Whitbread Pale Ale
Whitbread PLC

Whitbread Pale AleWhitbread Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - English
Ranked #399
Ranked #48,616
3.37 | pDev: 15.43%
Whitbread PLC
England, United Kingdom
Whitbread Pale AleWhitbread Pale Ale
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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 293 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by beerphilosopher:
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beerphilosopher from Illinois

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

Poured into a standard pint from a 12oz'er ... typical amber color with a thick, off-white head that retained well. Intricate lacing in the pint. Nose is malty and not a lot else ... smells home brew-esque. Bready and ever so slightly sweet smell. Taste is definitely of malt and on the sweeter side. Where are the hops? No hop balance, especially for a pale ale style beer. Mouthfeel is smooth and light/medium. Finishes sweet. More like a nut brown ale or something. This beer is drinkable, but doesn't impress in any particular way. It's okay, but not outstanding. Maybe worth a try, but don't expect anything too exciting from this one, especially if you expect to encounter a beer with decent hop character.

Mar 16, 2006
More User Reviews:
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scruffwhor from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A quickly leaving two finger, no lace. Very amber and copper colored beer.

Smell- Considering I've had my fair share of pale ales, this smelled nothing like what I've had in the past or expected. Bananas with some faint grain.

Taste- Until I smelled this beer, I thought it was gonna taste similiar to other pale ales I've had. But what5 i got was a lot of bananas, banana bread, and some light hops.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly sweet. I must say I was bowled over the whole time I was drinking this beer. I've never had any pale ale that tastes even close to this.

Drinkability- Not to say the beer didn't taste good, but any kind of fruity beer doesn't register as something I can drink copious quantities of.

Dec 20, 2005
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riversider76 from New York

3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber. Thin tan head. Not much retention,but good lacing. Smell is pleasent, but weak. Mostly malt. Body is on the light side with some carbonation. Taste is light. Malty up front,with a bit of a fruity hops in the finish. Nothing offensive here, so give it a shot.

Oct 12, 2006
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beeroclock from Florida

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

This is a light, carbonated brew. It has some fruity light hop scents. Taste is nice, I pick up a lot of apple in it, almost like an apple juice, theres some sweet apple taste to it, not like a cider though and not offensive or too sweet. This is a pretty decent ale, I have a 6 pack, but i'd probably purchase another in the future some time.

Nov 13, 2006
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.19/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brewed in cincinati? WTFO?? Oh well too kate to take it back, let's review!

Pours amber with an 1" offwhite head. Head drops to a healthy film rapidly. Minimal lacing and head retention

Smell: Big time fruitiness, vanilla, oakiness, and alcohol

Taste: Slight hop bitterness on the tounge followed by malt and fruitiness. Sweetness asserts itself as it warms. Alcohol and dryness along with a slight astringency in the finish. Detracts from what was a good experience up to this point

MF: A little thin and under carbonated

About average drinkability, could've been a contender. Usually a beer of this ABV hides these kind of faults. make up your own mind, maybe this kicks ass in the heartland??

Feb 15, 2006
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matjack85 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Feb 01, 2013
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becktone from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: I'm quite surprised at the color of this beer. It is a lot darker than I expected. Color is light brown with yellow-orange highlights. The beer is fairly clear, there is a bit of cloudiness in there. Head is egg white and has decent retention. Lacing is good.

Nose: Great malt aroma coming from this beer. I get toasty, bread, light nutty, and warm malt aromas. Hops are pretty low key, pretty much hidden behind the malt aromas. Great representation of this style.

Tongue: Sweet malt flavors right up front. All elements present in the nose of the brew are here, toasty, bread-like, nutty, and warm. I also pick up some diacetyl in the finish of this beer. Hops are there in just the right amount to balance out the brew. There isn't much hop flavor, but I'd have to say the small amount of flavor in this brew that I can't put my finger on is from some type of noble hop.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This beer has a light body and is appropriately carbonated, nothing gets in the way of this brew's flavor profile. The finish is slick and leaves a slight warmth with the diacetyl that I am picking up. After a few seconds the finish becomes much drier leaving the tongue looking for something to rehydrate it. This is a beer I'd not be opposed to buying again, however, I don't see anything that is all that great about it. It didn't WOW me. I find it to be a classic example of the style and an overall good beer, but nothing to write home about.

Dec 02, 2007
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jettjon from Florida

3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Highs: An enjoyable balanced pale ale
Lows: Low hops presence

Pours reddish-brown clear with few bubbles. 2-finger head of tan bubbles lasts for a moderate time then fades down to a thin sheet with some decent lacing. Nose is appley-sweet and malty, pretty typically ale-like. There’s maybe a slight hint of yeast as well. Taste is initially lightly bitter fading into sweet malt that’s pretty well balanced—it doesn’t go overboard into sweetness. There’s a fruity element as well, maybe pears. I’m not getting much of a hops presence on the nose or in the flavor. Full, watery mouth with some carbonation. Finishes on a malty, almost yeasty light bitter note. Drinkability is better than average; it’s a tasty and mellow, easily drinkable ale.

Overall: Not a bad pale ale. Worth a try.

May 17, 2006
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Phatz from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very easy to drink. I almost forgot to review it I got to drinking and the beer is almost gone

Appearance: Pours clear copper with a large light tan head and very little lacing but the cap has decent retention.

Smell: Honey bread, light pale malt and a wisp of butterscotch.

Taste: Bready malty with some fruits and honey. Sweet. The fruits really lay on the tip of the tongue and yet it finishes semi dry. Very easy!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. Through the center is a grain character and bready malty backbone that keeps this medium body beer smooth across the tongue.

Drinkability: It is a straightforward flavor but remarkably easy drinking.

Hope this is helpful.

May 16, 2007
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DogFood11 from California

2.67/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Its a piece of work to look at. Large silky smooth head holds up very well and literally coats the glass all the way down. Nice mix between amber and copper.

Initially it comes across rather fruity. Kind of a candied type of fruitiness. As the beer warmed up slightly it lays down a bit and allows a soft toasted grain bill that has a bit of a 7 grain toast feel to it.

Notes: Pretty smooth but this beer just doesn't jive right. The mix is not that appealing. Forgettable other than the appearance.

Aug 29, 2006
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Naes from New York

2.18/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This pours very dark amber, almost brown. The head is small and does not lace very well.
The aroma is a bit odd for a pale ale; very fruity and malty.
The flavor starts out watery and then becomes candy sweet with a moderately bitter finish.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and carbonated well, but the odd sweetness ruins this one for me.

Feb 24, 2006
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JudgeRoughneck from Louisiana

3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is the color of rich, strong, ice tea with a nice thick and creamy head that leaves good lacing. It isn't too pale for a pale ale. Aromas are faint but of sweet malt and musty grain. The flavor is mostly dominated by this same malted grain sweetness, tempered by some wet cardboard and bready tastes. The hops definately play second fiddle here, but are fresh and fruity tasting, if very subdued. The mouthfeel is lovely, creamy and mid-bodied. As a "pale ale" this is definately an oddball in my book, but very good and drinkable none the less.

Mar 21, 2006
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SkeeterHawk from Texas

3.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a thick creamy inch plus of head at first pour. There are a whole lot of bubbles rising to keep the head going for quite some time. There is a whole lot of lacing left after you drink it.

Aroma: Lots of British hops in the nose even through the foam. There are also a whole bunch of nutty aromatics here. There is also another strong aroma here that I am guessing is Diacetyl. I am normally not too sensitive to it, but there is something buttery going on here.

Taste: Oh yea, that's Diacetyl! I don't normally notice it, but it is in here buddy! The beer is really floral with the hops, and the buttery flavors kinda meld. There is some pretty rich caramel and nutty flavors in here also. You even get a bit of alcoholic burn in there somewhere. I guess what I am describing is pretty complex.

Opinion: Well, here I sit at the point of indecision that we all get ourselves into. I don't really care for British ales, but I keep trying them to make sure. I suppose according to style, this beer probably fits the mold pretty well. I don't care for the blend of flavors, myself.

Aug 26, 2005
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alexskovan from New York

3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy amber with a creamy off-white head. Pleasing aroma of malt and grain, with bittering hops in the background. Taste is straighforward and pleasing if -- like me -- you're a fan of traditional British ale. Not overly complex, and the finish is a little flat, but all in all a good English Pale Ale.

Mar 25, 2007
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brandoman63 from Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

Jan 30, 2013
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kkipple from South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was munching on some tuna melts tonight and remembered I had a Whitbread Pale in my fridge. It didn’t stay there long.

This review is short because the beer is simple and good. Whitbread Pale Ale is one of a few classic “pub” ales that lends to drinking a half-dozen in short order.

This is a clear, rust-orange with a fast-fading tan head. No lacing on my glass, but I drank the beer so quickly I wasn’t really looking for it either…

Smell is minimal, a cool malt sweetness, a slight bitterness and some biscuit.

Taste is mild malt, a watery, quenching mineral bitterness that’s balanced to drinking perfection. Hops add a pleasing, but mild, edge to the flavor. It's quite mellow. The mouthfeel is lowly carbonated and quite soft, all the better for gulping! I was halfway through this beer before I even had a line written in my notes. Frightening.

I can’t emphasize how absurdly drinkable this beer is. The taste won’t admit to much contemplation, but (much like Guinness Draught) this is the ideal beer to order rounds of at your favorite bar. Would I have another? Yes please! A fine basic beer for when you don’t need something extreme or sophisticated.

Edit: After reading a few pages of reviews, I'm puzzled by the mixed reception this beer has gotten (to put it kindly!). Perhaps there are quality control issues?

Mar 27, 2007
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IntriqKen from California

2.91/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured vigoursly into a tulip glass to get a half finger head which quickly disapated to a pleasant ribbon that followed the drink down the glass.
Very little aroma for me...perhaps too cold?
Color is merely typical brown ale.
Nice carbonation biting the tongue for a crisp feel, however a little watery for this type.
Taste was a mixture of carmel, malt, banana (esthers?) or bubble gum to me. Not unpleasant (and I don't like banana)...more unusual.
Definate bread taste and yeasty, bread aftertaste.
A little fruity but not sweet.
Almost a bitter.
I don't know if I'll try this again (the bottle I bought may have been old and again, served below optimum temperature).
Neither bad nor good....'interesting' describes it best for me.

Oct 16, 2005
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murrayswine from Arizona

3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up in a mix-six pack to try a few new pale ales. Opening the bottle gave the aroma of rye toast and young hops. It's color in my HB stick glass was a little watery even for a pale ale.

The taste is exactly like the aroma; slightly hoppy with a dry toast body. I wont go out of my way to buy this again but I wouldn't turn down a free one either.

Aug 03, 2005
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beeragent from Texas

3.92/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep orange, with a good 1 inch head, that left nice lacing along the glass. The aroma is slightly citrus, but mostly caramel. The taste is nothing like a pale ale. The flavor is heavily caramel, not at all like a pale ale should be. This reminds me alot of Sam Adams Boston Ale. Not whats expected from a pale ale, but nonetheless, a very enjoyable beer. A very sessionable beer.

Dec 18, 2006
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Maudite from Texas

3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Gold/Red, perfectly clear, white head with hazelnut speckling, about 3 fingers, thick and frothy, shortly falls to 1 finger with great lacing, very sticky.

S- Not a big nose on this beer...Pretty clean, small amount of malt, decent hop aroma, a tad earthy. Hops are a bit bitter/sweet and earthy.

T- Clean and smooth. no frills. Nice pale malts balanced clean and well by floral/earthy hops. Tastes exactly like a pale ale should.

M- One of its better attributes, this beer is nice and big in the mouth. A slight acidic sharpness, hop bite, sweet and sticky malt. Goes down smooth and refreshing with a clean, astringent after taste, and subtle lingering hop feel.

D- Have it all the time. It's good. A fine example of an English Pale Ale, it's clean and refreshing, goes well on its own, in warm or cold weather, as a social beer, and with food. Pretty versatile and always refreshingly tasty. Just don't drink it expecting to be blown away, just relax and enjoy.

Mar 17, 2008
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albern from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't realize this beer was brewed in Cincinnati until I read the review by one of the Bros. I'm not sure it entirely matters, but I haven't had the original brewed in London. The beer pours a nice deep amber color with a very thick and creamy head with tons of lacing and retention. The beer clings to the sides of the glass. The nose on the beer is sweet malts and a good deal of fruitiness, perhaps some apple and pear, and a good deal of sweet caramel and toffee. The aroma is quite good.

The taste is a tad bit less than what the aroma reveals. It is a medium bodied beer, a bit chewy, with loads of sweet caramel malts. There is definitely a full palate of fruity maltiness, a very bready backbone to the beer, balanced out pretty nicely by traditional Noble hops. There is a bit of a butterscotch, diacetyl characteristic that diminishes the taste to a degree. This beer seems to have a higher ABV than its 5.7% given it slightly thick and slightly cloyingly sweet syrupy mouthfeel and texture. There is perhaps a raisiny note or two towards the finish. The beer is defined by its sweet caramel malts, its malty fruitiness, the Noble hops, and the diacetyl lurking throughout. This is a nice pale ale, a bit stonger than one might expect, but full of character and worth seeking out.

Dec 20, 2008
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

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

T: The taste is sweet, malty and bready with flavors of caramel and honey. There's a mild pale hops presence that provides a decent balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for this style, but overall I consider it just an ordinary beer.

Feb 23, 2008
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1fastz28 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a reddish brown color with a minimal head, that disolves almost immediately. has a great malty smell to it, the malt smell overpowers everything, almost like a molasses or mild caramel scent, its great. as i taste it, its pretty darn good, unlike most pale ales there is no taste of hops, its more of a brown ale than anything, but whitbread has been making it for over 260 years so i think they know more than me. pretty good beer, i love me some newcastle and this is somewhat similar. has a nice smooth taste to it, very easy to drink, i'm a fan.

Aug 22, 2007
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sevineyes from Arkansas

3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a blue label.

A: Dark amber with some ruddy hues. Poured with a decent head that dropped but held on. Leaves some lacing and sheeting.

S: Malty and sweet. Some marichino (sp?) cherries, dates, definite bananna presence. Subtle toastiness behind it all.

T: Tastes of black cherries and skins. Plums, bananna bread and toast. Pick up some slight traces of alcohol. Balanced bitterness. Leaves a touch of alcohol in the aftertaste.

M: Nice and coating with a big astringency that's not quite to the puckering level, but lets your tongue know that it's there.

D: Highly drinkable.

Overall: Fruity but balanced. A nice English Pale. I especially like the mouthfeel.

Mar 16, 2006
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

3/5  rDev -11%

Nov 27, 2011
Whitbread Pale Ale from Whitbread PLC
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 293 ratings