Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Calico Copper Amber Ale
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very good

1,205 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,205
Reviews: 433
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 32
Gots: 131 | 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: 1,205 | Reviews: 433
Photo of Brew_42
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

A-Dark copper with an off-white head

Smell- Malty with some sweetness. A hint of citrus too.

Taste- Malty with some caramel up front. Turning more bitter towards the back end. Some citrus and pine. More bitter than you would expect from the smell.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation

Overall- Pretty decent beer. Smell's great but a little bitter for my tastes.

Photo of woemad
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $1.79. No obvious freshness date, but the label has been stamped “CA 419 14691.” This date makes no sense according to BP’s own explanation of their dating system on their website, unless this bottle is from the future. The label is different than the one pictured on BA, and “Copper” seems to have been dropped from the name.

Poured a hazy, orangey-amber color, with a big, creamy beige head and some sediment visible. Judging by the sediment, the time machine that brought this bottle here took a roundabout route.

More hoppy in the nose than most amber ales. This makes me happy. I’m not into the malt bombs that most ambers tend to be. I also detected a honey-like aroma, and what reminds me of orange peel.

Bittering hops and toasty, bready malts are almost equally present in the taste, with the hops slightly in the lead. This could easily pass as a malty version of a west coast pale ale.

Medium bodied, with a mouthfeel that manages to be both creamy and dry.

Although it’s labeled as an “Amber Ale,” this seems coser to an ESB. Regardless of the style, it’s a sessionable amber-colored ale with a hop bite. Fans of sweeter, more malty amber ales might not care for this. I find it very drinkable, but wish I knew how old it really is. Just stamp the actual bottling date on the bottle, fer cryyi! Don’t make us do math with what turns out to be a wrong number!

Photo of jjh19
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark red/copper color with an average tight-bubble head. Surprisingly dark for an Amber.

Smell: Not a ton of aroma, but I did detect some toasted notes and some floral hops.

Taste: This one tasted a lot like New Belgium’s Fat Tire ale. For better and worse. There’s no denying that Fat Tire (and I’m sure Calico) has it’s fans. I’m just not one of them. It must be the balance of hops and malts - it doesn’t sit well on my tongue. The hops feel unnecessarily assertive.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: This Amber Ale is okay. One and done.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Brick red with bubbles floating to the top. some lacing on the glass.

S: Bitterness and malt.

T: Grassy taste, citrus hops, English malt, chalkiness, raisins, and clove. This is a lovely taste and I love the mix between a true American amber and an English bitter.

M: Medium-light and creamy. It's got a nice touch of carbonation.

O: A good beer definitely. Might buy a six pack of this soon. I love the IPA-cross-English bitter style.

Photo of S_Weinstein95
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: An amber brown with a thin white head that turns to a nice lace

Smell: A great malty scent hits the nose. Scents of caramel, nuts, and a bit of chocolate appear as well.

Taste: The malts balance nice with the strong roasted flavors found in the beer. More of the caramel appears on the back end as does a hint of nut. Finishes smooth with a bit of a chocolately aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A very smooth, drinkable beer. Nice carbination throughout.

Overall: An exemplary example of the style. Absolutely worth revisiting!

Photo of Zach136
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep ruby, rocky off white head. Solid lacing.

S - Medium intensity tones of nuts, caramel and grassy hops.

T - More of the same from the nose. Malt forward with a sweet toasty character finishing with an astringent grassy hop character, really not my thing personally but very true to style.

M - Refreshing and quaffable.

O - Amazing take on the style.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint Glass."

A: Nice dark amber red with hints of orange and brown. Significant head, little lacing, nice appearance.

S: Wheats, malts, lots of hops. Kind of a sweet caramel on top.

T: Initial flavor is standard for an amber, but it has a significantly large hoppy bitterness. Sweet caramel notes and lots of good roasted malt. Significant bitter aftertaste.

M: Smooth, crip and not too rich but drinkable.

O: Not a bad selection. It's a Boston Lager with more hops. Quite a nice, flavorful beer that's full of malt, caramel and hops. Solid B+.

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark amber body with a chunky cream-coloured head.

S: Strong orange rind and fudge combination.

T: Has the marmalade and the fudge but the sweetness is masked by a rindy bitterness, making it fairly dry. Malt character is undetectable.

M: Soft but lively effervescence.

O: It's no Sculpin but an enjoyable beer none the less.

Photo of chinchill
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Dark amber brown with a towering beige head.

Aroma: fairly equal mix of hops and malts.

Flavor follows although the balance is a bit maltier.sweet light and medium roast malts with a touch of darker (chocolate?) malts.

O remarkable flavor for style. Recommended.

Photo of thomda11
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another solid brew from Ballast Point. It pours a beautiful rich amber color with modest head. The beer has a sweet malt aroma with just a touch of citrus hops. The taste is similar to the aroma. There is a strong caramel malt presence with a hop bitterness that is reminiscent of bitter citrus. Overall, I cannot say this is the best Amber Ale I have had; but, it is certainly one I'd grab again.

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

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red amber colored with a large off white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: light citrus hops, lemony and zesty, caramel malt

T: citrus peel bitterness up front, sweetens only slightly in the middle, hop profile is balanced by caramel malt, finish is bitter citrus, bready and tangy

M: medium with higher carbonation

O: above average but a bit one dimensional, flavors are reserved

Photo of Neorebel
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Calico Amber Ale has a great deep amber hue, however with my experience it is a bit lacking as far as a nice sudsy head is concerned. It is adequately carbonated and has good clarity though. Aroma is fresh, with sugary citrus fruit, molasses and biscuity notes. The flavor is very malt forward, which suits the style, however it may be a just a tiny bit too sweet for my tastebuds. It is somewhat bold and has moderately heavy body to it. The mouth feel is very full and the finish has some desirable bitterness to it, and it lingers nicely. While I don't normally reach for amber ales on the store shelf, all things considered, this is an excellent beer.

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

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass
Notes from 03/09/14

A: Dark amber body with a well conditioned clarity and some glowing auburn hues to it. A reserved layer of khaki froth settles over top with some fair hang time that leaves a few swaths of scattered lace across the glass.

S: Citrus fruits made up mostly of dried orange peel combine with sticky evergreens, resin, and florals. There is a touch of malty biscuit there with a slight suggestion of toffee raisin. Very clean aromas with some fresh hops up front.

T: Nutty biscuit with a touch of toffee malt sweetness melds perfectly with the leafy resinous hops. Abundantly zesty with orange and tangerine. Complimented by the sappy pine and floral notes. Lightly sticky with a moderate level of hop bitterness and a nice drying fix. Alcohol is well masked throughout. A pinch of chocolate covered raisin on the back end. This is really well put together I must say.

M: Moderately filling from the malt body. Nice even level of carb with a drying finish and resinous pucker from the hops. Fairly clean in the end.

D: Haven’t had a Calico in a few years to be honest and this is much better than I recall. Nice fresh hops up front. Well balanced with the bready malts. Good bitter bite leading to a nice drying finish.
A well rounded American style Amber that I would surely have again.

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

Appearance: Nice amber shade, perfect head of foam, some noticeable carbonation.

Smell: Subtle caramel malts.

Taste: Caramel and toasty malts, with a touch of pine.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and dry, with a bitter hoppy finish.

The Verdict: Not bad. They call it an “ESB inspired ale,” which is pretty much on the money. More ESB than Amber, and a good quality one at that.

Photo of Celtics17
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I enjoyed this beer, it had an odd hop bitterness, that I wasn't expecting.American hops that offer a crisp bitterness and unique floral aroma. I got some toffee, but not much of a caramel taste, which is usually the case with most Amber Ale's. I do get some vegetable feel from this beer as well.

Photo of JimiO
2.46/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Looks great in a glass... looks rich dark amber brown

Subtle on the nose... couldn't really identify any strong characteristics

Very bitter on the tongue... strong coffee and burnt toffee... very dry... a bit hopper than I like

Gave my my mouth a tingly sensation... probably the hops

All and an OK beer... under delivered to my expectation

Photo of FLima
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with a thick one finger head with decent retention and leaving laces.
Nice aroma of biscuit and caramel malts, citrusy hops, muffled pine and American Yeast.
Bitter flavor of earthy and citrusy hops with notes of toasted malts, guaraná (any English hops here?), American yeast, grapefruits, tangerines, lemon, softened spices and English tea. Dry aftertaste with a long lasting pleasant bitterness.
Light to medium body with perfect carbonation.
Refreshing, bitter and tasty beer, just love this style. Perfectly balanced and incredibly easy to drink. Is this and American Amber Ale or an ESB with an American twist? Two very compatible styles anyway.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Coppery colored with a lightly tan head, lacing was ok, clarity was slightly hazy.

Aroma and flavor are nicely malty. Malt is the big thing on this beer, with some good caramel malt notes and a touch of tangy, piney hops that bring a good balance to this ale.

The body is medium to slightly chewy, medium carbonation, slightly sweet, caramel malty finish.

I guess I originally mistook this for big-eye, one of their IPAs, but once I got it home I realized I hadn't tried it yet. Twas a good mistake to make, another tasty one from Ballast Point!

Photo of jj139
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Reddish-copper with a beige 2-finger head. Very long lasting lacing.

S - Dough and yeast up front with hints of sweet-caramel malt and pine.

T - Malt and dough with a touch of hops. Very balanced.

M - Medium body and carbonation, with a refreshing dry finish.

O - A very enjoyable and easy drinking brew. I'll be picking up more of this soon.

Photo of garymuchow
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Won as part of Xmas holiday exchange game. Thanks guys. Bottled on date 13262
Nice looking red amber as poured into SA glass. Tan head and very clear. Fairly prominent sticky hoppy lacing
Largely a malt forward aroma with only hints of hops. Slight toast and some sweetness.
More hop presence in flavor. Starts right up front and continues unabated through a moderately lengthy solidly bitter finish. The hop flavors are good and not overwhelming. Firm malt flavors resembling the aroma and preventing excess in the hops.
Good feel. Soft and moderate.
Solid drinking ale

Photo of patpbr
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber body with a sturdy two finger head. seeing lots of carbonation bubbles.
S - Malty, sweet and a bit of fruit.
T - A lot like the smell carmel malt and bitterness. Hoppy finish.
M - Medium body and moderate carbonation.
O - Easy to drink and nice flavors.

Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on nitro at Howells and Hood in a rounded pilsner glass.

It took awhile for the foam to settle, but once it did, the body was a bright copper with a compact head of velvety opaque foam. It left sheets of lace in the glass, and completely covered it. Slow rising carb trails visible.

Aroma was fairly muted, didn't get much due to the nitro other than vague traces of malt and maybe yeast.

Taste was a different story as it had a nice little bit of orange rind bitterness to it, and a very smooth malty body. Creamy feel from the nitro, somewhat substantial. Overall it was pretty enjoyable.

Photo of Sacrifice
4.77/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i had this in a box with ballast point sculpin, pale ale, and calico. it has a nice spice i wouldn't quite know how to describe. not quite as much to my liking as the sculpin, but stronger flavor than the pale ale.

i'd buy this for a change of pace from my usual if i could get it.

Photo of NateLucas
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a nice rich amber color, and a bitter caramel malt aroma. Flavor was very nice, with generous grapefruit up front, and finished with a bitter caramel/toffee. Nice hoppy punch! Medium-bodied, medium head. Beer had a great deal of character, and a nice hoppy feel. Finished somewhat dry. Great beer!

Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The Ballast Point Calico Amber is the best beer Ii have tried so far today....its number 4. The beer poured a nice clear amber with thin slightly offwhite head that is leaving a fine lace. The scent had a rich caramel malt. The taste is a gloriously balanced beer...there is a sharp bitterness to start then the sweet malt help to cleanse the pallete. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a wonderful sessionable beer. I would buy a 12/6/24 problem.

Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,205 ratings.