Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 370 | Reviews: 271 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
A collaboration brew from Stone Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing, and Kelsey McNair, a home brewer. This is a beer that never really made it to my area of Connecticut, but we had a few bottles from a store in Massachusetts. This was brewed and released about a year ago. I’m curious to see how they’ve held up.
The twelve ounce bottle releases a little bit of a “pop” as I break the seal. The brew pours out a great golden-straw color, with a bit of haze. Plenty of carbonation makes for a bright white foam, that lasts quite a long time. The lacing is mild, but sticks forever.
Just as I pour the Session Ale, I can already smell the hops. Of course I’m not surprised, considering Stone is involved. The nose reveals an interesting combination of light citrusy hops, as well as more in-your-face bitter hops. I let the beer warm a little bit and swirl is quite strongly, because I’m trying to find something else in the nose to describe. After several minutes, the only thing I can smell is still the hops!
When I take a sip, the hop complexity changes a little. The nose was dominated by the citrusy hops, but the palate is dominated but the rough and aggressive bitter hops. This beer is over a year old, and it feels like it was bottled yesterday. The bitterness of the hops is mouth-filling, and almost mouth-numbing. I take a few sips, swirl it in my mouth, and I’m going to walk away for a few minutes to see if it changes at all…
As it warms up, and I come back for a few more sips, the San Diego Session Ale has definitely opening a little. The hops is not quite as mouth-numbing. Or maybe my mouth is numb, and I can’t tell that it is still super hoppy. I think this may be one of the most hop-intense beers I have ever tasted. That is to say, I’ve tasted really hoppy, bitter beers before, but they usually have more of a subtle malty backbone. This San Diego Session Ale is hops, hops, and more hops.
I can understand that the lower-than-average alcohol content, 4.2%, makes this a bit of a session ale. However, as a malt-man, I could not possibly drink more than one of these. As a matter of fact, I only poured myself half a bottle, and I’m seriously considering not finishing it. I’m not saying it’s a bad beer at all, but it is nearly 100% the exact opposite of my preferred style.
Serving type: bottle
01-14-2012 04:14:57 | More by TheCorkStopsHere
British Columbia (Canada)
3.9/5 rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Appearance. Pours a nice clear amber gold with a finger of white head.
Smell. Grapefruits and nice toasty grains and caramel.
Taste. Grapefruits and orange, caramel, light grains. A little lingering grapefruit rind bitterness.
Mouthfeel. Light body. A little thin and watery. Below medium carbonation.
Overall. Decent lighter abv beer with good flavour. I would rather dring less amounts of slightly bigger beers.
Serving type: bottle
12-02-2011 00:30:30 | More by Rutager
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.