Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Calico Copper Amber Ale
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very good

1,204 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,204
Reviews: 433
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 32
Gots: 130 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 04-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,204 | Reviews: 433
Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very rich, delicious molasses finish.

Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep copperish amber with one finger of creamy beige head. Head lingers for a bit before settling to a thin layer atop the brew. Lacing is prominent.

S: Toffee, caramel malts, slight citrus and dark fruit notes, also some floral hops.

T: Toasted malts, caramel, citrus, toffee, and a nice hop bitterness.

M: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated, wet and crisp finish. Drinks similar to an ESB.

O: A fantastic Amber. It's hard to find a better readily available amber/red ale. I highly recommend this to any fan of the style.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer has a very beautiful appearance because of the hue. The beer pour an off-white cream color head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is a nice dark amber color that comes off as a slightly dark purple. It almost resembles a ripe plum.

The beer smell is nice and sweet. Strong toffee malt smell with a slight citrus hop note to it. Floral notes as well. The overall hop note is pretty good and mixes well with the malts.

The beer taste is also very good. Nice bitter hop taste offset by a toasted malt note that strongly resembles an ESB style ale. Also, slight mineral taste to it.

The mouthfeel is fantastic. Light carbonation on the tongue to lighten the beer a little bit. The beer seems to be more medium bodied than anything else but on the lighter side. Pretty refreshing feel but with a slightly dry finish.

Overall, I really like this beer and really love ESB styled beers, which is probably why I'm rating this one slightly higher than others. I think is beer is probably the closest I've had to an American ESB that actually resembled an ESB. Highly recommend.

Photo of Trooper92292
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great Amber Ale. I'm glad I finally picked up a 6 pack of this stuff. Beautiful color and a great malt backbone.

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very flavorful. Big biscuit flavors.

Photo of RyanK252
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep red-orange amber with a frothy tan head that settles to a nice layer and laces well.

S: Toffee and toasted malt, hints of dark fruit, floral, a little spice, and maybe a little light citrus.

T: Toasty malt, light citrus, lemon, floral, a bit spicy, hints of dark fruit, and some toffee sweetness.

M: On the lighter end of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Maybe nothing super special, but still a solid drinkable amber.

Photo of Lard_City
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color is nice dark Amber and the aroma is an OK mild maltiness but the flavor and feel a outstanding sweet malty toffee with hints of fruit and very mild carbonation. So far this is my favorite from Ballast Point.

Photo of JOrtiz
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did not like this, too thin and malty.

Photo of Moose90
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a deep rich looking amber/brown, very nice and clear bodied, off white, almost khaki colored head forms and leaves behind nice lacing.

S — Smells of rich fresh and sweet malts, little bitter, noble hop tone here too.

T — Tastes of fresh lightly roasted malts, slightly sweet and hoppy, nice balance.

M — Medium bodied, a little thin perhaps.

O — Nice from BP, more known for their hoppier beers this one was a nice surprise.

Photo of Peter_Anderson
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Was expecting this beer to have more caramel flavor... more body and a better balance of malt and bitterness.

Photo of MrMeerbill
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Real good beer kind of subtle but in an elegant way

Photo of stricklandscottm
2.59/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

The only thing Amber is the color. For an ESB inspired ale it is chock full of hoppy American badness that it ruins any mellow bitter malty flavor this style beer would have otherwise.

Photo of Webbydag1
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice Carmel color. Strong hops out front that melt away to a sweet finish

Photo of WineGuy3000
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Quick review. I'll tell you what I like - great mouthfeel, burly malt & solid carbonation really come together nicely here. I'm liking the look of it too, nice deep amber/red. Beyond that, this brew is a bit malt-forward for my taste, I tend to go for the thinner, spicier red/ambers.

Photo of milwaukee512
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another hit from Ballast Point. Well-carbonated, fresher and a bit hoppier than most in this category. Reminds me of Lakefront's Riverwest Stein or New Belgium's Fat Tire, but with a little bit of a west-coast IPA lean. Nothing wrong with that.

Photo of uvachief
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft into a pint glass on kick the keg night which means the keg has been on awhile. Pours a beautiful amber copper red. Little to no head. Doesn't have much of a smell other than floral with some roasted malts. Very clean and light tasting. But not a lot of flavor. Would go down easy on a warm sunny day. Above average red ale.

Photo of Stevedore
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle served in a snifter 4/23/2015.

A- Dark copper-amber body, two finger offwhite head, fair retention, no lacing.

S- Crisp grassy and earthy aromas, a mild toffee backbone. Not complex or interesting, but certainly no off flavours.

F- Moderately malty toffee up front with a mild pine and grass bitter finish .

M- Medium-thinner bodied, good carbonation, nothing too complicated or challenging aside from a fair amount of grassy bitterness.

O- A fair Amber/Red ale with a decent amount of malty flavour with a moderate hop bite on the backend, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of maedhros09
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Look: They got the color right! Deep beautiful clear ruby amber with very nice fluffy head and lacing
Smell: malty
Taste: Lots of malt character - some fruitiness and a lot of grain, but not sweet or heavy. The only part I kind of dislike is a sourness that just seems out of balance. Otherwise it is a refreshing though flavorful beer.
Feel: light to medium body with a typical mouthfeel.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer somewhat but I really have no desire to buy another one. The malt dominance is not a problem at all - rather it is the character of the malt that just seems rough around the edges and not terribly pleasant. Beautiful presentation though!

Photo of Lemke10
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a deep amber color with a slight foamy head. The aroma is strong with sweet malts. The taste is simple, malty, and very easy drinking.

Photo of chuckpalka
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I liked this. Poured it from a bottle in my glass at home. A nice rich copper clear look with a off white nice head. Carbonation is low which is fine. A slight bread malt smell that stays with the taste with a hint of citrus for a subtle nice combination mouth feel. The foam head holds up well and provides nice lacing. Bought it with a mix and match six pack and will buy again.

Photo of bluehende
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer had too light of a feel for me. Nice smell of hops but lacked the taste to back it up.

Photo of Redneckwine
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into SA pint

Appearance - Coppery amber and crystal clear, fluffy 2 finger offwhite head retains well and leaves good sticky lacing. Quintessential amber ale look here.

Smell - Pretty aggressive for an amber, raw honey and toasty cereal grains shine through. A little bit of fruity ester going on mixed with more citrus/herbal hops than expected.

Taste - Toasty bread and raw grains right away mixed with some honey/caramel-like flavor brings a very modest sweetness. Some fruity notes coalesce with minor piney/citrusy/herbal hopping. This beer dries out super-fast and includes a fairly assertive resinous/earthy hop bitterness in the finish (WAY more than expected) that lingers quite awhile. Quite a bit of hop bitter but not a great deal of hop flavor.

Feel - Snappy, bubbly carbonation makes for a light feel on the medium body. Maybe a bit more carbonated than I'd like (even after a reasonably strong pour). Interestingly crisp for an amber ale, but at the expense of some smoothness.

Overall - A decent amber here, but some things about it rub me the wrong way. The carbonation seems a bit too high and effervescent and the high bitterness level doesn't really seem to jive all that well with the overall taste. Not bad, but not great either. Not strong enough to be a repeat purchase for me.

Photo of Gdj09001
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted a little too raw

Photo of Phewf
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is the best part.

Photo of mothmanscott
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep amber/pale brown with a reddish hue producing 2 fingers of somewhat lasting, pale tan, foamy/frothy head that leaves a clumpy coating of streaky, webby lacing. Aroma is disappointing & promises little: thin toffee, caramel & earthy herbal hops. Taste is another kettle of fish altogether (no pun intended). The mouth is an intense version of the nose on steroids with dark bread, roast and nutty notes, more intense earthy hops & yeasty/malty fruity esters. The sip finishes with caramel, roast & nuts, fruit, some pepper & an increasing hop bitterness. Afrertaste is a dry, astringent & bitter bomb that is out of character for the style but most welcome to card carrying Hop-Heads such as myself. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, dry, creamy, silky with slight spice & a pleasant astringency. I don\'t remember an amber ale with this much bitterness.

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Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.