Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beer Review: Bass Ale

What does Bass taste like now?

Bass Ale, Not what it used to be
Over the summer I had read Pete Brown's book, Hops and Glory, this was a book I really enjoyed. It tells the story of the history of IPA and one of the main 'characters' in the book is Bass Ale. Recently while browsing through the beer shelves I saw cans of Bass and I thought, I wonder what it tastes like now?

Unfortunatley the answer is, not great! The beer pours an unusual red colour that reminded me of red lemonade. A thin white head dissipates quickly. Aroma is actually quite nice, sweet malt with the merest hint of hops. The taste however is very dissapointing, thin and watery to the point of having absolutely no flavour or taste. I know it is a difficult for a brewer to get flavour and body into a beer with such a low ABV (3.8%) however this tastes of nothing.

This is a beer stripped of all of its key components and is a far cry from the Bass that was part of a revolution in beer in the 1800's, however the brewer still clings to this past by proudly stating on the can "traditionally brewed for quality since 1777".


The Beer Nut said...

It's an odd one. That beer is brewed by C&C at the Tennant's brewery in Glasgow, having been moved from the Interbrew Belfast plant in 2005. I'm not sure it even exists in Great Britain: I've a feeling it may be unique to Ireland -- a bit like that Allsopp's Pete finds in Africa towards the end of Hops & Glory.

There is a cask version of Bass (4.1% ABV), brewed by Marston's which I think is quite decent -- still has a bit of Burton snatch to it. InBev make a keg and bottled version as well (5.1% ABV) which is exported to Belgium and the US.

I think we definitely get the raw end of the Bass brand.

Mark (Halite) said...

After reading your comment the thing that confuses me is who are they making this beer for. It's cheap but with a low ABV, surely this would not be of interest to the Dutch Gold customer, is it an old man's drink? I just can't see how it would make sense to brew a version of this beer, with those characteristics, specifically for the Irish market?

Obviously somebody is buying it and making this worthwhile, I am just struggling to figure out the profile of a bass drinker in Ireland.