Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Fathom India Pale Lager - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fathom India Pale LagerFathom India Pale Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 761
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 26.15%
Wants: 46
Gots: 143 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Floydster on 09-29-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 124 | Hads: 761
Photo of lhenschke
2.74/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, light amber colour with a moderate head. Little to no head retention.

Smell: Not a strong smell whatsoever. Very mild hoppiness, much less than I'd expect for an "India Pale ____".

Taste: Disclaimer - this was the first IPL that I've tried, so I'm not completely sure if I dislike the entire style, or just this beer. I found the imbalance between the initial (lack of) maltiness and the finishing strong hop flavouring to be unpleasant. Overall, I found it to be very watery, and the hops couldn't make up for it.

Mouthfeel: Overly carbonated and very light, not much else to say here.

Overall: I didn't enjoy this beer very much. I found it largely flavourless (aside from the heavy hops), and too carbonated. I think if it had a more pronounced breadiness/maltiness it could balance much better with the hops, while still staying much distinct from any IPA.

 883 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can from Bert's
Mostly clear deep golden color bubbly white head. Lemony citrus with a sweet crisp bready pilsner maltiness. Lingering mild earthy citrus bitterness. Quaffable brew.

 181 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look is copper color, a small off-white head with some nice lacing. Subtle hop aroma - not much going on in the nose. Flavor is bigger - piney hop presence, some citrus fruit, a touch of candy sweetness. Lots of bitterness at the back of the mouth. Body is medium, appropriate to the style. Really liked this one. One of my new favorite styles, and a great example.

 365 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a tulip. 15197 is the code on the bottom.

Pours clear amber with a medium head that fades fairly quick. Smell is fruity hops with a slight yeasty funk.

Taste is hoppy and fruity, strong yeasty funk. A little lemon. Not much like any pilsner I've ever known.

Mouthfeel is abrasively carbonated. Overall, not a bad beer.

 353 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours golden with nice clarity; white head that falls leaving nice retention and nice lacing. The aromas are bready with hints of lemon and lime. Solid amount of citrus along with a touch of caramel. The flavors are hop forward. Lots of lemon and lime zest. Hints of pine. The lager characteristics are pretty subtle and hard to notice. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's pretty smooth and refreshing.

Nothing too crazy, but it's still a pretty solid brew. Clean, crisp and refreshing.

 544 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a can from TW Arrowhead in mid-July for $2.99. Canned on May 22, 2015.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose has hints of grapefruit.

Taste has a nice base pale and caramel malt with the finish being bitter grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel has a nice lager smoothness.

Overall a pretty solid beer but a tad bit pricey in a hyper competitive Phoenix market. Give it a shot if you find it refrigerated.

 443 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a fizzy half finger white head that dissipates to a thin ring very quickly, leaving slight lacing. Aroma of bready malt, citrus hops, light tropical fruit; lightly floral. Flavor is bready malt with light biscuit and a hint of caramel, appropriate for a lager; tropical fruit, citrus and lightly grassy hops developing through the taste to finish with a nice citrus rind, lightly piney hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a pleasant light creaminess. The imperial pilsner style is really growing on me. I tend towards malty IPAs, so the resident malty body of a rich lager is welcome support to hops. Ballast Point has a deft hand with hopping and it shows here. The hops start light and get stronger throughout the taste and finish as well as a quality IPA. I really liked this and will return to it in the near future. Well done.

 907 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with a pure-white head. The head bubbles away quickly and leaves very little lacing around the glass.

The aroma is a bit odd on this one. I get a lot of pine and melon and what I can only describe as "wheat bread". Not a bad aroma but certainly not a pleasant one either.

The taste is very crisp and floral, with notes of tangerine and grape, as well as faint hint of mango. The bitter pine is noticeable on the back end. The malt is rather bready but overall maintains a good balance.

The feel is medium-bodied and very creamy. The alcohol is almost non-existent on the palate.

Overall, a very solid, easy-drinking beer. A great beer for a hot summer day. Nothing special, but nothing to turn your nose up at either.

 750 characters

Photo of Dirtyhands
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A dull amber-gold color. Smells of Apple's, sweet caramel and alcohol. More of a cakey malt character than I'm used too. The hop is well put together with notes of fruit, earth and spice. Aftertaste is rather hollow, yet mouth-coating.

 235 characters

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden color with slight head and pretty clear. Floral piney smell. Has that lager taste but with grassy citrus notes to it. Medium lite body but quite a bit of carbs. Pretty good

 183 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can served in a pint glass
Pale gold in color with a thin bit of foam on top. The hops are strongly present in the aroma with citrus making up the biggest portion of that aroma. I also get some peppery or more herbal or grassy hoppiness and perhaps just a bit of metallic character (I dont think it's from the can). The hops carry over to the taste with the citrus hops coming through nicely and beyond that there is a bit of the herbal flavor and then just a lot of lasting bitterness. I'm not getting too much residual sweetness or malt character apart from what you'd expect from a good clean pilsner which makes the hops seem to run at a higher IBU than they are. Light to moderate body with high carbonation and a clean but bitter finish characterize the feel of this one. Overall it is nice different way to get a good dose of hops but I think there needs to be some more base for them to balance on.

 918 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Here is yet another beer that I got to try in beta, thanks to my cousin, Colby Chandler. This dates back to Philly Beer Week in 2012 or so when he was just branching out into lagers.

From the CAN: "Dedicated to the Craft"; "IPA-Style Lager"; "Lager Meets IPA in a Winning Combination"; "Our Fathom IPL combines time-honored lagering techniques with the hop profile of a San Diego IPA recipe. The cold-fermenting lager yeast provides a clean base that allows the citrus and pine aromas from the hops to really shine. The result is a gold medal beer with a refreshing, easy drinking character and just the right amount of depth."

I scored this CAN at Bistro on Bridge in Phoenixville this past week and I am anxious to take it for a taste drive! The Crack! was appropriately loud and I celebrated with an inverted Glug as a result. This netted three fingers of foamy, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with great retention. Nose was filled with grapefruit citrus and my mouth was beginning to water. This is a lager?!? Color was a deep Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5) with NE-quality clarity. My Gelt Gang pals of Midas, Mammon and Croesus showed up for their share, which was fine by me. My turn got me a light-bodied, but not watery, mouthfeel. The taste was hellbent on hops, citrus especially. Whoa! Again, revisiting the idea that this is a lager!?! I have to admit that I was not getting much in the way of pine, but this was as good as any AIPA. Finish was dry and I could really taste grapefruit well after the swallow. Quite a lager, but the hops ratio could use a slight tweak.

 1,581 characters

Photo of JamesStreet
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden pour with a somewhat soap-bubble type head. Good lace on this beer. Nice piney hop aroma. Somewhat crisp sip, good and balanced. Overall, not a bad try.

 161 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

The color is a clear yellow/gold with two fingers of foamy white head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is hoppy with some green grass aroma coming out. A floral aroma is the first thing I smell but then some touches of fruit start to appear in the nose. A tease of grape and some light tangerine come out then a sweetness that has slight crisp aroma comes forth mixed with a slight acetone aroma.

The taste is has slight thump of bitterness then unleashes a fruity collage of tropical goodness. There is some melon, touches of pineapple, some slight papaya, and nice tangerine there as well. There is a slight bready flavor here that peaks out for a moment before some bitterness hits at the end and finishes things off.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied with a smooth feel that goes down pretty easy. There is a crisp feel and flavor that is different and surprising when sipping a beer that has a good amount of hops. This is a well-sculptured beer that has great flavor as well as a great feel.

 1,084 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange copper color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin ring of lace around the glass

S: Floral and citrusy hops up front with a solid malt background. A touch grainy

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a nice floral hoppiness that also includes some citrus notes. Maltiness balances nicely with hints of sweetness. Finishes with lingering floral notes and some graininess

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Soft

O: A nice hoppy IPL with the floral hoppiness standing out the most. Very easy to drink. Definitely roams into the IPA category while remaining rooted in the lager base. Definitely give this a shot if you're into hoppy lagers

 677 characters

Photo of breadwinner
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A bit heavy for a pils, that's my main complaint, as well as a palate that seems to mingle spicy hops with a touch of spicy booze, and I'm rarely a fan of the latter. Decent but not a repeat purchase for me.

 207 characters

Photo of Jaysauras
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

L: Enjoyed in a standard pint glass. Pours a cloudy, golden color with a fairly thick, cream colored head. Nice carbonation action and tons of lace. A really superb looking beer.

S: The scent was a bit underwhelming. Nothing stood out as outstanding but it was delicate and refreshing. Bready character, hops, and a hint of citrus and honey. The citrus smells a touch like tangerine and/or grapefruit. Slight piney floral scent as well, which is to be expected of an India Pale style.

T: What a blend. When I read India Pale LAGER this is almost exactly what I had in mind. There was the bitter, piney, and floral hop flavor of an IPA that is blended nicely with a simple sweet flavor of a lager. Plenty of complexity as well. Hints of grapefruit and citrus are mixed with a honey, straw and biscuit flavor. It starts slightly bitter and dry, smooths out in the middle, and then hits you with another bit of dry hoppy flavor on the aftertaste. A good taste all the way through. Feels and drinks like a lager in the beginning but finishes like an IPA. Sweet, bitter, smooth, and dry. All combine for quite a nice sip.

F: Usually I'm not big on feel, but this one stood out in a good way. It is crisp and refreshing, but also dry, prickly and strong. Finishes cleaner than a regular IPA but still gives a bit of a bite only recognizable from IPAs. Plenty to like with this. The creamy head also gives a nice foamy feel on the sip. Head lasted throughout the entire drink and never dissipated. Very satisfying.

O: Solid. Simply put. A great combo of flavors, a good mixture of styles, and overall a very solid beer. Not necessarily an easy drinking sessionable beer, but definitely one worth grabbing a pint of on a summer day. Never been a huge fan of pilsners but this puppy was solid. Balance between flavors and feels was perfectly executed. Only complaint was the lack of aroma, but that was really nothing in comparison to what else it brought to the table.

 1,965 characters

Photo of Catracho5
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into a Ballast Point tulip glass

A: Clear, orange, slightly amber color, poured a thick creamy bright white head that dissipated after a few minutes, lots of lacing, nice steady stream of carbonation coming off the bottom, looks more like an IPA than it does a lager.

A: Citrus, grapefruit, pine, slight sweet malt comes through, for being a lager this smells just like an IPA with lots of citrus notes.

T: Citrus, grapefruit bitterness up front, some pine bitterness, finishes like a lager, it doesn't have that lingering bitterness of an IPA, but it finishes crisp, slightly dry, there is a biscuit, bread not finish to the beer, taste really good.

M: Medium mouthfeel, slightly dry finish, average carbonation.

O: My first time with an IPA style lager, definitely different, smells like an IPA, starts like an IPA, however, it finishes crisp and short, there is not a bitter aftertaste like an IPA, which I like, but a cleaner, easier drinking finish. A good beer but if I want citrus and pine bitterness in a beer with a strong finish I will reach for an IPA/IIPA, not an IPA style lager. If IPAs are too bitter for you, you might want to give Fathom a try as it finishes cleaner than IPA yet still has IPA citrus and pine notes.

 1,259 characters

Photo of GarrettB
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

September 6th, 2013 - As of June, 2015, Ballast Point's incredible label art for Fathom adorns the wall of the tasting room near Old Town, San Diego. But back during the review, I believe this was still just paper on bottle, showing off a fresh and crisp beer for San Diego late Fall drinking. The body is deep and gold, giving off a fresh and hoppy aroma. The flavor is sweet and surprisingly tangy, with some lemon and orange. Hops and a fresh, clean "pils" taste still define the body, and overall I'm feeling ready for another round of late September sweating.

 564 characters

Photo of 57md
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light copper in color. The nose had notes of both citrus and hops. This offering is refreshing and drinkable without being anywhere near thin. The malt profile is solid.

This is a winner.

 188 characters

Photo of milwaukee512
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best IPL I've tried; that said, I just think there's something in the feel of IPLs that is inferior to their ale counterpart. As usual, Ballast Point brings flavor, balance, and quality that's tough to match. If you dig IPLs, this is probably as good as it gets.

 264 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 2/2/2015. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, herbal, floral, grass, honey, bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, herbal, floral, grass, honey, bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, lemon/orange zest, pine, honey, bread, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Super clean lagering with zero yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice IPL style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,625 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

this beer kicks ass, and while its a little heavy in the belly for a lager, it tastes awfully good. its that perfect mix of citrus and pine, more lemon and spruce to be specific, but it really works, and the hop profile is amazing on the whole. the body is really big for a lager, but you get the lager yeast and dryness in the finish, very unique that way to still be a hoppy blast. real drinkable for how big it is, but it does sit in the belly a little strange after awhile. abv is high for a lager, and limits the number i can have, but its so clean i want to have a ton of it, a real nice problem to have. complex maybe, simple maybe too at the same time, its one of those beers that moves the lager style as a whole forward pretty far. evolutionary, but maybe just sort of revolutionary in that its similar to a few others with the hop content. nice beer, well made and yummy. so be savored and remembered. ballast point keeps doing it up in style, especially on the hoppy stuff. reconsider lager here!!!

 1,011 characters

Photo of franklioni
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First impression was a more than subtle odour of geranium which is unfortunate as I happen to hate that smell.

Happily though, once I got past that smell, the taste was very smooth and easy for a 7%er that broke later into dogged nice fruitiness.

 247 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange body with one finger head and minor lace on top of an aroma that was dirty, earthy, hops with that "lagery" aroma. The beer is smooth and has a dry hopped taste that is balanced by bread and sweet malts. Beer is easy drinking and finishes dry. Pretty simple beer but the hop flavor is pleasant and the malt base is just enough.

 352 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fathom India Pale Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.