1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
85
very good

1,010 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,010
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 23
Gots: 58 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Calico Copper Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear amber, insane rocky dense head. Lots of cling lace remains.

S - Very light malt, maybe some biscuit, hint of hop in back.

T - Nice small malt center, tight and crisp in general, nice hop backup, some citrus rounds out the flavor.

M - A little creamy, good carb and coating, nice balance.

D - Very, very easy to drink. More simple than some other BP fare, but delicious.

srandycarter, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of JEdmund
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Crystal clear, beautiful garnet, giant head formed which then settled to a whipped dollop

Smell
Lovely aroma with an amalgam of scents: honey-sweetened dough, light caramel, oranges, and raspberries.

Taste & Body
Just enough malt for substance and they're not sweet; hops are present and noticeable (citrusy, juicy, fruity) but not as big as a part of the beer like they would be in a pale ale. A little thin on body but a good, almost high level of carbonation.

Overall
A flavorful lighter beer that will be great for summer. This really knows what it is and does it well.

JEdmund, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of mralphabet
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours an amber brown with about a fingers worth of beautiful tan colored head, that settles to a nice layer of foam. Great lacing, a wonderful looking brew.

S: First thing I'm smelling is foral hops, followed by a caramel malt... The hops is knocking everything else out....

T: Just like the smell... Hop bitterness right out of the gate, there is a slight sweet malt here but the hops is killing it.

M: Mid bodied, with a sharp carbonation.... yet there is a creaminess here.

D: The low ABV makes this a many beer in a session kind of beer, but this one is too hoppy for the style for my taste. Seems more like a Pale Ale than a Red Ale.... Color is good for a Red but the taste is more Pale Ale... I'm still not a big hops guy so this one is not my fav.

mralphabet, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is an enticing dark amber/copper. About two fingers of buttery, off-white head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a nice Brussels and spotted lacing, and ring around the edge.

Smell: Tangerine or grapefruit citrus dominates, which reminds me more of a pale ale or IPA than amber ale.

Taste: Follows the smell. Tangerine or grapefruit citrus. It has a considerable hop presence, though it's not distracting. As it warms, flavors of caramel and toffee emerge.

Drinkability: It's a pretty good brew, but a little hoppy for my tastes.

TheQuietMan22, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of amandacrane
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Beautiful red color, slightly cloudy

Very nice smell of malt and carmel

Somewhat of a burnt taste with hoppy bite at the end, bitter hop taste dominates

Smooth mouthfeel, a little dense, excellent balance of carbonation

Drinkability: I'm drinking it, I'm not trying to savor it, but I'm not choking it down either. If I really liked the taste of hops or if the hops flavor was more balanced with other flavors then I would like this beer much more. I would drink this beer again if it was offered to me, but I prefer other American Ambers.

amandacrane, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry caramel malt scent along with some bready, bisquit malts and a mild hop bitterness. The smell is good, but it seems it's a bit muttled. The taste is decent as well. It has a bitter hop bite up front along with a ton of breadiness and some caramel malt sweetness in the finish. It's bone dry and overly bready for my tastes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This may be a very good amber ale to some, but it's a little too complex for me. The bisquit character is too much.

WesWes, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper to orange with some slight haze and generous white head. Nose is mostly citrus with some caramel too. On the palate the caramel comes through as well as some dark, sweeter malty flavors. Hops balance it out though, but to me they remain in the background. There's a complex malt sweetness in this ale. Great, smooth mouthfeel and easy drinking.

yemenmocha, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper with a good white head. The nose is a bit simple, with a dominant caramel breadiness to it. The flavor is nicer, with the caramel malt coming through as well as a nice, slight hoppiness. Medium body and good drinkability all around. By the end, I was really enjoying this.

Thorpe429, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Publick House.

Pint came with a finger of creamy head. While its a little dark in the bar the beer appears to be a clear, deep amber color with brown highlights. Decent lacing clings to the glass, no visible carbonation.

Not much aroma. A little sweet, a little malty.

Flavor is a little more bold than I thought, based on the aroma. Initial malt flavor is then followed up with a more than expected hop bitterness. There is a mix of bitterness and toasted malt as a lingering finish. Slight grain flavor.

Medium body, slight carbonation.

Nice beer and very drinkable. Enough going on to have this stick to your ribs.

Reagan1984, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of gthornton
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, foamy head lasts throughout entire pint.
Ruby/Amber hue.

S: Caramel, lingering toffee, mild citrus aroma. I want to add that it smells a bit like cherry to me, but by no means was cherry flavoring added.

T: Well ballanced malt & hops, with the smooth caramel malts giving way to the citrusy hop overtones that linger on throughout the pint.

M: Light, mostly-watery texture. Average carbonation tickles the tip of the tongue.

D: Very drinkable.

Not my favorite from Ballast Point, but a great beer to have on hand for any occasion.

gthornton, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of deruiz10
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - One-inch foamy white head retains a lot less than I would like, leaves a clean glass. Pour is a hazy brown with rust red highlights.

S - Light caramel sweetness, hints of sweet citrus and floral hops.

T - Darkish malts and brown sugar, pretty strong hop presence with mild bitterness. The finish is a lingering sweet hop that ends cleanly.

M - Tingling carbonation and medium body make a nice chewy combination.

D - Good balanced flavors and a moderate alcohol content make this a great session beer.

deruiz10, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of bulletrain76
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Clear red-amber color, average head with lasting foam. Malty and herbal/grass aroma. Nice full caramel maltiness with a spicy hop flavor that balances really well. Well, the aroma is a little bland and subtle, but the flavor has a really nice balance. Not amazing, but well done and really drinkable.

bulletrain76, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a ruby-orange with thick off white head that lingered thru most of the glass and left great lacing. Nose was a pleasant mix of malty dark fruit, toasted nuts and honey with a hint of hopy citrus fruit. Mouthfeel was full, slightly tingly and almost chewy, and the taste picked up the flavors of the nose perfectly. Rounded off to a long, pleasant finish with a great aftertaste.

kimcgolf, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is poured as a deep copper/ruby colour with nice white head. There is a bunch of small bubbles, and it's brilliantly clear. The nose on the beer is filled with caramel malts and bready flavours. A slight bit of toffee comes through at the end as well. I don't get much hops, which I was expecting at least a slight bit.

There is a nice balance of hops/caramel malts in this beer. The flavour of the beer is almost the antithesis of the nose. There is a nice cascade bite with a caramel smoothness coming through at the end. It's creamy and sweet. The sweetness comes through as a combination of caramel and breadiness. This flavour throws me for a loop because it tastes so damn good but the nose is so mediocre.

I could drink a few of these.

swizzlenuts, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of davexisxrabid
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice copper brown color, inch high head, decent retention.

Floral, piney hop aroma. Caramel in there with a hint of brown sugar.

Caramel malt sweetness with a nice hop kick. Very balanced.

Medium bodied and nice even flavor between sips with a slight hoppy lingering flavor.

Damn good flavor, mellow on the hops, doesn't screw up your palate. Moderate abv makes this (and most of Ballast Point's year round offerings) a perfect session beer. I'm loathe to say anything from SD is better than LA ...

davexisxrabid, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

California-style Amber Ale here. Inspired by the English Pale/Amber Ales, aren't they all in a way? Big, dense and rocky off-white lace reaches up high and leaves a draping of stickage on the glass. Bright and clear tawny color. Sight orange rind and some biscuity malt in the nose. Slick medium body with sufficient crispness and smoothness. Nice mingling of hops and malt both come out and end intertwined with little complexities. Hop bitterness is solid but not sharp with bitter orange peel and collard greens flavor. Maltiness leans toward dry, though there is a hint of caramel deep in the center, toasted biscuit is dominant. Semi-dry finish.

This one sits right at the benchmark for the style, easy to drink and very flavorful with the Californian flare. West Coast session ale all the way.

BeerAdvocate, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-beautiful deep amber red in color, full off white head that leaves some lace

S-light biscuity smell, nice smell of citrus, honey, and definitely some caramel

T-big flavors, taste of a biscuity malt, lots of sweetness with caramel, some citrus, and pine. Toasted malt comes through nicely as the beer warms a little

M-very crisp, med bodied, and slick down the throat

D-very tasty and crisp, goes down nicely and would probably be great on a warm day

cpetrone84, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of fropones
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice pumpkin copper orange with minimal white head. Smell was of some hoppy pines and citrus, as well as a fair amount of biscuit malt. Taste had more of that biscuit malt up front with a nice hoppy bite in back. Some caramel. A nice depth of flavor. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. A little light on the carbonation. Drinkability is good. Goes down real nice.

fropones, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of SkunkWorks
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, copper color but there's almost no head despite being very well carbonated and a very aggressive pour on my part. It leaves behind a good deal of lacing, which is surprising given the lack of a head. As for the aroma... I can't pick anything up. I tried smelling it with my glass full and got nothing. I tried smelling it with the glass half empty, swirling it around, and the whole nine yards, and still nothing.

As for the taste, there's a solid toasted malt character with some hoppiness to it. It leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Even though it seems nicely carbonated, it tastes decidedly undercarbonated.

Reading the other reviews, I am kind of surprised and I think that I am drinking a different beer than they are. Perhaps it is past the date where it is still good and my store didn't rotate it for some reason. If that is the case, I apologize for my less than stellar review but nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend this beer and will probably not be getting it again.

SkunkWorks, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed honey amber colored with a thick two inch head of dimpled meringue that slowly settles out.

Aroma of doughey malt and cracker crust, fruit and toffee.

Subtle flavor of toasted malt, nutty, some floral and herbal hops, cinnamon and toffee, good balance of bitterness against the hops.

Full and creamy mouthfeel. Rich and satisfying.

Tasty and drinkable, good representation of the style. Thanks to barleywinefiend for sending this one my way.

far333, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good hopped up American amber is one of my favorite styles,this fit the bill very well.Poured into a standard pint glass a clear...well copper amber with a fluffy 1 1/2 finger crown atop.A mix of deep caramel/biscuit malt and citric,piney hop,neither wins out leaving great balance.Big malty start with caramel and biscuit stickin out,the piney and citric hop presence comes through in a nice finish.I would give the nod to the malt by a narrow margin but there is more than enough hop profile going on.

oberon, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of cavedave
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful amber brew topped by three inches of bubbling beige lather that persists and leaves latticework lacicles on the glass as it makes its gradual departure. A lively cap remains.

The smell is full of yeast, toffee, caramel, toasty notes, a very light floral hint, and an even lighter hint of citrus. It has a lower side of medium intensity, but a wonderful bouquet.

The taste is full of the flavor of malt, caramel, toffee, and yeast,and is quickly followed by a blast of citrus and herbs. Wow, a balancing act of complex design here. The beer warms and reveals a silky quality that adds brilliance to the mix of flavor. A long juicy finish, reminiscent of the more balanced and restrained way ambers once were, ends in a delicious linger of bitter herb and earth.

Creamy mouthfeel that lets this brew shine, lighter side of medium body, good clean resin cling like a good American amber ought, low carb., nice.

Very drinkable, when judged for style it's the best quality of this beer.

cavedave, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of BevMoAndrew
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle at about 40 degrees.
Appearance - Shows a clear copper in the glass with an off-white, creamy froth. Nice Lacing.
Smell - Very Nice! There is a definite caramel, subtle biscuit, toffee, and light chocolate maltiness with a clear citrus & slight grapefruit hoppiness. There is also a little yeastiness present too.
Taste - A great caramel and light chocolate malt character up front with a definite citrus bitterness on the backside.
Drinkability - I can easily see myself putting down a 6 pack of this stuff and hardly even realize it. Simply this beer is good!

BevMoAndrew, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Ezekiel81923
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 12oz'er while on vacation in Charleston at the Charleston Beer Exchange. Ultimately was poured into a regular pint glass.

Appearance: Deep, clear red color with a very excited, very foamy white head that lasts forever. Once in the glass this is a very impressive looking beer. Great color on this one.

Smell: Sweet aroma from the malts with some hints of honey and molasses. Little toasted aroma's come through as well, maybe some peppery spiciness also?

Taste: Oily hoppiness strikes first, but its light and inviting. Bready caramel malt flavor comes through second with a light toasty flavor and slight citrusy hop flavors peeking through. Caramel sweetness and some bitterness finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated, more hope bitterness than I expected. Still nice though.

Drinkability: Medium bodied, low ABV, a sixer would've been nice.

I really enjoyed this. It won't change your life, but I think I found my new go-to Amber.

Ezekiel81923, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of chadu
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of the very finest Ambers I have ever had.

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, a nice head that dissapates quickly. Leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass.

A sweet malty nose with hints of caramel and molasses.

The bready initial taste is tempered by a slightly bitter finish that begs for another drink.

A nice thick, substantial beer with a light carbonation.

Overall, will definitely buy again, this time in a 6 or hopefully on tap somewhere.

chadu, Sep 29, 2009
Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.