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Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session AleBallast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

371 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 271
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 11
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 08-07-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

01-14-2012 21:42:30 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Pecan
Pecan

California

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

12-20-2012 08:37:29 | More by Pecan
Photo of hpthebull
hpthebull

California

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

03-04-2012 05:23:52 | More by hpthebull
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

11-22-2011 04:35:34 | More by barnzy78
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a pale golden orange copper hue with a bright white head, fine speckled lacing from the head forms tight. Aroma has quite a bit of garlic/onion spiciness amongst the grapefruit rind citrus peels. Mild pale biscuit malts in the background. Flavor makes you pucker up a bit with rough raw bitterness citrus peel/grapefruit rind/onion this has to have loads of summit to be giving me that onion tone. Drinks with a thinner body than the average hoppy as hell west coast ale, but this is designed to give in a bit in the malts to keep the alcohol in check. This is a bit like comparing Michelob Ultra to a standard Mich if you're talking to a beer lay person, but way more flavor with way less calories. Carbonation is moderate steady no complaints. A bit thin compared to some of the hoppy ales out there. Drinkability is solid a bit abrasive with the onion I guess it just depends how sensitive that is.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 06:19:27 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 400th Review!

A: Slightly hazy with a bright orange amber color. Nice white creamy head.

S: Aggressive American hops come stright out. Huge grapefruit, as well as some pine and grassy notes. Perhaps just a little bit of tropical fruit as well.

T: Bitterness comes out right away, grapefruit, citrus and a bit of pine. I think the hops overpower the malt so much that it makes it taste a little on the watery side.

M: Very light in body, carbonation is on the fairly high side. Though it does seem to coat your mouth after you have swallowed.

D: Over all this is pretty good. Though I think it is a little too hop forward, which makes it seem watery. It seems pretty basic for the price. If this was a bit cheaper, it would be a great session ale. At this price drinking any large quantity would quickly become it's downfall.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 18:53:03 | More by Beejay
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light honey-yellow body with a thin yet persistent white head. Clinging foam sticks to the glass sides.

Rich malt sweetness with hints of melon, pear, and and honey. The hops are spicy and pungent with good floral characteristics.

Light biscuit malt flavor that quickly gets trumped by hop bitterness.

Bright and vibrant mouthfeel, light-to-medium in body.

For a session ale, this has enough flair to know you're drinking a better than average beer. Its strong point seems to be in the aroma - very pleasant and inviting. The taste is nothing special but decent enough. Worth a taste...

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 00:09:14 | More by beergoot
Photo of SkunkWorks
SkunkWorks

New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Bobbique in Patchogue, NY. Served in a nonic.

Look: pale, transparent copper body with a bit of creamy white foam at the top that doesn't stick around for too long and doesn't leave lacing behind either.

Smell: citrus, floral and piney hops are all here but nothing else.

Taste: tastes like hop soda. Follows the nose with the familiar hop characters we all know and love, i.e. citrus, flowers, and a bit of pine. There's nothing else there though. I can't even taste any malt flavors at all.

Feel: incredibly thin, possibly the thinnest beer I've had. If it isn't thinner than Bud Lite, it is still definitely the thinnest craft beer I've ever had. Not much sweetness, carbonated well, fairly crisp and refreshing.

Drink: high. Could easily be sessioned if it weren't so expensive.

Overall, this might get a higher score if it were a mild or something but as an American Pale Ale its a bit too light in too many ways to really blow your mind. I know what Stone is going for with this one, but I have a hard time paying for too many of these considering the price of craft beer. Basically, this has the strength of an American Adjunct Lager with more hops costing twice as much. Maybe give it a try if this is your thing but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 14:31:42 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of mjaskula
mjaskula

New York

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. The beer pours clear golden with a bit of sediment haze. The head is moderately thick with a soapy white head that thins to a film and leaves some thin lacing.

Immediately upon popping the cap you can smell the floral hops. The aroma is very strong and entirely hops. The flavor is almost all bitter hops. The bitterness stays in your mouth a little to long. There's a little bit of malt breadyness, but not much of a balance.

The mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is high. Does well as a session beer, but would like a little more balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 03:59:10 | More by mjaskula
Photo of mondegreen
mondegreen

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Stone shaker pint.

A: Very pale yellow, almost like translucent straw, A healthy head sits atop the brew for several minutes, ultimately fading into a thin layer of froth atop the brew.

S: Bright hops. Not face smacking, but certainly respectable given the ABV. It's apparent by the nose (and the name) that hops are the focal point of this brew.

T: Floral and hoppy, but quite thin. A lingering bitterness on the back end, with a hint of grain. Respectable for a "session" pale ale.

M: Very very thin, but nicely carbonated.

D: Strong point of the beer, obviously. Very quaffable.

As a side note, why in the world is this beer $3.49 for a single? This is the sort of beer that I could drop $7-9 for a six pack and feel like I got a decent deal. It's a solid beer, and I appreciate what the West Coast guys did on this one, but the hops, malt, yeast, and water in this one don't add up to the final price. Collabo tax, I guess.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 21:27:33 | More by mondegreen
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into a Heady Topper pint glass. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger coarse white head with low retention. Beer is a cloudy orange-peach. Lacing is spotty at the top and patchy near the beer. Suffers for clarity, head retention, and lace.

Nose is aromatic. Big citrus, cane sugar, and hop notes. Simple but very enticing. Some nice creaminess in there too.

Opens spicy with a citrus hop bitterness. Some cane sugar in the background supporting a strong, hop forward bite that lasts until the end. Finishes bitter with a filmy, hop aftertaste. Enjoyable.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Lively and aggresive in the mouth and prickly and bubbly going down. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. On point.

A bit more aggressive than the average pale ale and very well flavored for a session beer. Definitely quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 22:48:44 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of jjh19
jjh19

California

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden straw color
Smell: Very spicy nose. Huge smell.
Taste: Zing! - sharp bitterness, with a touch of sweetness.
Mouthfeel: A lot of hops. And more hops. And a sort of odd lingering off flavor finish.
Drinkability: Meh. This beer is fine if you're into really hopped beers. Me? I like a little more balance, especially in something called a "Session Ale."

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 02:33:30 | More by jjh19
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, gingerbread like malt and an sweet orange citrus hop. In the taste, gingerbread like malt and a small orange citrus sweetness. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry gingerbread malt and just a note of orange citrus. English like maltiness with west coast hops, a weird mix for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 14:59:00 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy deep golden orange. Nice lasting creamy head and lacing.
S: powerful hop aroma esp for this abv, but the hops are too oniony garlicky and earthy for me. Some doughy malts.
T:lightly sweet malts are nicely balanced a smooth hop bitterness. Earthy funky hops.
M: big for this abv. Light to med bodied. Frothy and creamy.
O: this would be awesome with a different hop bill. Simcoe hops? Not sure but the hop aromas and oniony garlicky hop flavors brought it down for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 02:20:03 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of OlieIPA
OlieIPA

California

3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Stone tulip glass

A: Sports a deep gold body with a rocky, frothy, white head. An extremely cleared out beer as well, which gives an even more desirable appearance.

S: A nice mix of grassy and citrus hop aroma, with accent on the hops, not malt.

T: The flavor has a touch malt, with traces of wheat and caramel. The hop bitterness is attenuated by the low amount of malt sweetness, and tends to linger on the palate long after the sip.

M: Incredibly light on the palate with ample amounts of carbonation.

D: A good example of a "session-like" beer, but the over abundance of hops deterred me at times. Don't get me wrong, I'm a hophead at heart, but I wish there would have been a little more of a malt body or less bittering hops to balance it out.

Overall: One of the better collaborations to come out of the Stone Brewing Co. in recent years, but I found the disparity between the malt and hops too great at times. A try it beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 23:58:40 | More by OlieIPA
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass on-tap at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, IL

This pours a nice golden orange color with a frothy coarse white head. The aroma is of many varieties of noble hops, most likely Saaz and Magnum. If there is caramel malt in there it's well hidden. The flavor is harshly bitter in nature, knowing Stone, that was on purpose. The flavor is partially light caramel in nature, but mostly it's a crap-ton of hops. The mouthfeel is rather astringent in nature and the hoppy bitterness doesn't help that at all. It corrodes the mouth and that's not a beer I care for too often. This is a drinkable beer if you can get past the strong bitterness in flavor. It's an interesting session beer if I do say so, but not one I'd readily go for again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2010 22:55:25 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear orange-amber colored ale with a small white colored head.

Smell is strongly of c type hops with a strong bitter orange aroma. Grapefruit, onion, mango and pineapple. Smells like a hop bomb.

Starts out dry and earthy. Becomes spicy and bitter with that same earthy flavor. Not a lot of subtle flavor here, just extremely bitter and earthy.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is just OK. On the far side of the drinkability zone.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 02:58:09 | More by Zorro
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this at Oak Tree Buy Rite, S. Plainfield, NJ. Into a stemmed Stone glass, it poured a transparent golden-orange, with decent visible carbonation, two fingers of white, and great retention and lacing. The aroma was dominated by bitterness and a huge potpourri of garden herbs, including rosemary and parseley. The taste was VERY grassy, herbal at first, punctuated with a very dry bitter finish that lingered, creating dry-mouth. Thin, and surprisingly less carbonation than expected, given the appearance, but very smooth when sipped with a very well-retained head. Way too grassy/earthy for me to session, but if that's your thing, go for it.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 23:42:55 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of zoso1967
zoso1967

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served up a light amber color with a copper cast to it and a head that is just slightly off-white. The head has pretty nice staying power and leaves cement like lacing on the sides of the glass. This beer even looks hoppy.

The smell of this beer is very, very hoppy. Grapefruit, pine, citrus zest, dank cannabis, orange sections, you name it. If there is any malt in the aroma it is evident only as a sweetener for the hops.

Two words: hop juice. This thing is bursting with hop flavor. Pithy grapefruit, pine, mint, weed and even some medicinal notes. Much like the nose, the malt is obscured by the lupulin orgy that is going on in my mouth. Needless to say this beer is way unbalanced, but that was the point. The more I drink of this brew, less flavor it seems to have with the hops really tiring out my taste buds.

The body is on the lightest edge of medium and the finish is bone dry. This beer has a pretty decent amount of carbonation but is not overly lively. As you may guess the aftertaste is just laden with dank hops. These hop flavors do not seem to go away even when I try to cleanse my palate. Do not drink this beer first if you are going to be trying a few different beers.

This beer is supposed to be sessionable, and I guess to some extent it is, but you would have to be some kind of hop head to drink more than a couple of them. This is a pretty cool idea, and I love the balls out approach, but defiantly not the best formulated beer of all time.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 18:48:50 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Klym
Klym

California

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Shared with Cavery.

A: Pours a translucent orange with a reasonable head for a pale ale.

S: This smells amazing for a pale ale. Citrus booms through this with a lovely, slight-hop pine character. Tons of tastey aroma.

T: Taste is honestly a let down. Initial taste is a nice citrus/resin/hop but it peaks quickly in a difficult-to-enjoy bitterness. Whats left is a weak, watery, mild hop and old citrus rind flavor that dies off in a few short moments. Transitions are kind of poor, but overall I'd still say it's above average.

M: Mouthfeel is a little watery and the carbonation in the mouth feels erratic.

O: I've actually had this once before, and I think my previous bottle was much better so maybe this bottle is a bit old. It's not a bad session ale and would be worth picking up if you see it, as it's a cheap bottle, but at the same time I wouldn't at all go out of my way to try this.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 03:15:57 | More by Klym
Photo of crvcac
crvcac

California

3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pretty standard.

Smell: Absolutely outstanding. Boasting hints of everything from pine to fruit to tropical esters.. this beer had it all. Does the bark match the bite? Lets see..

Taste: Upfront this beer has a very bitter hop bite for a west coast pale (seemingly intentional). For the most part it taste pretty damn good. However, towards the end of the sip the beer imparts a very undesirable off-flavored-bitterness that leaves the tongue a little ravished.

Mouthfeel: For the most part the beer is rather quaff-able. It had great carbonation.

Overall: Glad I tried this beer. Waited some time for it to come to fruition. All in all, I must say that the bitter aftertaste ruined it for me. If it's taste was able to impress me like its smell did, I'd regard this in the likes of Sculpin and Pliny. Maybe next time.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 18:42:49 | More by crvcac
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a honey amber, mild haze, with one finger of stiff beige head.

Smell -- Lots of pine, earthy floral/vegetal, as well as grapefruit. Graininess is not very evident in the nose, but some caramel sweetness eeks out of the massive bouquet of hop aroma. Buttery diacetyl also present. Very aromatic, which I appreciate.

Taste -- Very bitter, very dry. An abundance of pine resin and orange pith - intensely bitter. Malt is husky and dry. The hop flavor fizzles out toward the finish and the overall flavor seems watered-down. Finish is all resin.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body, moderate prickly carbonation, with an oily finish. Pretty much what you'd hope for in a hop-forward APA.

Drinkability -- It's good, but I wouldn't want to have a second. Hop blast, then watered-down pale ale. Glad I tried it, but it didn't meet all of my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 21:54:45 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of tdawgydog
tdawgydog

New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always look forward to giving the Stone Collab brews a try. Not the best Stone Collab I've had but pretty good none the less.

A - Pours a nice cloudy yellow with a representable head that survives the life of the beer.

S - The smell of evergreen hops in the bottle, mostly dissipates once the beer is poured. More of a malty scent once in the glass.

T - A little more of bitter bite than I like from my APA but the strong hop character that one should expect doesn't seem to be there.

D - Has a taste well beyond it's 4% ABV. The complexity of the style would leave you to believe that it has more alcohol than that.

M - Well carbonated solid body.

I picked up two of these from my local beer store. I also picked up two bottles of Cali-Belgique which I am really looking forward to cracking open (my Fave Stone Brew!!)

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 00:45:48 | More by tdawgydog
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy gold with a compact white head.

S: Aromas of biscuits, lemon, grapefruit, and pine are present on the nose. This ale smells nice, but in a way that is entirely expected. Obviously, this ale is not going to surprise someone who is thoroughly familiar with this style.

T: Notes of biscuits, pine, spruce, lemon, grapefruit, lime, kumquat, and bitter orange wash across the palate. The finish is bitter, yet rather abrupt, with a deft balance of biscuit and tart citrus flavors.

M: As expected, this ale is dry and light-bodied. Carbonation is crisp, yet still remains somewhat expressive. This ale is as drinkable as American ales come.

O: In the end, this is a very nice session ale that displays an expert balance between dry, bready malt and resinous, fruity American hops. If you are expecting to be blown out of the water (and that is perfectly understandable given the level of talent of each of these collaborators), then you may be slightly disappointed. The brewers set out to create a true session ale with a ton of West Coast hop flavor, and they have done just that and nothing more.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 03:41:02 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dropped off at the outdoor patio table a lightly hazed, light pale copper body with a slim, white head.

Smell: Hoppy, citrusy aroma full of pith, peelings, and acidic, citric juices paired with a bit of pine. At least in the nose, this definitely suppresses and squashes the milder biscuity malts way, waaayy underneath.

Taste: Light pale malted barley with modest hints of biscuits and crisped, crackery grains and sweetness. Really, it's just enough to check off the 'malt' box on the to-do brewing list. Then, in comes blistering waves of citric, pithy grapefruit, tangerines, and resinous pine. Medium-plus bitterness. Bitterness holds strong until the firmly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A light alcohol option for the hopheads, so your liver will be happier, but, it's a somewhat pricey product, so your wallet might get unhappy, even going so far as to un-friend you on Facebook.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2011 14:31:35 | More by ChainGangGuy
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.