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Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Calico Copper Amber AleCalico Copper Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

911 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 911
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 21
Gots: 34 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 04-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Calico Copper Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 911 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheDinger
TheDinger

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at a speciality place here in town. Have enjoyed other offerings from Ballast Point so thought I'd try the Amber. Served from a 12 oz. single into a pint glass.

A- Bright copper with 1+ finger of light brown head. Cloudy with a fair amount of lacing that lasts throughout.

S- Thought it would pack more punch. Initial notes of hops that give way to citrus and fruit. A hint of peach.

T- Strong citrus and fruity notes with adequate carbonation. A bit of heavy hops at the end which was a little much.

M- A little thin and dry. Good carbonation however.

O- A good effort from Ballast Point on this one. A bit on the hoppy side which is not my style. Refreshing and fruity and I would probably drink this offering again. Fairly well crafted with a good blend of flavors-

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 03:26:18 | More by TheDinger
Photo of MrKennedy
MrKennedy

Australia

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber thanks to ADZA for the trade! Poured into a Redoak globe style glass.

Pours a nice copper colour, good glow to it when held up to light. Beautiful deep beige head of foam that pillows down to sit at a quarter of an inch throughout. Some spotty lacing.

Aroma is very good. Smells initially of malt, sweet, complex and inviting. The hops back this up, starting florally and then a little bit of pine makes a background appearance.

Taste is mixed, at times beautifully creamy malt comes through, then a bit of a slightly off-putting tanginess comes through. The hops come in an out with some nice fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is solid and creamy, with the odd thin spot in it. The body is sufficient to give it a good base, but still staying very sessionable.

A very nice interpretation of what can be deemed a bit of a boring style. Quite like it, especially for this time of year in Sydney, Australia where it is 15-28 degrees celsius.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 12:36:53 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber from the Home Brew Mart when in San Diego last week. Brought back home with me to Philly.

A: pours a crystal clear ruby red with nice off-white head that linger around a bit after it fades. Looks excellent.

S: smells like a West Coast amber with assertive hop aromas. Piney & citrus upfront with some peppery & spicy notes. Sweet malt aroma is there as well.

T & M: starts thin & dry which then leads to the sweetness of the malts. Nice even bitterness comes next. Hops are more in the forefront but with sufficient malt character. Excellent mouthfeel. Feels nice and light with plenty of flavor and great drinkability. If I lived out West this would be my go-to session ale.

O: overall, I'm pleasantly surprised for what I mistook as an accessible beer to the masses. This one borderlines an IPA but is probably best summed as a West Coast Amber or red. Ballast Point is quickly becoming my new favorite brewery I hadn't really discovered until now.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 23:07:19 | More by jwhancher
Photo of angrygrimace
angrygrimace

California

4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Calico Amber from a bomber, although I've had it from a growler, tap, you name it straight from the brewery.

Pours with deep appetizing clear copper color with a subtle head that does lace the glass a fair bit. Smell is hoppier than you might expect, but not out of line with what you expect from west coast breweries making this style of beer.

The taste is simply exceptional. Toasty, delicious malts and a nice, tight hops bite that just hits you soon after you take a sip. Without getting into superlatives, I'd just say the bitterness level is just about perfect for the style. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry, but perfectly refreshing. You could drink a lot of these.

I'd won't hide the fact that Calico is one of my favorite beers ever. I wouldn't argue it's something you could really compare to an IPA like Sculpin, but that doesn't diminish its qualities considering it's not that type of beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 05:57:18 | More by angrygrimace
Photo of RyanPS
RyanPS

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was excited to try this brew after having both Sculpin and Big Eye. Poured into a pint glass.
A: Deep copper/amber color, slightly cloudy, white, creamy 2 finger head that leaves good lacing
S: Some sweet maltiness with hop notes
T: Like the nose, I get a good sweet malt character with a good hoppy bitterness.
M: Leaves a good coating on the tongue, moderate carbonation
O: Another great brew from Ballast Point, I haven't been disappointed yet, would happily have more of this amber.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 18:46:48 | More by RyanPS
Photo of SolipsismalCat
SolipsismalCat

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with moderate bubbles and a two-finger, white foamy head that lasted a few minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Malt, fruit, and earthy hop aroma.

T: Moderate sweetness and just the right hop bitterness. Lightly toasted finish. Caramel malt. Very nice.

M: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and dry.

O: Solid Amber ale. Nice color and lacing, an inviting aroma, and a crisp malty taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 01:07:54 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper in colour with a little haze and a dark beige cap. Decent head retention with some streaky lacing. Malty caramel aroma, a little grassy and biscuity. Same in the flavour, some nuttiness, moderate bitterness, a touch of pine and mint in the finish. Light to medium bodied with lowish carbonation. Overall, pretty solid and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 21:12:19 | More by DrJay
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at canary in jamaica plain. Served in a pint ...cold.

A. Off white head and a murku amber body

S. Grain and floral smell

T. Nutty and nice hop floral balance

M. Medium

D. Really nice and drinkable but not really thirst quenching. Very tasty and I would certainly drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2011 20:52:51 | More by jneiswender
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a tap into a 24-oz. cup at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. The first ¾-inches of the cup was head and it probably would have been more if the pourer hadn’t spilled some. The film lasted throughout the beer. Thick white lacing that also stayed throughout. Color was dark red, almost brown.

Not that much of a smell. Forced it and finally got hints of caramel. I’ll give the beer the benefit of the plastic cup, but was a bit disappointed.

Good taste with lots of flavors. Initial taste was bitter followed by a strong taste of alcohol. Nutty and malty.

Taste got old quicker than I hoped, but will give the benefit of the doubt for 24 ounces and the plastic cup. Mid-to-high carbonation.

I’m sure this would have been much better out of a pint glass or bottle, but sometimes you have to go with what you have. Will give it another try and check the ratings then.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2011 04:37:48 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of armock
armock

New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the main brewery's tasting room.

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of sweet caramel malt

T - Follows the nose with sweet caramel malt along with a bit of hops in the finish

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I really enjoyed this beer I hold a special spot for ambers as they were my favorite when I got into craft beer and this one steps it up some with additional hops to keep thing interesting worth getting if you see it around

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2011 23:28:22 | More by armock
Photo of d4114
d4114

California

3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy red brown with a thin white head. Murky looking.

Malt forward with almost a minty note in there.

Malty, bready and earthy. Still getting the mint.

Thicker on the front of the tongue but watery in the back.

I have had this a few times now and it's just not for me, its not a bad beer but I always feel it has off flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 17:50:49 | More by d4114
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, another great beer from Ballast Point. They're somewhat hard to come by here in the NE but everyone I've had so far has been exceptional. This one has a dark amber, slightly cloudy color and great aroma. Hops and malt are very well balanced, with spicy notes and the faintest hint of the booze. So drinkable! I love the way BP is able to really bring out the hoppy flavors and all their subtleties without overwhelming the palette with pure bitterness. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 17:19:58 | More by tobelerone
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a shaker pint. Deep see-thru amber with a fluffy and creamy head that's in no hurry to leave. Plentiful soapy lacing.

Citric and grassy notes intertwine with stronger bready and caramel aromas. It's fairly nimble in spite of the thickish caramel body, with juicy citrus and anice bitter streak cutting through the sweetness. Earthy and toasted flavors float in and out at times, especially in the finish. Nice little amber ale here.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2011 01:10:28 | More by PDXHops
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Calico Amber must be one malty son-of-a-gun. Its ruddy colour looks thick as clay and, although it's friendly to the light it doesn't let much of it through. While honey coloured highlights lend a dazzling incandescence, that ruddy clay complexion really gives the impression of a substantial, thick-bodied beer. Head formed the second go-round.

The brewery claims it's the yeast they've used that gives this beer its Madeira-like richness, but I think it wouldn't be as impressive without the supporting cast of candied-fruit-like American hops and toasty, caramelized amber malts. The three ingredients form an Axis-of-Deliciousness that amounts to a bouquet greater than the sum of its parts.

Calico tastes like one of the best coffee cakes you could serve. While it's obvious that no actual fruits were added, fruity flavours make up a big part of its profile, whether its the sweetness of sticky figs and dried prunes in the malts, the esters of the yeast or the tutti-frutti, candied-citrus notes left courtesy of the hops. There's also a nice pecan nuttiness.

The malts are almost rich enough to resemble toasted bread crusts, instead they taste like a spongy-sweet honeycomb toffee. They easily rank a seven (maybe even eight) on the caramelization scale, approaching barleywine territory but grounded in a leafy, zestful hop bitterness. And despite the depth of flavour, they don't weigh down the stomach.

There are a few great mysteries in the food/drink world: how do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar? What's in Coca-Cola's secret formula? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? And now we must also wonder how Ballast Point balances Calico Amber with so much fruity, Madeira-like richness *and* coffee cake and honeycomb toffee flavour *and* so much zesty American hoppiness. Thanks Ultraman9000!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 22:28:49 | More by biegaman
Photo of kflorence
kflorence

California

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a translucent amber brown with a thin layer of foam that subsides to virtually nothing but leaves a fair amount of lacing around the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look good.

S: Smells of roasted malts, rye bread, nuts, citrus and cranberry. There is also a more herbal, earthy smell, almost like tea.

T: A bittersweet, citrus and cranberry flavor hits the tongue first, followed immediately by roasted malt and rye bread, finally transitioning back to a tart, bitterness and a bit of residual malty sweetness. Finishes dry and very crisp, almost like drinking cranberry juice. Fairly well balanced, which helps keep the sweetness in check.

M: I found this to be medium-bodied with a very light, almost mineral water-like carbonation. Although it is quite thin in substance, the flavor is a bit heavier and a bit astringent which keeps this from being on the lighter side of the amber beer spectrum.

O: I quite enjoyed this brew, though I must admit it was not at all what I expected. I found this to have more of a tart, citrus flavor, which I am guessing were lent by the hops, instead of the more roasted, malt-centric ambers I am used to. I found the mouthfeel to be a bit odd, as well, coming off as almost mineral water-like with a very crisp finish that left almost no risidual matter on the tongue. That said, it is quite drinkable and even refreshing, I must say. It is quite on par with other beers in the Amber category, though it will not wow you in any way. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 00:21:48 | More by kflorence
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Misconduct Tavern, Philly, PA

Poured into a nondescript pint glass, a clear tangerine-amber color with a thin, wispy head. Pretty basic aroma, with a decent balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts, almost reminiscent of an APA. Basically the same in the taste, with a nice balance of the malt and hop elements. Very nice for an amber ale. Meduim mouthfeel, and very easily drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2011 21:54:38 | More by Rifugium
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew pours amber, obviously, with decent head and lace. The nose is a bit of toasty grain, but herbal dankness explodes on the palate. The disparity between mellow grain aroma and surprisingly vibrant hop flavor creates an intriguing dynamic. Lighter than medium, soft carbonation. Very drinkable and a nice example of the style. It is actually one of my favorite BP brews overall.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 05:05:03 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of DrinkingDrake
DrinkingDrake

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out an amber color with about half an inch of fluffy slightly off white head. A light biscuit malt aroma with a tangy fruit hop aroma. Flavor is light and bready malt with a light citrus hop bite. Finishes with a sweet and tangy malt/hop finish. For the light malt body it has a full character. Creamy bready malt body and tangy hop finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 00:27:50 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of yusef
yusef

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an British nonic pint glass

A: pours a dark amber color with an off white fluffy head that stays around for a while. some carbonation bubbles stick to the side of the glass.

S: first thing i picked up that i have seen others mention is a nutty type smell. next was hops and some sweet malt. i have read others mention a citrus smell but i never got it, maybe due to a old bottle not sure.

T: i get malt first followed by hops. i think this is probably a well hopped beer for the style, but never experienced any bitterness

M: medium bodied, creamy texture

O: overall a good beer and i am glad i tried it, but probably wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 23:19:06 | More by yusef
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this one at the brewery/home brew mart in Linda Vista. Poured a nice clear copper hue, with a decent off-white head on top. Aromas of biscuit, light grain and grassy hops. On the palate, this is an easy drinking beer, light bodied and refreshing, with flavors of grassy hops, oranges and light caramel.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 23:23:19 | More by emmasdad
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from BeersofEurope.co.uk...

Poured a deep amber red colour. Light mocha head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quite quickly to wispy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... no real carbonation... some decent lacing lines...

Aroma - Quite nutty, lots of grassy and piney hops, sweet caramel and biscuit malts, quite bready, some over ripe fruits (apples, some pears, the faintest hint of banana), light molasses, floral notes...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma - lots of piney and floral hops backed by caramel malts and biscuity notes... quite bready too..

M&D - Quite sharp and dry... light / medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 5%...

Overall - An excellent Amber ale and very quaffable... this is something i wish i always had access to.. recommended

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 11:21:14 | More by mdagnew
Photo of JayQue
JayQue

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber ale. Pours a reddish-amber color, slightly hazy. Big light tan/antique white head with good retention and patches of lacing.

Smell is mild piney hops. I expected this to be a hoppy beer. Taste is a surprise. The primary flavors are caramel and biscuity malts with the hops more for finishing bitterness than for any big hops flavor. The flavor is strong...stood up to Indian food, but not quite the hoppy beer my nose was exposed to.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. The hop presence is just enough to keep this from being too sweet.

Overall this is a good beer either to savor or as a session beer. I am a hophead but I can enjoy a well constructed malty beer too.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 01:20:25 | More by JayQue
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a growler of this from the Springfield Whole Foods.

A: Cloudy amber color, with a huge foamy off-white (mild reddish tinged) head that stayed frothy throughout the session.

S: Hoppy, red velvet cake batter, with a nice pillowy yeasty quality.

T: Very understated.... especially consider that this was the same brewery that gave us such hop bombs as "Big Eye" and "Sculpin." I really started to enjoy it more and more the more I sampled it. Simple, yet effective. Mild, crisp hop presence, with a cushion of yeast to push some of the bitterness away.

M: Nicely carbonated, with the sweetness kept to a minimum. The lacing was moderate.

O: A nice warm weather, near session beer, by a fantastic brewery.

Serving type: growler

04-26-2011 21:48:26 | More by Chaney
Photo of ebrauser
ebrauser

Utah

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber red with a thick muddled white head.

Aroma: Grassy malt sweetness with a great bouquet of floral notes, honey, and coriander. One of the best smelling beers I've had.

Flavor: Bittersweet intensity and bite. There are more grass notes and a little bit of pale NW hops. Rich red flavors develop as the beer warms up a bit, along with a roasted malt.

MF: Easy drinking light/medium body. Beer slides down and doesn't stick or coat the mouth, though lingering floral hops remind you what awaits the next sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 04:09:39 | More by ebrauser
Photo of BilbosNuts
BilbosNuts

California

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy deep red/ amber color with some orange hues. It has a thick looking light brown head that leaves some scattered lacing. It looks to have a normal amount of carbonation.

S: Smell is mostly of toasted malts with a little bit of sweetness from a fruity scent. Basically the essentials you would expect from this style.

T: Mostly the earthy, toasted malts come through in the taste. There is also a nice hoppy bitterness to it.

M: It is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Leaves a subtle bitter aftertaste from the hops.

D: Overall, it drinks very smoothly and is a fine example for the style. I'm looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 23:17:33 | More by BilbosNuts
Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 911 ratings.