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
86
very good

1,041 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,041
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 27
Gots: 68 | 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: 1,041 | Reviews: 393 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler glass. Calico Copper is almost what the name says, this really gorgegous looking copper ale with some red and even brown hues on the body. Faint brown tan bubbles of creamy like consistency as well making this almost look like cola.

Bouquet on this is fairly closed however, but there is a small nut sense and faint bread like chew.

Taste is a real interesting doughy whisping like bread quality and malt airyness. There is some carbonation on the finish but with a noticeable alcohol. Really nice filling mouthfeel on this beer too.

This is pretty solid for drinkability and would have again no problem.

smakawhat, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange copper color with a solid white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of citrus hops with a smaller note of caramel malt.

Tastes of equal doses of hops and malt. Hops are characterized by citrus and offer a good amount of bitterness. Malts give a counterpoint with some caramel sweetness and notes of toasted bread.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Clear amber body with a finger or so of frothy white head that dies down to a thin cap of foam leaving plenty of lacing behind.

Nose is kinda weak. A little bit of caramel malt and resin.

The taste is not weak. Aggressive hop profile of resin, dank, a touch of tropical fruits. A touch of caramel malts, but aggressive resiny hops is the focus here.

The mouthfeel is light and nicely carbonated. Smooth then a spicy and resinous hoppiness hangs around for an absurdly long time.

Weird that the nose of this beer is so disappointing when everything else about it is nice. Some dry hopping could knock this one out of the park.

billshmeinke, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of clayrock81
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden red ale with great head and lace. A real hoppy, bitter hops more like it, and a thick malt presence as well. A smooth and creamy beer that has an off-kilter buttery sweetness which threw me for a loop. There is some hoppy goodness in this beer as well, I would say a mix of citric and grassy and there is that sweet edge as well as breadiness for a balanced beer. All around a good red ale and if you like them a little sweeter than the norm you'll like this one.

clayrock81, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

Pours copper with a nice thick light tan head.

Smell is slightly citrusy, then biscuit malty.

Taste is slightly hoppier than most ambers, but finishes with a nice biscuit.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is good.

Would be nice to get this fresh, as I can't figure out if there is any bottling code on here.

aubuc1, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark rose/amber with nice one finger head. Leaves great lacing but head dies fairly quick.

Smells of dried fruit not a very powerful smell and its a sruggle to pick up on it.

The taste is pretty hoppy for an amber. Im always looking for a more malt heavy beer for the style but as it warms up the malt shines through a little bit more.

Over all Id say this is an average amber. Nothing too special but I got it in the Ballast Point Variety Pack and I am glad I got to try it.

Eriktheipaman, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of beagle75
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a shaker pint glass at the Yard House in Irvine.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of off-white foam head that collapses to a dense, continuous residue. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Prominent husky grain makes for a malt-forward smell, with accents of fruity esters and floral hops.

T: Begins with dry, bready malt that soon turns sweet as full, earthy caramel emerges and extends into the middle. Fruit also comes out in the middle, tasting of lychee, currant, and blackberry. The drying finish retains the earthy and fruity qualities, while also developing moderate bitterness and bright appealing acidity. Sharp mineral and an occasional whiff of citrus rind linger on the palate.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and refreshing on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: This beer is easy to overlook, standing as it is in the shadow of some of Ballast Point's more hyped contributions. Still, it is a fine English-style pale ale with big flavors that is not out of place alongside Alesmith's Anvil ESB. In fact, it is what many were likely expecting the first time they ordered another of Ballast Point's beers: the Yellowtail (German-style) pale ale.

beagle75, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Sierra Grille a few days ago, reviewed from notes.

Pours hazy amber with a small off-white head. Becomes a thick ring and leaves some lacing.

Smell/taste - Strong hop bitterness at first but quickly fades. Hops are herbal/earthy mostly with some faint grapefruit. Sweet candy caramel malt with some buttery malts as well.

Good mouthfeel, definitely feels bigger than 5%.

A decent red ale, an odd mix of flavors, not a huge fan of the herbally hops. Other than Sculpin, Ballast Point hasn't impressed me much.

Chico1985, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap and bottle so far it's been a solid version of a west coast amber. Appears a deep caramel amber hue with a light khaki tan head forming fine even speckled lacing as it dwindles down. Aromatics offer up a slight caramel malt presence with a mild citrus/pine cone accented hops. Flavor has some sweet cereal grains with herbal/citru/pine hop combo, mild approachable hop bitterness not to brash and off putting but great flavor and balance within this beer's profile. Mouthfeel is lighter to medium bodied, smooth even carbonation levels, great feel hits the palate quaffable and refreshing. Drinkability, smooth session ale nice balanced mix of malts and hops not another generic amber ale.

WVbeergeek, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to July2Nov for another Ballast Point goody.

A- Poura the typical amber red that looks similar to cranberry juice. A nice two fingers worth of head provides decent retention and lacing.

S- I can see why they call this an American amber. Hoppy from the get go. A little bit of malt, caramel and brown sugar.

T- This was somewhat off-putting to me. I picked up the hops initially but then it went to jarred pickles and dish soap. That was about it.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. A little dry from the hops on the finish.

D- The score took a big hit due to the big presence of the soapiness and pickles. That makes it a one and done for me.

Wisconsinality, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of JeffBob
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich red color, very little foam. smell is hops and very very little floral notes. taste is nice like smoked hops but not too hoppy nicely balanced, after taste is just hops. mouth feel is light goes down real easy. as far as drinkaility goes you could drink this beer all night long.

JeffBob, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of HopJ
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice malty aromas with some metallic smells mixed in. Flavors a fairly full but the hops hit in pretty quick. I found myself noticing the hops more and more. Not bad but I will keep that in mind before I purchase again. This is a hoppy red but just keeps things in balance.

HopJ, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of DJED69
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, surprised to find a bomber of fresh Calico Amber at a small shop I occasionally stop in. Paid $3.99 for the bottle. Very impressed with the rich ruby/amber color and lasting head. Smells of malt and some hops---nice zesty yeast too. Tastes really nice---complex blend of malt, bready yeast, some sweetness, and a kiss of bitter hops. Very nice body and mouthfeel. Emminently drinkable at 5% abv. This is as solid an amber ale as they come. A very good offering from Ballast Point. Salut!

DJED69, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of TheDeuce
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Calico Amber Ale...in the bottle at Craftbar in NYC...

Appearance-a dark shining red as it's poured out into a pint glass, nice three fingered head rises up and stays put. Lots of carbonation and the color is really vibrant.

Smell-spicy mix of roasted malt, light but notable hops, some fruit (plums almost) and light alcohol flourish.

Taste/Mouthfeel-medium mouthfeel, spicy upfront but the malts balance nicely, fuller taste than I expected, the flavors work well, spicy finish with a kick of malt.

Drinkability-well done, balanced and tasty.

Overall-great example of the style, all the right notes, stands up to any other version. Superb.

TheDeuce, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of hopjuicer
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Color is somewhere in the middle between red, amber, and brown. Poured with a nice head, that slowly fades.

Smells of tartness and grain, notes of caramel/molasses.

Tastes mostly of grain, a little bready. Pretty light on the hops, but a pronounced malty sweetness. Just a little bit of citrus, giving that tartness caught in the nose. Hints of maple.

A solid amber, but not the most exciting.

hopjuicer, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of shand
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very deep amber with about two fingers of off-white head. Head retention is amazing, as is lacing. A great looking beer.

Smell: Toasty malts and hops. More hops than normal for the style.

Taste: A pretty decent balance between sweet toffee malts and hops. The hops hit the tongue fairly strongly at first, then malts slowly come in, leaving a bit of a toffee flavor. There's a little bit of a metallic flavor here too. I know this beer is fresh, which is a little disappointing. Aftertaste is minimal.

Mouthfeel: Feels slightly over-carbonated and leaves the mouth just a little sticky.

Drinkability: Very drinkable at face value, but the sweetness can get a little cloying after a while.

This is a pretty good american red. The hop-forward style makes it stand out from it's peers. I'm not finding it to be exceptional, but a well-done beer that could absolutely tickle someone the right way.

shand, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of micromaniac129
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A brownish amber brew with a bit of haze, good carbos with a rich dense head.
Toffee malt aroma with some hops.
A candied malt taste up front with bitter hops
bring up the rear.
A good tasting brew with some nice mouthfeel, perhaps a medium bodied beer.
Drink well my friends

micromaniac129, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of Shaw
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful copper/amber in color with a big sticky off-white head.

Nice mild malty and hoppy aroma.

The taste is excellent. Bready and biscuity with plenty of citrus hop flavors and bitterness. A nice astringency, too.

Nice body is creamy and smooth.

Overall this is a very nice beer. Another winner from Ballast Point and one to seek out.

Shaw, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of beersensei305
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale pours a copper brown with lots of carbonation and has a big head. The head lasts a while and is lacey around my glass. The smell is unremarkable, just a typical scent of a Red/Amber Ale. The taste is good but not surprising its a little dry at the end and the bitter from the hops is muted by the maltiness and caramel flavors. The beer is rather light.

beersensei305, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of wknight167
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a hazy copper brown with a 3 finger rocky, white head with good staying power and leaves some awesome lacing.

Nose- Citrus hops with a caramelly, biscuity malt profile. A hint of spiciness intrigues me.

Palate- hops are less prevalent on the palate than the nose. Here the dark caramel, almost chocolate malt shines through.

Mouthfeel- I could have gone for just a tad more body, but other wise very well built.

Drinkability- Goes down easy.

wknight167, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Green Flash pint glass.

A-Mahogany, with ruby highlights and a 1/2 inch khaki head that leaves moderate soapy lacing.

S-Sweet,nutty, malty. A trace of caramel maltiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel-A straightforward amber ale.Medium bodied and smooth, with some nice, piney Cascade hops on the back end.

D-This is nothing special, but a fine example of the style. A good 6-pack for the autumn months.

DaveHS, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of kazmaniac
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Generous pour into a pint glass produced half a glass of long lasting foam. Beer is a beautiful copper color.

Smell - Based on color, there's a surprising amount of citrusy hops. I don't usually expect the hops to be so prominent in a copper beer.

Taste - Initial hop bitterness is tamed by malt and ends with a nice clean finish. Taste bounces between bitter and sweet to keep the beer interesting but without spinning out of control.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and low carbonation produce a smooth, easy to drink beer.

Drinkability - Easy to drink with just enough different flavors going on to keep it interesting. This is a good anytime beer to drink with friends or with dinner.

kazmaniac, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foams up very strongly with an average down the center pour, easily half the glass, settles down to about two fingers of a very delicate, fine tannish head, dimples appreciably, some larger bubbles coming out as a result, below average stickiness to the lacing. Deep amber to coppery orange-red, mild haze but still easy to see through it, metallic cast, just about exactly as you'd expect the liquid to look. Malty nose with ample milk chocolate, malted milk balls, caramel and fresh butter accents, this not to ignore the also powerful pine and pin to white grapefruit citrus, no lack of spine here, not quite floral but good amount of peach, nectarine, apricot fruit scents, ends with a bitter grass and wet kindling wood embers. Medium-bodied, hoppier here with the emphasis on the pine, fresh grass, white grapefruit and blood orange flavors, biscuits, the floral notes succeed better towards the end. Leaves your mouth dry with a tacky residue before half the glass is empty, the caramel, toffee, cocoa powder breaks a sweat to keep what little ground it gains, wish there were a little more sweetness for balance. Instead, you get heavy carbonation in an attempt to provide relief for the tongue. Less out to impress, more solid delivery would seal the deal.

farrago, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: An amber brown in color with a tan head and a whole lot of lace on the glass. Glad I found this one on tap.

Smell: Floral hops in the aroma as well as some caramel/candied malts.

Taste: A wonderfully balanced ale, with a slight lean toward the hoppy side. The hops were piney, and not too abrasive. The roasted malt character was very well pronounced as well. I enjoyed the hops used in this beer, and am pretty sure they differ from the Sculpin and Big Eye IPA since they are less citrusy and quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth enough, went down easy.

Drinkability: A very nice session beer from Ballast Point. Its good to see this versatile brewery is capable of making a hopped up session beer that won't ruin the palate.

Stinkypuss, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of mondegreen
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a standard shaker pint.

Appearance is deep amber with a dense, lasting head. Moderate lacing.

Smell is sharp. Brown sugar mingles with a moderate hop aroma.

Tastes like a lighter Arrogant Bastard, which is not necessarily a
bad thing. A rigid malt backbone holds up unforgivingly bitter hops. Tastes like chinook, but I'm no expert. Finishes dry, with only a touch of bitterness lingering on the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is moderately slick, further comparisons to Stone's AB.

Drinkability is wonderful. Ballast Point has squeezed all te flavorthey could muster into this 5% Amber.

mondegreen, Jul 11, 2010
Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,041 ratings.