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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

129 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 787
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 26.22%
Wants: 50
Gots: 157 | 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
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Reviews: 129 | Hads: 787
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Library Alehouse in Santa Monica, CA.

Pours a clear orange with an off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and herbal and citrus zest hops. Taste is of herbal and citrus zest hops up front with a nice malt backbone. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp an clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice hop presence.

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Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with some amber hues. It poured with a finger and a half high frothy off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a quarter finger high head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—lemons and oranges seem to stand out in particular—along with hints of bready malts and pine resin hops.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has flavors of citrusy hops along with a light amount of associated bitterness. There's no pine resin in the taste but hints of floral hops are noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little clean and slightly smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked this lager because it showcased the citrusy flavors of the hops but wasn't that bitter and didn't have the bite or crispness you get from ales. As such, it has good drinkability.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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!!!

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Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a couple of inches of foam on top; the head grows rocky as it leaves strips of lace along the side of the glass

Smell: Kumquat and lychee

Taste: Bready, up front, but the hops take over from there; tropical fruit flavors but not the usual citrus or pine - these have a kumquat sour/tart character along with the clean refreshing taste of lychee

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: I have been spoiled by Jack's Abby and while this is good, it is nowhere close

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ballast Point in August 2009.

Poured a nice golden color at the lighter end of the spectrum, but well within a lager's range. A nice white head on it. Smell is strong with hops--lots of pine and a bit of backing citrus and floral. Taste was nice and resiny with little malt backing. We had a few IPL's on the trip, and this one was right up there with Humulus from The Bruery. Nice mouthfeel and fantastic drinkability. This is an emerging style I'd like to see more of, and Ballast Point has absolutely nailed it.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker a clear rich burnt orange infused golden with a great looking large fluffy white crown that settled slowly leaving alot of broken lace behind.Aromas were yeasty with overripe citrus fruits and a bit toasted bread,a hint of sweet booze as well.Flavors of somewhat sweet doughy bread with a big shot the overripe citrusy hops,again the yeast plays a big role.I really liked this hopped lager,it actually seems bigger than what it is.

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Photo of jlindros
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap at deep ellum
Nice creamy almost 3 finger creamy head, doesn't fade, nice big lacing, bubbles streaming up, fairly clear orange slight toasty brown color.

Nose sweet candy malts, candied orange peel, zest, citrus and juicy hop, light floral and grassy hop, caramel malt.

Taste sweet candy malts, caramel, toasty, semi sweet, grainy heavy malt base. Then citrus hops, orange peel, light floral grassy earthy, med bitterness that's overpowered by the malts. Finish is drier but little sticky, sweet malt flavor, caramel, fair bitter earthy citrus hops lingering.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall ok but do much for me, pretty much no lager character either.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Ballast Point Linda Vista 11/11/09. Part of the "Hoppy Hump Day" event during San Diego Beer Week.

Pours a clear copper, with a 1/2 finger of slightly off-white head. Nice richness to the retention and lacing. The aroma is fresh floral hops and some bright smelling citrus flavors, with a tight bready layer of malt underneath it. The hops really overall control this nose nicely though.

The Lager attributes are bit more assertive in the taste, with a firm and crisp snap to the malts, being more than up to the task of propping up that same fresh tasting hop character from the aroma. No shortage of sweet citrus, which splashes the tongue before a steady bitterness, full of spice and pine, creeps in the finish. Fairly clean feel here in the backend, with too much lingering hops being kept in check. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch lighter, with a pleasant mellow firmness to carbonation. This gives the body some crispness but also keeps it very smooth, allowing for that almost 7% ABV to go down like a champ. Dangerous stuff!

Very nicely done version of this style, that packed a ton of juicy hop flavor into a firm, crisp, (and most of all) extremely easy drinking package. I literall could have just stood around and drank this all day but other beers beckoned.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice medium amber in the Pilsener glass. Slight lacing in the glass. Some flowery hops in the nose. Not much mouthfeel. Tastes really rich, which is something of a novelty for anything with the word "lager" in its name. But a big, robust malty flavor immediately followed by a whole lot of hops. The hops are just short of overpowering, and whatever variety they are, it's a clean and intense taste.

I like a beer that creates some head-scratching as to style. Good to remember that the creative urge challenges the artificial boundaries. Call it a low-voltage DIPA. But for hopheads I think it would be worth tasting as a highly drinkable novelty.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

7.0% ABV according the bottle. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with decent label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired for $6.00 USD at The Growler Room here in Austin earlier tonight and served into an Avery stem-tulip. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as an India Pale Lager because the label clearly identifies it as such. The name of the beer is "Fathom IPL" not "Fathom India Pale Lager."

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white colour. Good thickness. Decent creaminess and frothiness. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper of above average vibrance. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a good looking beer and boasts one of the better appearances I've seen in this emergent style. That said, it's not unique or special. But I'm looking forward to the first sip and I don't notice any overt flaws.

Sm: Has some lovely dank resinous hop oils, with plenty of herbal and floral character as well as some nectary character. I pick up on some cannabis and evergreen notes. Also some lovely citrus - bits of grapefruit and orange zest.

The malty base seems ideal - pale malts, clean barley, and a hint of caramalt.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

It's a great aroma for the style, and has surprising strength. Clean and pleasant. I can't wait to try it. The resins are a definite highlight.

T/Mf: The clean feel of the hops isn't quite maintained here in the taste; untamed hoppy bitterness invades along with some dragging pine needles and grassy notes. It's still oily, but overall I wish it were more smooth and wet, with better balance of the hop bitterness. As is, it's slightly coarse and dry (especially in the second act), which really holds it back from being the refreshing lager it should be.

I get a bit of grapefruit and orange along with some citrusy twang. Those cannabis and evergreen hop notes do stay present in the flavour profile, and really work here. Hop character is primarily floral/herbal, but there's surprising depth and diversity of hop profile here - especially considering it's a lager of lesser ABV than most IPAs. Juicy and crisp.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-flavours come through.

Overcarbonated. Has way too much bite and weight for the style and flavour profile, but overall I'd say the texture suits the taste pretty well and it has a nice presence on the palate in spite of its shortcomings. Clearly, brewers are still trying to figure out how much body and thickness to give India Pale Lagers; I think this is a bit too IPA-imitative for its own good. Clean and enjoyable nonetheless. Could be softer. It's overbearing for a lager.

The core of the beer is a pale malt/light caramalt build which works well for it. Overall, this is a cohesive approachable build but it's not quite gestalt. Decently balanced with impressive complexity for a lager. Not the most subtle or intricate beer out there. Above average duration and intensity of flavour.

I'm liking this quite a bit for what it is, and it's better than I remember Humulus Lager being.

Dr: A very drinkable sessionable India Pale Lager which I consider amongst the best of these early examples of the style. Ballast Point has a delivered an inspired lager with an impressive amount of flavour that will please IPA fans. With its kinks worked out, this could be a great beer in its style. I love the price point and would recommend friends give this a shot. I'll easily kill this bottle, and could probably go for another. Hides its ABV well.


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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I knew I'd come back one day to review this. On-tap most recently at Churchill's Pub, on to the beer:

Has the color of pale orange which provides little excitement for the eyes. The head is small and leaves a few spots of lace around. The nose features some vague citrus and pine zest.

It could taste better given the craftsmanship behind Ballast Point. This pilsner (notice that I'm not refering to this as an "India Pale Lager") features a bite of pine in the begining and throughout. A late surge of grapefruit keeps this from being resemblant to Pine Sol. Aftertaste is a little soapy and fairly bitter.

Nice enough. I recall liking this a little more when I first tasted it though.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at O'Brien's in San Diego, CA,

A: Pours a light amber with a firm white head, good retention.

S: Very bready at the first whiff, smells a lot like a hopped up Spaten.

T: Very bready at first, German lager malt, with a bit of a sour character. Hops come in with some pine bitterness and earth, an interesting tasting hybrid, but at the end of it all, I was only mildly enjoying it.

M: Crisp and smooth, easy drinking for sure, fairly light-bodied.

D: An interesting beer from Ballast Point, but I'd take their regular IPA over this any day.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, clear, golden blonde coloring with a filmy, clingy, white surface coat of head. Aromas of toasted grains, floral hops highlights with a bitter, resiny undertone, and some grassy highlights. Flavors of toasted grains, peppery dry hops characters, and some buttery highlights. Light, crisp body, with a dry endfeel. Toasty and bitter resiny hops in the aftertase. Very drinkable and very refreshing.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 08/19/2009 at Ballast Point Homebrew Mart. The beer appears golden and translucent with a frothy white head. Lacing is left clinging to the glass after the recession.

The nose is radical, with notes of resiny pine, succulent bitter grapefruit, orange pith, and tropical fruit. The hops also impart floral and grassy notes. The malt is very light, reminiscent of caramel and somewhat crackery. Hell of a nose. I would guess this is an IPA if I didn't know better.

The flavor is clean bitterness up front and throughout. My palate is overwhelmed with pine and grapefruit. Bitterness is at a medium level, with grassy notes. The light body and clean profile yeast serves as a sort of fantastic vehicle for the hop medley. I love it. The finish is dry with some tropical fruit.

The beer is light bodied with medium draft carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and sticky. This is a hell of a beer, and I'd like to see more of this unique style.


Fresh batch tapped yesterday and enjoyed today at Old Grove. Outstanding beer and really nice batch. +.5 to mouthfeel.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: very nice golden hue with a clear body and a strong effervescence. A nice layer of creamy ivory foam leaving a good lace on the glass. Great!

Smell: malty aroma with slightly dank, very earthy hops. A bit sweet, but I like it.

Taste: sticky and sweet, as one might expect from the style. It's got the same blend of malty, sweet, syrupy flavor and earthy hops as the aroma. Bitterness is quite good, though, and stands up to the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: plenty of body with a moderate carbonation but a very good creaminess. Very good.

Overall: not bad at all, but it drinks like a hi-test beer; sweet and a bit alcoholey, as the style tends to be.

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Photo of tone77
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, form this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, lemons, some malts. Taste is crisp, lemons, hops, malts, balanced and very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a hazy medium honey-gold color with about 1/4 inch of white head that had moderate retention and low lacing.

The aroma had some nicely light grain malts and a bit of floral hops. On the tongue, The malts had the front, then blended with the floral hops in the middle. At the back was a blast of citrus hops that was unexpected.

The body was medium and had a bitter finish that lingered for a bit. Drinkability was OK, the beer went down easily enough, but didn't really have a noticeable personality. Overall, a pleasant enough little brew, probably worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on February 23, 2015.

It pours a bright, clear orange-copper-amber with a modest foamy cream colored head.

It smells very nice and inviting with those citrus and pine hop aromas mingling delicately with the roasted malts underneath.

Medium body that is also very smooth and chewy.

There is a hop to malt ratio of about 60-40 if I was to take a guess. The citrus and pine hops lead the way but the underlying roasted malt/bread character can also be found. Lingering bitterness at the end. Nicely done.

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Photo of bark
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is gold (7 EBC), the liquid is clear. The airy three finger head is white, it sinks slowly leaving lots of thick lacing. It looks very inviting.

The smell is semi-sweet and hoppy. Notes of grapefruit peel, honey, exotic fruit jam, green plands and a smooth bitterness.

The taste is sweeter than expected. Clean malty sweetness, smooth bitterness. Notes of orange juice, green plants, honey and plums. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got growing clean alcohol and bitterness, exotic fruits and bread-like malt. The finish is smooth and sweet with some floral bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong, the small bubbles are long-lived. The liquid is a bit sticky.

Way too sweet, but apart from that, I liked it.

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Photo of dgilks
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colour with a moderate fluffy off white head.

Moderately malty and smooth. Slight hop aroma.

Resinous hop character with light malt. Quite sharp but in a good way.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A crisp, clean strong lager. Nicely hoppy.

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Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a cross of gold and blonde with a frothy head. I had read about this beer but this is my first time trying it.

Grapefruit and pine aromas spring forth followed by a clean malt base that compliments them. Smells much stronger than 7%.

The first sip brings forth those same grapefruit and pine hop flavors but after that, is nothing but a blank slate of clean, crisp malt. It differs from a few other offerings I've had and to be quite honest, I like this effort more.

The mouthfeel is clean and crisp as well. It's not muddled or full of alcohol heat like a few other offerings.

THE cleanest, tastiest example I've had of this stuff thus far.

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Fathom India Pale Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.