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Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Calico Copper Amber AleCalico Copper Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

422 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 422
Hads: 1,254
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 36
Gots: 153 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Calico Copper Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 422 | Hads: 1,254
Photo of Neorebel
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Celtics17
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of JimiO
2.46/5  rDev -35.8%
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

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Photo of FLima
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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Photo of jj139
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
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

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Photo of patpbr
4.02/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Sacrifice
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

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Photo of NateLucas
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
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 pack....no problem.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Coppery amber, with long lasting slightly tanned head. Good retention.
S- Sweetness, a fair bit of piney hops, and some fruityness, almost like a berry aroma.
T- The hop presences is noticeable at first but drifts, but sweetens out with some bready notes, a bit of caramel, and some fruityness. On the whole, it leans sweet. A bit of pine hop in the finish.
M- Medium full body, low carb. Feels sweet on the tongue, but it finishes quite dry.
O- A decent beer, and enjoyable. Nothing is really mind blowing about it, but it is a quality, drinkable beer, that brings a lot of flavor to a 5.0% abv beer.

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Photo of JHS123
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great copper color nice carbonation with a genuine balance of hops and malts on the front. Bread, dough on the nose. I liked just about every component of the Calico with the exception of the finish which imparts a very strong bitterness but hey its an ESB so what do you expect. Its not my favorite from Ballast Point (Sculpin or Big Eye) but its a good alternative to a typical ESB. 2013 Labeling is way different from what is posted here at Beer Advocate.

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Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Roommate brought a few of these home to sample. 12oz. brown bottle with a freshness date at the bottom of the front label.

Clear reddish/copper color with a 1-finger off-white head that lasts a few minutes and leaves some nice lacing.

Big piny hop aroma with with some bready malt and caramel underneath
Bready malt and caramel flavor balanced nicely with plenty of piny hop bitterness along with a touch of fruit juice underneath.

Medium body with medium carbonation.

It's a decent beer but I wasn't bowled over by it.

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Photo of ZAP
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Burnt orange in color....tan/brown head..

S-Malt forward with toffee and caramel in front...some herbal hops

T-More hop forward that the nose would lead you to think...the malt bone is nice with caramel/toffee again but now an added layer of piney and herbal hops...

M-Medium bodied...ample carbonation..

O-Nice solid amber ale....more ESB like with the malt flavors....solid

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Photo of wedge
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly foggy reddened amber with a tall head of froth that doesn't stick around for too long. Smells fruity with some rounded malt, berries, raisins, floral hops, and a slight warm toastiness. Fruity yeast esters, creamy, somewhat biscuity malts, tea-like hops, pear, and a long bitterness that seems a bit out of place. Nice mouthfeel...medium bodied with some texture. Decent all around, though I was expecting more of an obvious San Diego style hop influence and this seems to be more on the British side of things.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Smell: A fairly sharp hoppy aroma with a solid caramel malt balance and earthy hints. Upfront earthy, floral, and grassy hops along with herbal hints of pine resin. Light citrus hints of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Big sweet and bready malt balance with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, yeast, and toast. Slight hints of spice as well. A pretty solid red ale aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints at, a juicy and earthy hop taste with a big balance of sweet caramel malt. Upfront bitter hops with earthy, grassy, and floral notes. Herbal notes with some pine resin. Citrus hop notes of grapefruit, orange peel, and lemon. Good toasted malt balance with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, cracker, toast, and yeast. Slight rye like spice note. A nicely balanced red taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nicely juicy, creamy, and slightly oily. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very solid take on the Amber/Red Ale style. Good bitter hop presence with a good sweet caramel malt balance.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a translucent copper color. Minute head of tan bubbles. Lighter lacing.

S-Fruity yeast and malt sweetness. Light citrus hop aroma. Leans more towards malty than hoppy.

T-A bit hoppier here. It actually has a pretty pleasant grassy and piney hop finish. In between, the hops give off some moderate citrus flavors. The fruity malt is still there and balances this brew out.

M-Has some definite body to it. Moderate bitterness. Doesn't strike me as very sessionable.

O/D-A solid brew but far from a memorable one. It fils to distinguish itself but its far from bad.

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Photo of TCMike
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer is a medium copper. It produce a finger & 1/2 of off white head.

The aroma is of caramel, biscuit, and a hint of piney hops.

The taste was similar. Nice mid bodied beer. Medium carbonation.

Solid amber, easy drinking, and well balanced. Will get again.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Best by date of 10/05/13, so one day over.

poured a cloudy reddish color with 1 finger off white head. Good carbonation through the cloudiness. Head retained in some form all the way down. Lacing was minimal.

Smell was some sweetness, molasses and kinda doughy.

Tasted okay, wasn't getting any hop signature, only maltiness. Did leave a rather bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

Overall, not much to say for or against it. Doubt I would seek it out again though.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coppery ale with a tawny foam that persists leaving rings of lace. Smells like heavy whipping cream, slightly sugary, honey, cream. It's rather unique and I'm digging the smell. Taste is earthy, spicy, lightly citrus, honey, mildly bitter and lightly sweet. Medium body has some creaminess and holds together well. Overall this is a pretty tasty amber ale.

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Photo of bsp77
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Reddish-amber with decent off-white head.

Smell: Seems to be a singular smell, but it is a mix of caramel, cherry, citrus and spice.

Taste: Semi-sweet malt base of caramel, cherry and other dark fruits. The hops are perfectly balanced with the malts, and provide spicy notes, as well as citrus and pine. Finish is bitter, but restrained.

Feel: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very dry finish for a balanced Amber. Nice.

Overall: This is a perfectly executed everyday Amber. There really is nothing to complain about; it just isn't the kind of beer that I want to return to over and over again. I think that is my personal flaw and not any fault of this very well made beer.

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Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.