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Even Keel Session IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Even Keel Session IPAEven Keel Session IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

139 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 755
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 23.06%
Wants: 32
Gots: 254 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) | 3.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 06-06-2006

A session beer for Hop-heads, this ale gets double dry-hopped.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 755
Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a very cool new brewery arrival in Alberta. 'San Diego Session Ale' probably means what I think it means.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and well bubbly ecru head, which leaves a hanging band of dripping paint swath lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of pungent red grapefruit, orange, and sweet lemon citrus, bready, grainy pale malt, a touch of caramel, some hard water flinty notes, a twinge of musty, dank pine resin, and further leafy, weedy, and floral hops. The taste is more mixed domestic citrus bowl fruitiness, a growing tropical sideshow, gritty pale and crackery caramel malt, muddled pine and its forest floor friends, a waning chalky character, and some airy floral bitterness.

The carbonation is fairly innocuous in its lightly-rendered frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight (which is way ahead of the curve for this off-shoot 'style'), with maybe a smidge of hop bitterness picking away at the otherwise standard smoothness. It finishes off-dry, a lingering graininess gamely parrying the still heady citrusy, piney, and floral hop contingent.

Well, disparage a new style, and soon enough, the pretenders fall away, and the big (craft) boys get it right - despite this one's low ABV, the malt and hops bring their A-game, and prove that it is indeed possible to go big, while at least paying lip service to balancing the hops, for a truly sessionable IPA offering.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden-orange with a one finger creamy head, that dissipates to a thin lace on the glass and film on top of the beer. Immediately you smell the grapefruit. The taste is of grapefruit, honey-drizzled nectarines, some breadiness, slight flavor of grassy hops. Slight bitterness. Fairly substantial mouthfeel for only 3.8% abv. Medium-low carbonation. Definitely more of a pale ale in my mind due to the balance between medium hoppiness and malt backbone. I dig it.

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4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am trying to rate session ales as a class/style of their own. If this where to be compared to, say, sculpin or big eye, no comparison. But in the world of session brews, this one isn't too damn bad. Lots of hops, although perhaps a little muted. Bit of malt sweetness. Crushable to the fullest extent.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear, copper body with good one finger head and minor lace. Aroma is mostly citric hopped with touches of sweet malt. The citric and grapefruit hop taste is pleasing while light and overpowering and balanced with a bit of sweet malts and in fact finishes with kiss of sweetness. Simplistic and nothing to write home about but pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a yellow orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Light citrus, herbal, grassy, and tropical hops followed by toasted, biscuity, and pale malts.

Taste: You definitely pick up a lot more if that hop flavor. Amazing that it was barely noticeable in the aroma, but packs s ouch on the palate. Chewiness and light bitterness in the rear too.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing, crushable, tasty, medium carbonation, a little chewy, and light bitterness.

Overall: Another warm weather beer added to this list and a great beer for watching football too. I look forward to more of these in the future.

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Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can ($2 at Tiger Mart; no clear dating) served in a lager glass.

Look: A good looking beer with a light copper colored body topped by a semi-durable, off-white head. Exceptional lacing.

The herbal-grassy-citrus hop mix is not exactly what I prefer, especially in the aroma, but works quite well upon tasting. Excellent balance with the malt load. Near medium body with a semi-dry finish.

O: a flavorful ale with less than 4% ABV, this is a true and exemplary "session IPA".

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just arrived on the shelves in Alberta, Canada. Poured from a 12oz bottle. Colour is darker than I was expecting, almost copper or orange. Clear, with light carbonation visible. Capped by a finger or so of weak head that surprisingly manages to persist. Lots of lacing on the glass.

Smell is slightly dank, lots of pine and resin, with a solid citrusy backbone. Very perfumey. Pineapple, mango. But also a decent bit of malty backbone--some biscuit, bread. Slightly peppery. Taste is much the same. Initial dank, piney resin with a touch of citrus, and a surprising malt base from which it stems. Great balance after an initial bitter kick. Good body (especially for the ABV), and moderate carbonation.

We're here, we're session IPAs. Get used to it. As good an entry into the crowded field as I've had the chance to try, this one could fool you--it's a much bigger, richer, more flavourful beer than its ABV would suggest. Definitely a standard-bearer for the session IPA substyle (with a very welcome sub-4.0 ABV).

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle:

Pours deep golden with a thin head. Lacing sticks, especially as it progresses.

The smell is of juicy citrus with a hint of caramel. Robust - I could smell the strong juicy hop goodness upon opening the bottle.

The taste is of citrus/grapefruit with caramelized bread/malt. Leafy, dry, refreshing finish.

For the modest abv/light body, it holds together well.

One of the better (if not best) "session" IPA's that I have had. Great choice for a hoppy brew with modest abv and a lighter body. Easy to drink, it is indeed a "sessionable" ale!

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Photo of TimWakimika
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice to see a session IPA so low on ABV (3.8%). Earns the 'session' label on that front. This has a great, crisp, citrusy aroma. Taste is a bit more subdued than aroma would lead you to expect, as seems fairly normal with sessions. Clean finish with medium bitterness. One of the best session IPAs I have found yet.

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Photo of Dirtyhands
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quality sesssion right here. While aroma May be low to minimal, fruit and earth flavors explode upon the first sip. Think big, drink little. This is another very well done session ipa.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I grabbed a six pack of this the other day, and I've got to say, this has to be my new favorite session IPA. I don't drink session IPAs regularly, but I've had my share, and I found this to be the most flavorful and refreshing. It's a fine looking beer in a pint glass, but admittedly, I slugged all but one of these down directly from the can. The aroma is fresh and lively. There is a bit of pine and some citrus. I'd say mainly white grapefruit. The taste follows the nose... The body is light and refreshing, with a nice crisp finish. Overall, I'd rather drink this over both Day Time from Lagunitas or All Day from Founders. The only drawback is maybe the $9.99 price tag for a beer with a 3.8% ABV, but then again that is why it's called a session ale.

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Photo of danmouer
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will admit to not being a hophead, but I am a very experienced BJCP beer judge. I do believe this is right on the money for someone looking for a winner among the emerging crowd of session IPAs. For one thing, Sculpin's Even Keel is brewed at 3.8% abv, which is much more reasonable than the run of the mill session IPAs which typically run to 4.5, 5, or even higher. Noot my idea of session beers.

My bias against the resiny, citrusy, unbalanced hop character and the cloying bitterness of the finish may keep me from raving about this offering, but it is, I think, what many IPA lovers expect and seek in their beer. The crisp medium-light body and dry finish are just what I was looking for in a chilled can of brewski on a hot summer day in Virginia. I'd love to taste this same beer brewed as a session pale with about 15 IBUs knocked out of recipe (keep the hops, just addc them dry in the aging tank or real-ale conditioning cask!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a tulip.

Copper body with an ecru colored cap. Great retention, lace all over the glass. Biscuity malt with a touch of caramel lay the groundwork for tropical and citrus hops. Papaya, mango, grapefruit, and melon dance on the palate. Little bit of citrus bitterness lingers. Great body for a 3.8% beer. Very nice session IPA. I wasn't expecting much for such a small abv, but they did a great job getting the flavor to pop.

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Photo of hophugger
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Typical look, color, head and lacing. Aroma is amazing with hop profiles that are amazing. Taste is of hops, grapefruit and a malt background. Sessionable at 3.80abv and so, so refreshing and crisp with a clean, slightly bitter aftertaste..

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid session beer- and lord knows there are too many session IPAs out there right now. Most of them are flaccid and washed out tasting with too much graininess. This one has a nice crispness, avoids tye graininess for the most part, and finishes with a nice bitter snap. Solid.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a standard pint glass.
Copper/gold in color, with a nice two-inch head of foam.
Aroma-Nice whiff of fruity, tropical hops
Taste-Fruity hops, citrus rind, crisp with a sharp little hop bite. Nice flavor and character for only 3.8ABV. Portable and sessionable, perfect for a hot day out on the lake or an outdoor get together. A fine match for a couple of loaded hot dogs or a flight of fish tacos.

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Photo of JayFunk
4.94/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best sessions I've had, a real surprise. Proven to be hard to find in my area. Pick it up if you see it, you won't be disappointed! Great while fishing or golfing!

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dull copper colored with a bit of light haziness. A fingernail of dull white covers the vast majority of the top. Moderate lacing. The aroma is surprisingly pungent with a wallop of citrus despite the session status. The flavor is a well balanced interplay between citrus hops and light biscuity malt. The mouth is very light and smooth. Much to like after a blistering hot day.

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Photo of Extol
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

It's ok. I am a little disappointed. There is a strange flavor in it that I can't shake and I just don't like it. Overall it is alright. I probably won't drink it again.

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Photo of do_ob
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed straight from the can. Great hoppy aroma with a good bit of sweet malt and grapefruit. Taste follows. Think of it as a sessionable Sculpin. Great for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear amber colored beer with a tall white colored head.

The scent is citrus and sandalwood. Strong whiff of grapefruit rind. For a mild ale this is quite aromatic.

Starts out dry with the taste of grapefruit and soda crackers. Slight ghost of sweetness. assertive bitterness but it isn't overdone. The flavor is mostly citrus.

Mouthfeel is average.

Overall for what it is it is very good. Considering that this clocks in about as light as bud Light what the hell is Anheuser Busch's excuse? Why can't they make a light beer taste this good!

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Photo of Davidstan
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I will rate this beer like a light beer so rating as such.
S. Fruity with light grass, mangos
T. Very fruity with hints of hop oil, for a light beer a home run
O. I like this beer a lot for a light beverage, may be my new go to when rotating in a lighter low ABV type beer

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Photo of KevChiTown
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not a fan of session IPAs, but in this case I understand the need for them now. Much more malt base then I expected, but still just had an off taste. Not bad just kinda blah.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Figueroa Mountain pint glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $1.79
Purchased: June 19, 2015
Consumed: June 20, 2015
Misc.: Born on April 2, 2015

Poured a honey, pale, mostly clear color with three fingers of khaki-white, frothy head. A good amount of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Below average lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled sharp Citra notes up front, mainly grapefruit and nectarine rind. Also caramel, peppery spices, floral, tropical, light mango, rye and buttery malts late. (Smell - 4.25)

Taste was much less flavorful than the nose, unfortunately. Got Citra, rye, iced tea, floral, grapefruit zest, caramel, lemon, light pine and mango rind. (Taste - 3.50)

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.50)

This was just an OK session ale. I rated it as a pale ale (according to Beer Advocate), but there are much better options out there. (Overall - 3.50)

3.68 | 83 | B

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Photo of Beric
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Can, from the can
Served: 16 June 2015

Appearance: Had this one from the can, so I can't really speak to the appearance of the beer, but this is a pretty ballin' can. I love Ballast Point's branding.

Smell: Big citrus hop notes, just like you'd expect from a major West Coast brewery. Notes of lemon, grapefruit, and passionfruit.

Taste: The citrus hops don't let up on the tongue and dominate the flavor profile as well. There is little to no malt presence aside from a subtle sweetness that carries the rest of the flavors down the throat.

Mouthfeel: Light body, big carbonation. Perfect.

Overall: Probably the best, truly sessionable beer I've had. At 3.8% you could drink a whole sixer and be perfectly fine, provided you spend enough time nursing it. Probably my new go-to session IPA.

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Even Keel Session IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.