABV and great balance would make Bass such a great session beer, so I would recommend it for that. However ....

There's not enough depth to make Bass a true go-to beer. In a pinch, I'd say go forward without hesitation. But, it's nothing really special, other than being a solid "do everything beer" with better taste. Look elsewhere for a variation, but this is honestly the cornerstone of English Pale Ales.

 968 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2 pints from Sangria in Hermosa Beach last night for five dollars each

Color was golden yellow/orange with a silky white head, about 1/2 inch, did not leave much lacing

Smell was pretty weak, although there were some minor citrus aromas, mostly bready malt and faint hops

Taste was pretty basic, typcial easy to drink pale ale, some lemon aftertaste to balance off a small amount of hoppiness, dryness went away quickly, crisp bite to it and first but mellows and goes down even easier once it gets warmer, not too much going on here though, just a generic EPA, actually wish this one had a little more sweet malt and fruity accents to it

Good amount of carbonation and an average size body

Could have drank several more of these, went down way too easy and the alcohol percentage is low, almost a light beer as far as filling you up goes, recommended if you are at a bar like I was with nothing but Bud or Coors Light

 923 characters

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

Pours a dark clear amber color with a thin lace of head and high amount of carbonation. Has malty fruit and somewhat sweet aromas. Taste is strong with malty flavors. Mouthfeel is high carbonated, but goes down smooth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a pretty good session beer.

 288 characters

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

Pours a nice amber color, although not very deep. Great head, though. Has a nice hoppy scent, but not very deep. Nice hoppy taste and aftertaste, but like it's scent, it's just not very strong. Goes down fine. Above average, but not the best. Still, it's worth a try and it's easy to find.

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Photo of AlephNull
4/5  rDev +19.8%
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 +5.7%
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 +39.2%
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.

 299 characters

Photo of ianrca19
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 394 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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 +12.3%
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.

 466 characters

Photo of SargeC
4.52/5  rDev +35.3%
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 +13.8%
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 -9.3%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of armock
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
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 +0.3%
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.

 787 characters

Photo of atrus138
4.38/5  rDev +31.1%
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.

 748 characters

Photo of rdub
4/5  rDev +19.8%
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 +13.2%
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 +1.5%
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.

 589 characters

Photo of beeritron
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
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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Bass Pale Ale from Bass Brewers Limited
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 2,671 ratings
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