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Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Calico Copper Amber Ale
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very good

419 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 419
Hads: 1,241
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 32
Gots: 143 | 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: 419 | Hads: 1,241
Photo of Celtics17
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of JimiO
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
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 (344 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (669 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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! (557 characters)

Photo of jj139
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (362 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
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 (571 characters)

Photo of patpbr
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of Sacrifice
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of NateLucas
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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! (311 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (494 characters)

Photo of jsprain1
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of JHS123
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of matjack85
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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 (381 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (520 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (1,286 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of TCMike
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (260 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (522 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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. (356 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (747 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium-dark orange-brown hue with no haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy ivory foam. Not bad.

Smell: not too sweet; lightly astringent with a mild biscuitiness and a very light sourness. A little bizarre, but I have to say, I like this aroma on an amber ale.

Taste: caramel character without being too sweet; a light biscuitiness and again that astringency. Hops are citrusy and bitterness is on-message for the style. I would say that this beer is not for everybody, but it's certainly for me.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a surprising creaminess. It really punches my ticket.

Overall: I must say I'm not usually a huge fan of the style, but this beer really works for me. It takes out a lot of the over-sweetness and biscuity character and replaces it with lemony hops. Weird? Maybe. But I like it a lot. (891 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated best by 8.31.2013

Appearance - rich copper mahogany color with tan head

Smell - caramel, pine, grapefruit, spicy herb

taste - caramel, pine, grapefruit, tea

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, crisp, clean, sweet upfront, bitterness in the back to give this beer a nice balance

Overall - One of the better amber ales that I've had. I look forward to drinking this again in the future

Price Point - $1.67/12 oz single (444 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a hazed light copper color with a nice 1 finger head with nice lacing
S-mix of caramel malts ,baked bread molasses/toffee
T- slight pine and fruit taste with oily malts and caramel pine hops finish with bread
M- nice carbonation with a full flavored amber very little bitterness
O- nice tasting amber low ABV highly drinkable (335 characters)

Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.