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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 jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Stone pint glass. I was happy to find this at my local beer store.

A - Clear, darkamber body with an everlasting white head

S - 4.2% Pale Ale? Yeah right this has the aromas of a full blown DIPA. Nice citrusy hop presence with nice tropical notes as well.

T - The hop flavor that I picked up on in the nose comes through up front on this beer. Mostly citrus hop flavor with a hint of tropical hop presence as well. I get a hint of a malt backbone in the middle before finishing with a lingering bitterness. It only lingers a little while though.

M - pretty light bodied and real smooth. light carbonation. This is probably the weakest part of this beer.

D - Pretty solid beer. I enjoy the full hop presence in a low ABV beer. This is certainly a beer worth trying, if only for a unique experience. I would pick it up again if I saw it at the right price, it's a little steep at 3 bucks a bottle right now.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 00:10:06 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.93/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A pint had at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA.

Golden with a touch of amber and clear. Some carbonation and a sufficiently dense head. Good head retention. Grapefruit aroma and a bit on the resinous side. Leans toward the soft side up front, carbonation is noticeable, but no bite. Pine and citrus shows up in the middle with back of the toungue bitterness showing up early. Bitter in the finish, but fading quicker than most West Coast IPAs. Medium mouthfeel.

I can certainly see why this is about as perfect a session IPA as you can get. Definitely West Coast, but not over-the-top like many. Very drinkable, particularly with the low ABV. Not to worry, as the balance and flavor make up for the low alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 02:50:04 | More by LittleDon
Photo of whiskeysoda
whiskeysoda

California

4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am going to forgo the formal A/S/T/(M) protocol for this beer.

Why? Because it is beautifully simple. Every character of a crisp, floral, refreshing IPA that finishes with a dry and piny tip of its proverbial hat. It accentuates the hop component of the beer without being resinous or abrasive. As my friends who don't normally drink IPAs messaged me minutes after I gave them a bottle, "Ooh! It tastes just like pot! But without the burning! :cD"

As hoppy as a double, but with the body of a (light) munich pilsner, I could literally savor this all day.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 02:09:57 | More by whiskeysoda
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear gold body beneath a white head.

Citrus and floral aromas burst from my glass.

The flavor is almost all hops, malt it barely detectable. Hoppy, but not very bitter. Grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon with floral notes on the finish. A true session ale, I would drink 4 or 5 if I could.

Did I just taste the future of beer? I always wondered what it would be like if a light beer was heavily hopped. Afterall, its the alcohol level that produces most of a beer's calories, not hops. Well, now I know and it is excellent.

Want to be a millionaire? Learn how to make a beer like this around 125 calories and under $9 a 6pk.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 22:13:56 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased from K&L in Redwood City.

Ok, ok... This is "not a session ale" by Ding's definition, but since that has never been substantiated by any concrete proof (to my knowledge), I will arbitrarily grant a +/- 5% swing. 4.2% is now sessionable.

A: Pours a murky, glowing orange body in my Hair of the Dog tulip. I poured carefully so I could get it all in the glass in one go. Nonetheless, it maintains a nice cap with a substantial collar for the duration of the drink. Nice.

S: Citrus! It doesn't have the clean, bright aromas of Sculpin; it is instead tempered with a dose of herbal hops, grass, and a touch of pale malt. This is a dead ringer for an IPA.

T: This is extremely hoppy, as the nose might suggest. Unfortunately, that's about it. There's a light maltiness, but I can't pick up anything else. It has a nice grapefruit, orange peel, and grass flavor going on, with the last component lingering into the finish for some remaining bitterness.

M: Dry finish with lingering bitterness. The body is light-medium. Clean flavor, but truthfully, I'd liken it to "watery."

D: I'm not realistically going to pay $4 for this again; I bought it to show my support for the experiment more than anything. Not a successful one in my eyes. What ever happened to the balanced, subtle, refined English malt that Ding is always talking about? This is just dry-hopped to death.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 07:47:09 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: golden maber color. poor head and no lacing. lager like

smell: huge hop aroma

taste: wow... all hops and no malt backbone. But it taste great. I imagine this beer would not age well. great fresh, Piney, earthy hops

mouthfeel: light bodied

drinkability: I could definitly drink these all night.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 02:51:24 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Poured a clear golden color with a white head that hung around for the whole glass of beer.

It smelled of hops and alcohol. Wasn't much going on.

It tasted good, smooth and cool. The hop flavors were distinguishable but I didn't feel it was a really malty beer at all. Nothing too complex.

The carbonation got at your tongue like a normal lager style bottled beer would.

As for being a Stone beer (granted a collaboration, but still) I kind of expected more. It's only 4.2% ABV and didn't have a stand alone character that I usually get from Stone. This is not a bad beer by any means, do not get me wrong. I did enjoy this brew, but as a fan of Stone and with their history being a bit more aggressive with their brewing, I just expected a little bit more.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 18:14:07 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp orange with a nice frothy eggshell head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a surprising amount of crisp floral citrus hops in front of subtle sweet malts, if I didn't know better, I'd guess from the nose that this was a full bodied West coast IPA. The taste is a very nice amount of crisp citrus hops with a nice subtle sweet malt backbone that gives way to a simple yet plentiful bitter citrus hop finish. The beer is very light, crisp, and refreshing. This one was a very pleasant surprise, proof that an enjoyable hoppy beer does not require high alcohol as well. I wish I had picked up more of this, oh well.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 02:14:27 | More by atsprings
Photo of jeffjeff1
jeffjeff1

California

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at work the other day.

Appearance- amber color, nice foamy head

Smell- hoppy aroma, very nice

Taste- hoppy flavor, very nice and refreshing

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- very good, I loved it. I definitely need to get more of it.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 20:31:30 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good pale ale with a fantastic hoppy aroma. The only potential downside is that it drinks its size and no bigger. I like smaller beers that seem to have compressed huge flavors into a low abv, and this beer succeeds admirably in that respect in the aroma. However, the taste is just a bit weak and fails to live up to the nose's promise. It's quite dry and light, which aren't really bad qualities but the beer is so clean that it's approaching wateriness. On the other hand, the beer looks great. Spot-on for the style - golden amber body beneath a creamy white head that sticks to the sides of the glass like Elmer's finest. The aroma is citric and peppery hops. It's delicate and full and reminds me of the aroma in a brewery's hop storage room. Anyway, the taste isn't really a negative. In fact, it fits the session idea quite well. It's mild with some hop bitterness and would make for a very pleasant beverage to accompany one through a night of consumption. The feel also keeps things nice and light. Good beer but this is one to drink on tap for a night. Selling it as singles for $3 apiece just seems kinda wrong.

Edit: by the end of my second bottle, I came around on the flavor. It's light, dry and wonderful. I'm indecisive.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 05:27:03 | More by popery
Photo of ocelot2500
ocelot2500

Arizona

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of big citrus and grass notes.

Tastes of big hops with a solid pale malt backbone. Hops are grapefruit, orange, with some grass and herbal notes. Malt has a breadiness with very little sweetness. Would like to have a bit more of the pale malt.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 23:28:29 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of nonstick
nonstick

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into SN tulip.

A: Orange copper color, 1/4" of head that slowly dissipates leaving some nice lacing.

S: Very hoppy, nice bitter grapefruit, slight pine. I can't say I'm getting much malt.

T: Tastes like it smells, big bang of grapefruit, nice bitter bite. I also get a slight bit of pine.

M: Pretty light mouthfeel. Plenty of carbonation.

D: Pretty nice session beer. Very drinkable. I will have to grab a couple more of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 20:17:35 | More by nonstick
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Durty Nellies.

A: appears a bright clear gold, 1 finger white head, decent retention

S: huge aromatic hops, sweet juicy grapefruit and mango, this is incredibly hop forward and smells delicious. Not picking up much malt backbone.

T: Like the nose, the hops are in your face right away. This particular blend lends a lot of nice citrus flavors among other tropical fruits. The finish is very crisp and clean. The hops are strong but never bitter and the finish leaves you wanting more.

MF: light body, high carbonation

D: this beer fits the description- a session ale with tons of hops packed in. It would be nice if this were put in a 6pk. Overall a great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2010 05:43:13 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper/gold color with a one-finger head into my glass. Nice presentation for the style.

There's only one way to describe the aroma: Heavenly. Chock full of citrus and herbal grassiness from the hops used. Very, very nice.

Taste is a slightly different story. Kind of thin but retains the chewiness/grassiness/citrus vibe from the hops. Otherwise, kind of lacking.

Ditto on mouthfeel. Not much left to linger though.

Not everything can be a hit and this is kind of in-between. I could just drink Stone's Levitation Ale and be done with it. Still a good example to check out.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 03:32:23 | More by Brad007
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a glowing orange color with good carbonationa nd a nice white head, plenty of bubbles

S: Citrus, grass, much like the Lost Continent IIPAs

T: Grass, citrus and hints of floral at times. Really good

M: Nice carbonation, light booze sting and some subtle, bitter hops

D: Very good. Lots of taste for such a low ABV beer. Exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 03:35:12 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle $4. I was quite interested to try this collaboration to see how hoppy it really was. They are not fucking around, this is a very, very hoppy beer no matter the ABV. The smell is all grapefruit, citrus, straight hops, very nice. The taste was more of the same but also super bitter, almost too bitter but there really is no such thing. This is a great beer for hopheads but I'd say its no session beer just because it really assaults your palate and its not cheap. Levitation is still the best hoppy session beer I know of.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 03:50:50 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of klshanks
klshanks

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aopearance= Golden orange

Smell- Grapefruit, Citru. Strong and aromatic

Taste- Carbonated, grassy, orange, spicy, piney,

Mouthfeel- bubbly, crisp

Overall, this beer is the closest thing to FFF gumballhead that I can recall tasting. It's a bit more balanced on the hop/malt side than GH is, with a little bit thicker mouthfeel, but pretty close.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 03:45:42 | More by klshanks
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a German lidless glass stein.

Finally, a Stone collabo in decent quantities at my local store. It's nice to be back in IL. But is this really a session beer? I think certain British expatriates (or even just one vocal one) may have something contrary to say on the subject...

This brew pours a clear rich straw topped by a half-finger or so of white foam. The nose is pinier than I expected, with a touch o' ruby red grapefruit and a gentler touch o' sugary caramel sharing the closet in this robot's apartment (...the closet in the closet, I guess...I really hope this makes some sense later on...). The taste is nearly identical, with the usual uber-hops we've come to expect (and, for some, to love) from the boys at Stone. The body is light, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice little beer, extremely drinkable due to the all-level lightness.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 01:45:10 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Draft pour into a shaker pint at Selma's in Rancho Santa Margarita.

A: Clear, light amber with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intense juicy grapefruit unaccompanied by other elements.

T: Faint biscuit is just detectable before abundant aromatic hop flavors fill the palate. As dictated by the smell, grapefruit dominates here along with light pine. Bitterness is strong and somewhat astringent, with grapefruit character carrying through.

M: Thin viscosity, watery, with moderate-high carbonation. None of the resiny stickiness usually found in a west coast IPA is present here.

D: As this beer was designed to deliver big hop flavor in a sessionable package, it is a resounding success. Although its availability is fleeting, this beer would make a fine companion piece to Stone's own session beer: Levitation. Producers of other lower-abv hop bombs (Craftsman comes to mind) should take note that the bar has officially been raised by this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2010 17:11:47 | More by beagle75
Photo of adkirkish
adkirkish

Florida

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear straw yellow w/ a white bubbly head. Light dissipation.

A: Herbal, grassy, and piney hop aroma dominates back up w/ some light pale malt. No diacetyl / No esthers.

F: Light pils malt taste upfront but the herbal hops come through and finishes with a lingering bitter taste. The pils malt is supporting but very light. The body is mostly watery - Imagine hop flavored water if you could. (This is a session beer after all). The balance is hop oriented.

M: Medium bodied and medium-high carb, no alcohol warmth or creaminess.

O: This is definitely sessionable and if you're a hop head, this is a must try. This would go well for after surfing and fish tacos. I'd trade a 12pk of Corona for a couple of these and be just fine. Dont ask why or what I have the Coronas for, it's a good trade ;)

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 00:48:37 | More by adkirkish
Photo of Westsidebuddha
Westsidebuddha

California

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Whole Foods-Arroyo Parkway Pasadena, Calif.

Poured a dark golden color into a tulip glass. The smell of citrus and hops instantly hits the nose. A good taste with a mellow hop flavor. Also a good mouthfeel, nothing overwhelming. Good drinkability with a decent hoppy aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 07:24:15 | More by Westsidebuddha
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Consumed September 5th, 2010.

Pours a clear, fairly deep and unaccented yellow. Nice white head.

Cascade hop nose - citrus and pine.

Carbonation bite results in a sharp flavor on the tongue. Peaches and apricots in the flavor, minimal malt profile, swift, clean finish with a bit of dryness. Lingering moderate bitterness.

Unremarkable but well put-together. A touch too hoppy for me personally, at least without some malt presence to balance.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 20:08:15 | More by charlzm
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 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 HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. Stone 'collaboration' bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a hazy golden copper in color with a half inch of white cap. Light to moderate retention and light lacing follow.

Nose is of piney hops and a light malt presence. Rich hop notes permeate the darkness here but are a bit unsubstantiated and a bit one directional. Much like a SoCal IPA on the nose but without the meatiness that often accompanies. Flavor is spicy and clean though light and with a hint of citrus. Not much body on the scene and with a light lemon finish.

Overall a very hoppy session beer that straddles the wrong line for me. I'd prefer a Tuatara. And even that is a stretch, yet offers more balance.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 04:52:49 | More by HalfFull
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.