Whitbread Pale Ale | Whitbread PLC

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Whitbread Pale AleWhitbread Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Whitbread PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 10-25-2001

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Ratings: 290 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of mynie
1.39/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Interbrew from Cincy.

Pours a pretty dark amber with a fantastic head. Looks like a good APA.

Smells like strong fruits and water. Plums and apricots. Kind of earthy, too. Complex but not very nice.

Big malt upfront with tons of sour molasses, fading into a painful alcohol zip. It's like a spoiled APA followed up by a bad Belgian Dubbel.

You ever touch an electric fence or been shocked by something? It's not the pain of electric heat--it's what it does to your pulse. That's what this beer is like. It's all very strange and uncomfortable but not in any traditional ways. It's a whole new kind of bad--the first beer that I've dumped out in a long, long time.

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Photo of Scooter77
1.59/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

No sir, I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it at all. Poured a dark golden color topped off by a very thin white head that dissipated very quickly leaving no lace. The aroma had some hops intermixed with a hint of skunkiness. The taste was just as bad as the aroma, it had some hop bitterness, but mostly funky sweat socks. There was a bit of an astringent almost soapy aftertaste, I guess that was there to try to cleanse the taste buds of the sour taste of the beer. I will not drink this beer ever again and I do not recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of mrfrancis
1.78/5  rDev -46.7%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
1.78/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

After reading two pages of BA reviews of this beer, I can't help wondering if US BAs are drinking a different/better version of this beer? Firstly, the bottle I tasted here in London is 3.4%abv. way below the reported 5.7%abv. on this website. Secondly, my bottle tastes like water...
A: a clear amber hue, with a quickly formed and fast dissolving beer head almost like that of a glass of cola or sprite... very fizzy body, quite unnatural looking for a bottled British beer.
S: light pale malts and hayish hops with some stinky smell, full-stop. The nose is very mild, and overly simple to be enjoyable.
T&M: hitting the palate is the lightest maltiness imaginable for any pale ale which cares to live up to the style. Minimal hop entry, very low bitterness... The mouthfeel is bloody sharply fizzy, like added with artificial carbonation. Thin-bodied and watery... can't imagine this could be once a popular beer in this country if it was indeed based on the same recipe as the one I'm drinking now?!
D: I hate to "slam" a beer but this one is outrageously bland. Maybe my anger during tasting has prevented me from discerning more subtle flavours, but I still think it's not worth the money nor the expectation of a long-established beer like this. Definitely the worst-ever bottled British beer I've tasted, provided it was not wrongly-handled at certain points during the whole brewing and packaging process.

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Photo of jubnat
1.98/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours clear, clean amber red. Off white, good sized head, leaves quickly, but leaves nice lacing.
Not what I'd expect from a pale ale. Very chewy in the mouth. No hop flavor whatsoever. Tastes alot like malt extract at first. And like wheat bread. But also tastes almost like gelatin, very strongly. Very offputting. And sticks in my mouth. I'm definitely not enjoying this one. I think I'll stop 3/4 of the way down.

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Photo of clickpush
1.99/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. A clear red brown body capped by half inch of tan head that slowly leads to spider-webbed glass and spots of lacing. No bubble streams in the brew.

Nose: Very strong licorice aroma, sourdough bread and touches of rye. Somewhat dry w/ the presence of hops. Unpleasant vegetable, mostly carrot smell.

Mouth: Tart and oily, warm, more licorice flavor with some Indian spices. Bad after taste of bramble and vomit, touches of caramel. Good mouthfeel at cellar temp w/ strong carbonation.

Definite drain pour. Ugh.

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

Amber pour with little offwhite head. Light smell or sourness, caramel, and a metallicness to it as well. Same tastes, sour, caramel and metal, but I didn't get much in the way of hops as the description states. Boring, bland, and possibly a bit past its prime for this particular bottle. World Market doesn't seem to be the best place to get fresh beer... Thanks to RateBeer.com however for the MIDI version of the song "Another One Bites The Dust" in celebration of my 200th rating on my last beer.

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Photo of Naes
2.18/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

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Photo of balconybrew
2.21/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a nonic.
Poured a light amber, almost yellow with a huge white head that fell and left a thick lacing. Aroma of sourdough bread and a hint of rye, but very light overall. Somewhat watery and highly carbonated. Left an odd aftertaste. I wouldn't have another.

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Photo of Hellpop65
2.25/5  rDev -32.6%

Photo of Chaz
2.38/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear golden amber.Full, billowy pale tan head of moderate duration which leaves a fair amount of lace as it drops. A bit of chill haze. Musty, sour, bready malts on the nose, like pale malts blended with sourdough bread starter. Smell seems a bit off, but then again, the last time I had this on a regular basis is 1992 and we all know what happened meanwhile don't we? Wow, this is MUCH sweeter than I remember it, and the sweetness is complete with a fuller -albeit duller- mouthfeel. What happened to the pale, light, crisp ale I remember? I know I'm getting older but I remember a much different brew. Tangy and bittersweet as I recall, but loaded with the more of that buttery, butterscotch off-flavor that I picked up in the Stone Mil yesterday. Carobonation is mild to medium,and body is -again- fuller than I recall from many years past, being medium-full / moderate here. Chewy, but not necessarily in a good way. Fruity and vegetal, with notes of anise, cherry, ginger/gingerbread, and marshmallow . . . If this wasn't already an alcohol delivery vehicle I'd call it a good candidate for a drain pour - maybe it's just me, but this just ain't cutting it. There's a creamy-lactic quality here which makes me wonder if there's not some run-off from the Mackeson's used in the making of this? I'll re-try this some time after scoring a fresher bottle, but . . . I'm surprised that a brew (and my palate, too) has changed so much in the past 14 years.

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Photo of bark
2.39/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brewed by InBew in Belgium.

The foam is first gigantic; it sinks down very slowly to a firm pale beige head. The clear liquid is dark amber with a tint of red.

The smell is somewhat roasted with lots of yeast, caramel and some mild sourness and hints of alcohol.

The taste is a bit chemical and unbalanced, sour with some spicy notes. Notes of wood and brown sugar are also present. The aftertaste is dry and bitter with some odd notes of roasted vegetables.

The carbonation is powerful and lager-like. The liquid is mid-creamy.

This is not a English pale ale but a Belgian pale ale in all but name. And a pretty average one too.

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Photo of malcontent
2.42/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Color is a nice amber hue although it's not really the tint I expect from a EPA. Head bubbles up and then vanishes within seconds. Good ring of lacing makes for an above average looking beer.

Hopscent is sweet/floral with a good bit of sugary malt aroma as well.

Ugh! The initial mild hop flavor is completely wiped out by an out-of-control, unbalanced musty malt taste. Sawdust, stale bread and a rotten fruit aftertaste all cross the palate. So much for the good will built up by the appearance and smell.

The finish is so astringent and gummy that it almost completely takes away from any positives achieved by the consistency and carbonation of the drink. I really dislike this beer and am thankful Trader Joe's has a 100% satisfaction policy on their products because this is going back.

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Photo of moocey
2.46/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale Ale, Hmm... Should be hoppy and tasty.

WTF, mate? There are definately hops here, but they're overpowered by a molassesey sweetness. This stuff is brewed in Cincinatti. The last porter I had was hoppier than this. I think I'll go drink some cough syrup now.

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Photo of stirgy
2.47/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out a clear amber orange color. The head was huge and creamy which gave off some strange aromas. Something like peanuts and sour yeast. The taste didn't fare that much better. The body was weak and the hops didn't seem to ever kick in. A bland and ordinary beer that didn't impress me.

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Photo of brandoman63
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of dalepryor
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of smi
2.5/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of Dmann
2.56/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

About the only this beer had going for it was it's look. The color was nice and dark armberish and it poured with a nice white head that stuck to my glass nicely. Other than that, the beer reeked of too much sweetness, no balance, and a really thick mouthfeel that made it hard to finnish the bottle. Not recommended at all.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.56/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: Picked up as a single in Trader Joes for a laugh.12 ounce brown glass bottle with a rather attractive pleasing looking label that has, for a Limey at least, a familiar look to it. *Warning* Sentimental inquisitive “wonder what that is like” purchase!

Appearance: Doesn’t look too bad as it poured into my UK Pint Sleeve Glass. Decent amber-brown body with an ‘off-white’ dirty head that leaves some nice lacing. The light tan colored head is persistent and adds to, on reflection, the best part of this “brew”.

Nose: UUrgh. Smoky ash-trays and sweaty socks. Sticky sweet malts and a cloying pervasive annoying wet dog smell. Doesn’t exactly invite me to drink this.

Taste: Oh my word, this is simply awful, sweet cloying malt-extract homebrew tastes mixed into a thin bodied sticky-toffee pudding finish that is dry. The label states that this is brewed in the US, Ohio nonetheless. Is there a Brewery in Ohio? Sad!!

Mouthfeel: Thin and insipid, by this point I am finding it hard to concentrate further on this.

Drinkability: It doesn’t have any, but it has “Sinkability”, its ability to be poured down the nearest Sink drain is quite amazing.

Overall: I bought this for purely sentimental reasons. It’s official, I am a silly old fucker!

As a card-carrying member of CAMRA since the age of 18, I can only cringe at this one. At one time Whitbread were to be revered, Whitbread were to Brewing what De Beers were to Diamonds. Then during their “Whitbread Umbrella” days of take-overs, closures and consolidations from the 1970’s onwards they were voracious decimators of the UK brewing heritage and assisted in its disappearance. Great UK names all went by the wayside. But what goes around comes around – and eventually Whitbread went the same way. Can’t say I shed a tear. Affectionately known in the late 80’s and early 90’s as “Shit-bread”, this brew lives up to, and surpasses, that moniker. Oh how the mighty fall.

This is a totally bog-standard contract brewed crap offering that carries a name that has absolutely nothing to do with brewing anymore. Still, it’ll continue to fool the dumb ass Americans who like “that old history an’all” as well as sentimental old Limeys like me I guess!

Whitbread Est. 1749 says the label. My Arse!!!! Samuel would turn in his grave. More like, Opened 7-30-04, tasted and dumped minutes later.

Don’t bother!!!

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Photo of JamesS
2.56/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pourd a very nice dark auburn/copper color, with great head and decent lacing. Has a very low scent, which seemed much too malty for a pale ale (in my opinion). Low taste, hardly anything there, not really a hoppiness, maltiness, or anything, beyond a very weak, almost water flavor. Went down fine, but not great. I doubt I'll get any more.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.56/5  rDev -23.4%
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 Store™ and you're considering picking this up, don't do it! Get something else instead.

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Photo of kinger
2.58/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After reading the label and looking here I confirmed my initial suspician that this "English Pale Ale" had not been brewed in the mother country. What tipped me off initially was the fancy screw off cap which screamed DOMESTIC! Considering the value of this beer I was not upset that it's contract brewed here in the states but after sampling I got upset that apparantly this beer is rushed through production, this is indicitive of the extremely noticeable diacetyl aroma and flavor. Now the "buttery" affect from the diacetyl isn't completely offsetting to me, in fact I sort of enjoyed this taste in the brews I've sampled from Shipyard Brewing. It's very prominant and almost overpowering in this beer though. This one looks decent in the pint glass, nice copper color, small fizzy white head with decent lacing. Creamy and nicely satisfying mouthfeel. Lightly hopped even for an English Pale Ale, perhaps more hops would help offset the boring buttery flavor. One sixer and done for me.

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Photo of BrewAskew
2.64/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This sample was brewed in Cinncinnati, OH. It looked great, had a frothy, clingy head but a little too gassy for the style. The flavor reminded me of a rough, overattenuated homebrew I made--my first all grain mash brew. For a home brewed ale this would be acceptable. For a commercal product, it needs work (and the elite homebrewers would work on it if it was theirs). Estery fruity flavor, lacking in mouthfeel. Rough, dry finish. Decently drinkable, but I'd rather drink a Sam Adams brew.

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Photo of jp32
2.66/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a highly transparent bronze/copper color with a creamy light tan colored head.

The smell is a little sweet, but faint. I notice apples, some kind of sugar substitute, and maybe spices similar to nutmeg.

The taste is a little boring. A decent malt background, but not a whole lot going on. Not much to get excited about. The aftertaste has that cinnamon-roll flavor. I usually wouldnt mind that taste, but I just never expect it in a beer. Kind of strange.

The mouthfeel has a lot of carbonation, which I feel tends to hide the thinness of this beer.

Its drinkable, but its not desired. This is not horrible, but its a one-and-done for me.

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Whitbread Pale Ale from Whitbread PLC
3.34 out of 5 based on 290 ratings.
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