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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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 289
Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
2.89/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet body with a light beige head that leaves splashes of lace

Smell: Malty aroma with a real artificial fruit smell (cherries and marzipan); not very enjoyable

Taste: Starts with a malty flavor that highlights the artificial flavors of almond extract, banana extract and cherry; the hops make a marginal appearance; earthy/nutty/milk chocolate finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not something I enjoyed very much; way too sweet and unbalanced

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Photo of zeff80
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured out an amber hue with a minimal head. The rich amber color doesn't look like a typical pale ale. It smelled very hoppy and of a sweet, fruit flavor. Upon tasting it, there seemed to be a cherry-like flavor. The hop flavor was subtle compared to the aroma. It was crisp and smooth. I'd call it very drinkable.

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Photo of nickfl
3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Two finger white head that settles quickly and leaves decent lace. Copper body with nice clarity.

S - Malty with some fruitiness form the yeast and a slight hop aroma. A bit of alcohol in the background.

T - Thin malt flavor up front. Some fruitiness and moderate hop flavor. Harsh bitterness comes in during the finish.

M - Medium body and moderately high carbonation.

D - Reasonably drinkable, but it is a bit overcarbonated and the bitterness is harsh and unpleasant.

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Photo of oberon
2.94/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice deep copper color with a light but creamy head,the aroma was really sweet (almost to sweet) with some cider notes.The taste has some decent fruitiness but is lacking a nice balance for a pale ale.Average at best beer probably wont go outta my way to buy again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I first tried this I was confused by it. It wasn't the beer I'd enjoyed so many years ago. And then I found out it's now contract brewed in Cincinnatti, OH. That said...
Clear. Russett in color with a reddish cast. The head is light tan, very creamy, holds quite well, and leaves a pretty solid lace down the glass. The aroma is quite bold with fruitiness, some caramel-malt, and rich earthy-mineral hops. The body is medium with a fine carbonation that gives a very nice creaminess in the mouth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a light fruitiness above a rich & smooth medium-crystal maltiness and earthy hop flavor. There's a bit of oxidation as well. A balanced bitterness plays a supporting role to the maltiness. The finish is somewhat dry, but not really bitter, with a lingering maltiness. This "contract" brew lacks the character of the true Whitbread version, especially the fruitiness of their dual-strain yeast; and seems to have a bit of a flabby maltiness that's not present in the authentic version.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish copper. This pale ale isn't so pale. In fact, it looks like a red ale. The cap is light toffee in color, is rocky and displays a good deal of pesistence. It's also sticky and leaves a good bit of lace in shredded sheets, mostly on the bottom portion of the glass.

Strangely enough, the nose is more malty than hoppy. English pales ales aren't as hoppy as their American counterparts, but this is taking it a little too far. Brown sugar notes appear as the beer approaches room temperature.

Whitbread's flavor isn't very impressive. Specifics include caramel malt, more alcohol than should be present in a 5.7% beer and faint metallic notes. There's still a serious shortage of hops, which is inexcusable in a beer of this style, no matter what side of the Atlantic it hails from. The mouthfeel is light-medium at best.

Although Whitbread Pale Ale is drinkable, it's a letdown in more ways than one. It doesn't seem like an English pale ale at all. More importantly, it isn't very good beer regardless of style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.19/5  rDev -4.5%
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??

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Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a standard pint.
A - Clear copper w/ light tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lace.

S - Malty almond-like aromas w/ light floral hops and sweet caramel w/ subtle spice scents.

M - Moderately smooth w/ refreshing carbonation. Light bitterness and clean finish on the light end of medium bodied.

T - Nice woody hops and nutty sweet malt with a tinge of grainy bready qualities. Fruity ale essence is accented by the hops and it finishes nicely w/ a fully balanced sweetness of malt and bitter quality.

D -Highly quaffable, fruity and mild. Very thirst quenching and a great example of the English bitter style.

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Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color. Decent head with a small amount of spotty lace.

This is surprisingly sweet. Strong malt sugar in the nose with nearly no hop aroma.

The taste is far more dry than the smell suggests. Still, this is virtually a no hop brew. Good body with a slightly elevated carbonation level.

With a lot of the English elements, this is an interesting beer. I wish it had a stronger hop presence.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in Cincy. The color is reddish amber, head is average in size with moderate retention. Aroma is a combination of maltiness, fruitiness and some butteriness. The taste is malty with noticible fruity and buttery elements. Tasty enough, but nothing spectacular. This is easy enough to get down and nicely priced. However, nothing here stands out to make this beer a great one.

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

Appearance: Caramel amber hue with a creamy textured off white head lacing is thin but evenly disparsed. Aroma: Toasted caramel malts in nature very English malt presence solid throughout can't complain. Taste: English malt sweetness excellent with a mild bitterness and a biscuit malt finish. Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy texture easy going nice overall tone. Drinkability: Needs some more hop action nice English style pale but not enough hops going down decent overall.

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Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in Cincinatti, OH.

Pours hazy caramel-colored with a thin head that barely hangs on as an isloated patch.

The smell is like the look upfront - sweet caramel. Sourdough bread in the back.

The taste is also of sweet caramel. English-type earthy hops struggle to keep up with the malt, and in the end pretty much lose out. A ho-hum finish.

A fair amount of carbonation keeps in fairly smooth. Just about hangs on to medium-bodied.

A middle-of-the-road brew. Sweet. Easy enough to drink, but rather boring. I would like to compare this to the original English brew. This one didn't really "do it" for me, though not "bad".

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a caramely brown and clear, underneath a full, creamy, well-retained head. Aromatics are disappointing, lacking any hop associations I come to expect and look forward to in any "pale ale" wothy of the name. Soft, dry, slightly buttery. Smooth texture, sweet palate, light body, with a yeasty/bready taste. Lasting finish. It drank well, but brought absolutely nothing to the table, making little impression on me at all. I'm sure they succeeded in creating exactly the beer they wanted, but it's too lacking in hops to be of any use to any ale drinker!

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Photo of Gavage
3.54/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful bronze color with a thick foamy head that lasted for the drink. Thick lacing also developed. Tha aroma is average, noticing only some sweetness. The taste was of malts and fruit with little noticable hops. Some bitterness was detected late after swallowing. This has a good body, and is slightly dry on the tongue. Very drinkable, but I wish there was some more hoppiness to this - it could be outstanding.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin white head. The aroma is great. It is sweet and creamy with the scent of crystal and pale malts; very malty. The taste is decent. It is malty and bitter, but really smooth and refreshing. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer drinks quite well. It has a unique taste, but I like it; a real sessions ale.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.27/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just another beer in my Beer Traveler's Pack, so on to it:

A- orange in color with yellow hues.

S- Mild maltiness with a yummy aroma of caramel, choclate, yeast, and toast.

T&M- Even maltier in taste than the smell. Very doughy with more caramel, almost like a bock. Hop flavor is tracable, but minor. Finishes toasty with a buttery, oily feel.

D- What do you know? I like it. Can I have another?

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Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark red brew.

Smell is very fruity and estery with a mild malty scent.

Taste is fruity and quite dry with a solid bit of bitterness in the background. Really hard to pick out individual fruit flavor in this it can be best described as tutee fruity.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very mild and drinkable brew every sip brings you a hit of that wonderful fruitiness, better than Bass I think.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass and received a mediumish auburn/copper body with minimal head that quickly died. A floral, hoppy smell with faint dough, very faint. A rather weak smell.
A robust, bready taste that is a mix of some hops and dry malts and even a sharp acidicness. A full-bodied beer that went down easily but still left a dry and smokey finish. The hops are used pretty good here, and overall a nice session beer that I look forward to drinking again.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a very nice, deep amber-orange with a slight creamy khaki colored head that left a trail lacing behind. Visible carbonation was extremely light.

S: sweet caramel oranges.

T: light, and appeared somewhat thin with some caramel and oranges with a spicy flowery hopping. A dry spicy finish with cinnamon, alcohol and apple cider is found. A soft spicy hop bitterness and fruitiness of apples and pears round things out saving an otherwise weak start.

M: light, slightly creamy and softly carbonated.

D: Average drinkability, being fruity, dry, but overall worth a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first sample of the Cincinnati contract brewed product.

I poured it into my glass and thought the appearance was quite nice with a good head of foam. Aroma wise, a strong malt presence was immediately apparent so I knew this was brewed to the style and that's a plus in my book. ;^)

The taste was quite sweet with a bit of caramel overtones and the hop presence was in the background but in enough presence to give the brew a decent balance. I *could* taste a bit of the alcohol and that prevented me from giving it a higher score.

Over all, I find it to be a drinkable English Pale Ale and if it were available locally, I'd buy it from time to time.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

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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 RBorsato
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copperish red with a decent head and decent carbonation. Earthy (almost vegetal?) hop aroma, spicy malt notes, and a touch of alcohol (?). Spicy malty flavor with a solid English hop balance which leans it bitter. Light-medium bodied with a dry bitter finish.

An average, but true, English-style Pale Ale -- would likely not buy again.

Per label: "Styrian Golding hops"

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Whitbread Pale Ale from Whitbread PLC
3.34 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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