Whitbread Pale Ale
Whitbread PLC

Whitbread Pale AleWhitbread Pale Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Pale Ale - English
Ranked #399
Ranked #48,522
3.37 | pDev: 15.43%
Whitbread PLC
England, United Kingdom
Whitbread Pale AleWhitbread Pale Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 293 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jrein0254
jrein0254 from Maryland

3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, it's just OK out of the bottle cold. Cellar temp knocks it up a point in flavor and aroma. On tap, it is another ball game. This has been far and away the most popular draft beer I have sold in my 40 year restaurant career so far . It just fit the old colonial early american atmosphere of my tavern so well, it was a natural.

Jun 20, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung from Maryland

2.56/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have no idea how old this bottle is, but when in Rome...12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby color that's in no way pale. About one finger of off-white colored head is formed, only to fade away quickly due to poor retention. No real lace.

S: Wow, this is VERY sweet. Tons of dark fruits inhabit the aroma, with only a hint of oxidation to break up the monotony. Honestly, it's a pleasant nose, just not that complex. If the bottle didn't say "pale ale", I'd wonder if it were an old ale instead (it's certainly old in more ways than one...)

T: It tastes dangerously similar to prune juice - cripes, this is sweet. There is some mild oxidation, but nothing too horrible. The finish is a combination of chocolate and mineral water. Some decent qualities exist, but the whole package just seems...off.

M: Despite the sweetness, the dry finish is honestly kind of unpleasant, which says nothing about how unfitting the sweet and dry get along on the palate. Carbonation is almost nonexistent.

O: A truly great beer can stand the test of time (unless they're hoppy, natch), and this hasn't. If you still see this at your Neighborhood Liquor Storeā„¢ and you're considering picking this up, don't do it! Get something else instead.

Sep 25, 2013
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis from Kentucky

1.78/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a hazy amber with a creamy khaki mousse. Looks like most other English pale ales. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

S: Brief notes of toffee, nuts, and cream are just barely detectable. Surprisingly weak scent for an English pale ale.

T: A smooth, slick entry reveals notes of nougat, almonds, toffee, dates, prunes, and sweet, bready malt. The finish is rather plain, displaying fleeting notes of nuts and bready malt. I detected no hop notes whatsoever.

M: Way too slick and oily for such a light-bodied ale. The hard mineral mouthfeel that is one of the defining characteristics of English pale ales is lacking in this beer.

O: I don't want to completely trash this beer, but I simply do not understand its appeal. In my opinion, Whitbread is one-dimensional and lacking in balance.

Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Zimbo
Zimbo from Scotland

3.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amazed to find this in a small grocer's in an isolated corner of the West Islands while on holiday. Haven't drunk it well over twenty years now which is probably the last time I've seen in in these parts.

Looks pretty good going into the glass. Fairly yellowy brown with lots of old school frothy head which leaves beaucoup de clingy lacing.

Taste is rather difficult to pin down. A malty toffeeness with a trace of the metallic dominate. A bit aged and tired really and certainly not dynamic but not at all unpleasant. Pretty thin and lacks much stuffing of consequence.

A blast from the past and a timely reminder of how much bottled beer in Britain has improved in recent years.

Aug 04, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer is a light brown in color with some orange in there too. The head is pretty good too, it's got a nice tan color to it. The aroma that this beer has is something really good to me. Something that I'm unsure of how to describe. It smells sweet and really enjoyable. It's gotta be what ever malts they've used in this beer. The taste also carries over that sweetness and coats your mouth with some really nice sweet malts. I wish I knew what they put in this because it reminded me of my childhood somehow. I found the mouthfeel to be a little watery but overall this beer is quite good.

Apr 13, 2011
Photo of DerekP
DerekP from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As usual, I found this at my local six-pack shop, Gun Town Beer. My initial response to the smell and taste of a drop from the mouth of the bottle after pouring it into my mug was "Ughhh....frat-house beer." After a thorough taste though, not so much.

Whitbread Pale Ale smells of sweet malts, is amber/copper in color, and pours out a nice white head with a semi-creamy, semi-thin lacing. Head retention is very good. I don't know the number, but the IBU (International Bitterness Unit) is probably low to mid-range.

There is definitely a bready character that talks to the palate, kind of like a sourdough. The body is a nice medium. There seems to be more of a focus on malted barley than a focus on hops, but the ratio is agreeable. The hops that do come out really shine in the feel of the beer, while adding just enough bitterness to the taste.

In addition, as a Yuengling Traditional Lager drinker, I appreciate Whitbread Pale Ale. It shares some of Yuengling Traditional's characteristics in smell and body. Yuengling fans will not be disappointed with this one from the late Sam Whitbread.

Without a doubt, Whitbread Pale Ale is a solid "session" beer. Give this one a try.

Dec 25, 2009
Photo of cbros
cbros from Oregon

3.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this from a friend. Pours an amber color with a small one finger white lace that leaves quickly. Alot of carbonation after the pour. Nothing disernable in either the smell or taste, very bland in my opinion. I am glad that I got a chance to try this however it will be the only time.

Nov 04, 2009
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge from Virginia

3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this brew out of a 25cl bottle, what's up with that? I thought that was a Belgian/French thing, damn it!

Anyways, this brew pours pretty well: mounds of rocky light tan head, crystal clear copper colored body, and beautiful lacing.

There are no traits detectable in the smell, except very faint caramel and maybe leather.

This beer has the traditional buttery tea flavor of must English Pales, but has a hint of a bitter herbal smack in the end.

This feels prickly, oily, and dry to the palate.

Not much complexity to this brew, but makes for a strong sessionable beer.

Oct 10, 2009
Photo of NODAK
NODAK from Tennessee

4.27/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells very malty...sweet caramel malt, some molasses as well.

Taste is much of the same. I'm hit right away with thick maltiness...which to me, is definitely to be appreciated. Caramel and toffee malt is in abundance...when it's cold I get some toastiness here, but as it warms it seems more like molasses (dark fruit?) sweetness than anything. In fact, the sweetness gets to the point of nearly resembling a light version of some dubbles I've had.

Carbonation is restrained, which is fine.

Finish is sweet, but not too sweet (at least for me anyway, if a person is averse to high malt sweetness, this may be offputting). No real hop presence here to write about. I do sense a tad bit of alcohol in the finish sometimes, owing to its higher than average ABV for style, but it is minor and isn't always noticeable.

All in all, I love this beer. Malts, malts and more malts. Very drinkable.

Jul 03, 2009
Photo of Durge
Durge from Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A muddy chestnut brown color with a fair white head and decent lacing. The aroma is a brown sugar sour mash combo. The flavor brings more of the same. A mild Jack Daniels sweetness and subtle maple butterscotch theme. A nice midland body brew with decent carbonation and good drinkability. The English Pale is a little different than most American Pale Ales. Not the same hop bitterness but quite decent in this example.

Jun 24, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend from Washington

4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark orange color with a nice white head. Nose is deep malt nose little hops. Taste is fruity a bit, chewy and malty but lacks any real hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, coating, chewy and tasty. Very drinkable and easy drinking.

Jun 18, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81 from North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Grabbed a bottle of this after a thread was created about it yesterday. This is the Whitbread brewed in OH, so it is technically not really Whitbread. Alas...

Pours a deep partially-cloudy amber with a big billowy off-white head on top. Nice retention leaving some sticky lacing. Smells like banana bread, caramel, brown sugar, beans, and malty biscuits.

The mouthfeel is disappointing. There is a decent amount of visible carbonation in this beer, but it does not transfer to any sort of bubbly mouth. This is very flat and wet feeling. Flavor is of bubblegum, honey, and finishes with a sort of dry chalky sweetness that is different.

This is an interesting brew to say the least. Different smell, different taste. If they could fix the mouth on this, this may be more drinkable for me.

Jun 10, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1 from Colorado

2.92/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type- bottle poured into a pint glass

appearance- a bit hazy and dark, not much head retention or lacing, not much to look at

smell- earthy mix of hops, but mostly a bread aroma

taste/mouthfeel- very wheaty, bread flavor. medium body, not impressed

drinkability- not bad, but really worth mentioning

May 27, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable from Missouri

3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw-cap bottle, little ditty about the beer...English ale brewed in Ohio...I dunno...

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium amber beer with dark orange highlights and a dense ivory cap with decent retention

Smell: Very earthy/minerally mix of sweet malts and herbally hops...just a bit of fruit in the background too...quite raw, in a good way.

Taste: Malts are more prevalent here than I would have guessed from the hops...the flavors are simple and upfront with sweet caramel and bread notes, a touch of tart apple, and mild earthy hop bitterness in the background. If there's really anything wrong with it it's just that it's a bit cloyingly sweet...as the pint goes down, there's kind of an odd, tart/bitter apple flavor going on...a bit off-putting, actually

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: Not a home run by any means (a bit drier and it would have been much better). This would be a pretty solid English-style Pale, with an interesting character, if not for the somewhat odd tart fruit on the finish. Definitely more character than Bass though.

May 07, 2009
Photo of LyonsHead
LyonsHead from Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a lot darker brown than one would expect from the style

S: toffee and caramel nose with a slight roasted quality

T: malty sweetness that brings notes of toffee and caramel, very little bitterness. Not too complex

M: medium-light body

D: This to me is just an average beer, perhaps I've grown accustomed to the hopped american styles as opposed to the english styles. Either way, its not bad, I don't think its great!

May 01, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan from New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whitbread- Pale Ale

A- Deep toffee brown with a decent foamy head.
S- Sweet caramel and toffee malt with brewed tea leaves and buttery shortbread.
T- Sweet thick buttery shortbread sponge cake malt with unsweetened tea and slight touch orange and lemon citrus.
M- Thick and buttery sweet with a dry body and finish.

Overall- Full flavored and tasty. Tasted very fresh. A good session Ale.

Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Rayek
Rayek from Colorado

3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Quite dark for this style. The beer is orange tinged amber with nice clarity and mild carbonation. Caramel tinted head has nice retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: On the sweet side. Caramel and toffee aromas dominate. Mild floral and earthy aromas do their best to compensate for the sweetness.

T: Malts carry the bulk of the flavor with caramel and bittersweet toffee. The black tea and lemon bitterness is just high enough to create a modicum of balance. Finishes with a lingering toffee flavor.

M: Medium-light body is slightly dry. Carbonation level feels about right.

D: Yet another beer I'm torn over. It's quite drinkable as is. The problem is that it doesn't fit the style well at all. I guess I best split the difference with the scoring on this one.

Apr 23, 2009
Photo of katan
katan from Colorado

2.87/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a very brown color - reminds me of a brown ale. Head formation is fairly strong, appearing to be off-white to brown in color. Well retained. Beer must be highly filtered as you can see right through it.

S - A very scentless beer. If there is anything at all, and I stress this is a guess, I would say there is something of a yeasty nature here.

T - Starts off with a specialty malt flavor that is almost as roasted as I would find in a porter. Mid-stream finds a hair amount of bitterness, but little hop flavors. The aftertaste includes a fairly sour and buttery oxidation flavor. I imagine this one is a bit old. Apparently EPAs can have this flavor however.

M - Moderate to thin body. Carbonation doesn't support it, and the beer itself seems to lack body. No film or clinging is left behind on the tongue.

D - Easily drinkable. ABV right in line, and the flavors are muted. Carbonation on the low side limits stomach filling.

Apr 04, 2009
Photo of NiceGuyMike
NiceGuyMike from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Light copper color; off-white head disperses quick but leaves some lace
s: malts, taffy
t: Good initial flavors of malts, taffy, with some bitterness in the end. Flavors fade quick
m: Light body, with some nice effervesance. Seems like it should be more full bodied, the experence breaks down too quick.
d: Goes down easy. Somewhat refreshing, not bad. Flavor fades too quick and your left with that watery mouth feel.


Apr 02, 2009
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse from Florida

3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears an orange-copper color with a thick two one and a half inch off-white head that forms a cinder cone eventually. Some very nice lacing left down the glass.

Aroma is good, but only slightly better than average. Lots of fruitiness reminiscent of red apples, some honey-like sweetness, and caramel.

Taste is sweet up front with caramel flavors with the fruity character entering in the middle and persisting until some hops of the floral and slightly herbal variety pop in to join. There's a honeycomb undercurrent under the hops that blends well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, it has a nice creamy consistency to it.

The first sip tasted quite good but it subsequently became more boring. Not a bad beer by all means, I could probably drink this stuff all night if given the opportunity, I'm a sucker for English ales, but there are definitely better Bitters out there.

Mar 30, 2009
Photo of OStrungT
OStrungT from California

3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden orange color, with a thick fluffy light tan head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a thick curtain of lace.

This beer has a citrusy hop aroma. I can detect some sweet malty aroma as well. Some bready aroma mixes in also.

This beer tastes like it smells. It has a more fruity flavor than the aroma. It tastes citrusy with some yeasty flavor as well.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a citrusy aftertaste. The carbonation is good.

Thos beer would probably make a decent session beer. It is low in alcohol, and it tastes non aggressive.

Overall: This beer was ok. Nothing I would seak out, but it wasnt bad either. Just boring, even for a pale.

Mar 14, 2009
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Market Cross Pub in carlisle

A- As i open the bottle the head flushes to the top and i quickly have to put my mouth over it to stop it. Even as i pour the head is frothy and luscious. A color of hazy amber and coppertones.

S- yeast and breaded malts. Toffee and brown sugar are present as well in the nose.

T- dark fruit and brown sugar dominate the palate. I couldnt smell the dark fruits but i sure could taste them. Toffee and caramel malts.

M- feels like sucking on hard candy. Quite different and somewhat chewy.

D- not bad session beer to enjoy but it is filling. A nice beer to have with a game.

Mar 08, 2009
Photo of soupermirl
soupermirl from Mississippi

3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty good frothy head, continuous ringer left behind with froth around the glass. Amber color, darker than I thought it would be for a Pale. Sweet, malty, caramel with a bit of the hops coming through at the front, not much left in the after. Scent of sweet malt. Mouthfeel was not impressive but not bad at all. Very easy to drink.

Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
Clydesdale from District of Columbia

3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A translucent reddish-orange. A medium-sized, creamy off-white head with good retention and very nice lacing.

S: Sweet, caramel and toffee malts up front. Brown sugar and some dark fruit, plums mostly. A bit of alcohol and some herbal hop aromas.

T: Caramel malt sweetness, with toffee notes. Again, some brown sugar and fruity flavors, plus some alcohol. Hops are herbal and mineral, but rather subdued for the style.

M: Some sticky sweetness up front. Medium to slightly full in body. Carbonation is rather light. A touch of dryness into the finish, but rather sweet overall.

D: This drinks pretty well, but it's quite atypical for a pale ale. Quite malty and sweet. Interesting, but it just seems a little unfocused.

Feb 15, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2 from Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper with a head that was gone in an instant.

Some sweet raisin notes, sweet caramel maltiness, but the thing that hit me the most was bubblegum. There, I said it. Friggin Bazooka.

Some sweet malt, a little bitterness, and some caramel notes. Flavor is mild at best.

Medium body, semi-sweet finish that lingered a bit. I gave higher points for drinkability as I could knock a bunch back, but only because it lacks punch and tons of deep flavor -- making it a bit easier drinking considering the style. Not a favorite, but not the worst I've had.

Jan 31, 2009
Whitbread Pale Ale from Whitbread PLC
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 293 ratings