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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.
very good

930 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 930
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 21
Gots: 37 | 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: 930 | Reviews: 378 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gehrig


4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy brown-orange body, with tan foam lingering and ringing the trusty Yankees glass with robust lacing--excellent. Nice citrusy hop smell with some caramel malt. The hops in the taste are phenomenal. Honestly, this is easy to mistake as a good IPA with the hops, the somewhat gritty mouthfeel, the mix of citrus and bitter. Impressive for certain. Fine balance between bitter and the sweet citrus, smooth and somewhat gritty, never flat, eminently drinkable.

I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this may be one of the two best American Amber/Red Ales I've had,right there with St. Rogue and a close second among Red Ale to Brian Boru. Distinct and impressive, this is terrific, one I'll most certainly grab again in quantity.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2008 05:41:39 | More by Gehrig
Photo of garcia2a


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

The beer poured a clear and deep amber color, with little carbonation. The head was off white, frothy and laced my glass.

The bouquet was a bit heavy on the malt, but there was a back nose of floral hops and bread. This translated well to the taste as there is quite a bit of malt with a bitter finish. The first sips were actually spicey, but this was lost by the third sip or so. As the drinking continues, the beer cloys and that bitter finish becomes more pronounced and acidic.

The big malt gives this beer a slightly bigger body than average and this means a bigger mouthfeel. This is a decent amber ale, a fine sippin' session beer and it has a fish on the label, c'mon.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 17:54:37 | More by garcia2a
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

At Mondiale 2008. Neutral malt aroma. Amber with little foam head. Creamy mouthfeel, bitterness is in the aftertaste, it hides in the malt. Above average carbonation. Lacey. The malt profile has an interesting complexity, there is some dark malt.
I the end, it is basically a malt job, and just another American amber.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 03:59:24 | More by Sammy
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby hued brown with a creme head that falls fairly soon and leaves quite a bit of lacing on the way down. Flavor is nice. Great earthy tones. Sweet caramel hits quick on the very back side. Feel has a bit of a bite on the carbonation and the liquid is good. This is very easy to drink. A nice amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 05:28:16 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of smcolw


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle bubbled over when opened. Pours neutral amber and clear. Moderate head given the explosiveness of the opening. Decent ring lace.

The aroma is predominantly malt. Toasty and warm, but not hoppy.

The taste starts off mild with a good malt base--slightly breadlike with crystal malt. Good hop ending in the swallow. The mouthfeel is as expected.

This is a really neutral beer--there ain't nothing wrong with it, but it's not complex, unique or unusual. This would fit into any party and not offend anyone except the most macro drinkers of the macro beer world.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 21:14:30 | More by smcolw
Photo of homebrewhawk


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a deep amber with a thick fine bubbled off white head. Plenty of carbonation. Light hop aroma with some caramel malt. Creamy mouthfeel. Solid malt base without a lot of sweetness. Decent hop bite for an amber. Nice lacing on the glass. Amber Ales tend to be boring to me, but this is a really solid beer that I could drink over an evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 01:06:35 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

12 ouncer w/o freshness info. Pours clear, blood orange darker amber. Fairly long lived puffy medium tan head, leaving respectable, slippery and scattered lacing upon a gentle swirl. Toasty/caramel malt nose, opens things up on this worthy BP selection. Malt carries the load here, plenty of toast, and more caramel. Moderate smooth hoppyness late. Fine sesssioner. More quality brew from the S.D. nation

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 23:22:40 | More by Billolick
Photo of Rzzzzz


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Beatles Revolver pint glass. And does that ever make for an awesome visual presentation. EXACTLY what I had in mind when I bought the glass.

Beer is a beautiful deep copper amber with a medium sized sand colored head. Aroma of sweet malt, caramel and light floral hops. Full of crystal malt flavor, rich and complex with a nice bitter finish. Very well balanced. Great body, nice carbonation--the quintessential amber ale. I could drink a lot of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 16:57:09 | More by Rzzzzz
Photo of jwc215


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

Pours deep copper with a thich, creamy/frothy off-white head that thins a bit and stays around. Broken rings and patches of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is citric (orange/tangerine), floral, spicy with caramel and toasted dough.

The taste is citric/earthy/floral with caramel and toast. An amber ale with a nice American hop balance. Finishes balanced bittersweet.

Near full-bodied (though I'd say medium) with a creamy touch, it has a pleasant aftertaste.

Certainly "sessionable". Very smooth. Nicely balanced keeping amber ale characteristics, but with a good hop blend (especially in the aromatics department).

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 16:15:00 | More by jwc215
Photo of gmfessen


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep ruby-orange-amber color with a one finger, frothy head that leaves a nice ring of lacing around the top of the glass. The smell is a nice balance of floral hops and caramel malts, probably leaning more towards the malty side of things. A touch of roasted, nutty malt is also present. The taste is very similar to the nose with the toasted, caramel notes coming through the strongest. Nicely balanced; initially sweet from the crystal/caramel malts, transitions to a biscuity, nutty malt taste and it finishes slightly dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy, I would describe the carbonation as pillowy. Overall, a drinkable beer. Not as impressive as their IPA was, but a good beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 22:34:46 | More by gmfessen
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, cranberry-ice tea color with a soft, frothy khaki head that was moderately lasting and sticky. Visible carbonation was moderately strong.

S: dry flowery hops and dark caramel.

T: starts off with some spicy and floral hopping complexity. There is a deep, dry caramel malting with dry floral notes in the middle as well a good carbonation bite. The flavor was very smooth with a light, and well balanced dry flowery hoppiness.

M: light-medium fullness with a dry and flowery bitterness experienced around the edges off the tongue. There was a light residual maltiness as well.

D: Drinkability was very smooth, well rounded. Drinks more like a red but very nice going down and worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 23:30:26 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a finger and a half rises up, sticky foam, nice deep amber hue (consistent tone), head retention is very good (settles down within a couple of minutes from the initial froth), lacing is also good here, a very attractive red head... does the carpet match the curtains ? we shall see...

sometimes beers just "smell" like california... I'm not sure if it my early experiences with Sierra Nevada (or Boontville ESB) that has made such impression on my mental remembrance of the olfactory experience that is west coast goodness... fresh, deep hops buttressed by caramel/sweet malt, the complete package, this smells spot on, it has that "red" sharpness to it was well, sort of giving it a dry-ish feel, the hops can be teased out and pronounce themselves sharply when sought after... great.

taste etc...
medium bodied, the carbonation doesn't really sparkle here like I feel it should to give this a better ride, the aftertaste is exactly like the smell, and I am digging that but the initial sips seem to be lacking a bit, this tastes more like an APA or a weak IPA.. not that styles aren't meant for interpretation... I am just not McLovin' it.

verdict ?
a good beer, not great, worth checking out, it is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 02:28:55 | More by Ego
Photo of Blakaeris


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

Pours deep, clear copper with a creamy beige head.

Aroma is full of toasted caramel malt and a nice touch of citrus-pine hops.

Taste is sweet and malty with a stronger toasted quality than the nose. Fruity, nutty, and slightly metallic. Finish has a woody dryness along with hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy.

Overall an easy drinking brew. Surprisingly hoppy for an amber. Pretty good, but the dryness is overpowering in the long run.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 23:00:18 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper with a thick white head. The scent is a bit heavy on the malt ; it almost obliterates any hop presence.

Slightly sweet toffee taste, with a yeasty presence and a faint citrus hop hint. Good balance in the flavour, and no metallic tinge that I often find in in amber/red ales.

Good carbonation, and a very smooth drinking ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2008 06:45:33 | More by BDTyre
Photo of russpowell


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in AZ

Pours an orangey/amber with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Excellent head retention & above average lacing

S: Caramel & bready malt as this warms

T: Caramel & orangey & leafy hops up front. A touch of piney hops , slighter honey malt & caramel as this warms. Finishes with citric hops & bit of dryness

MF: Medium bodied, with low carbonation with great balance & some wetness

Drinks pretty easy, straight forward enough not to overpower. A very good amber

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 02:49:55 | More by russpowell
Photo of geexploitation


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

Pours a very pretty copper color, with excellent clarity and a decent head. The nose is very green with hops and contains a faintly offputting vegetal smell -- hopefully not a consistent character of this beer. On the palate, big, citrusy hops that contain a surprising amount of earthy flavors for an American amber, even though they finish with a metallic flourish. Imbalanced for sure, but it still has some enticing biscuity malt flavors. The overall impression, though, is of briskness and zip. Helping that last fact is the carbonation, which has a brusque, steely nature. Overall, this is a good beer and a solid, drinkable rendition of an American amber.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 02:41:31 | More by geexploitation
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

3/18/2008 $4.55 22 oz. 5.00% No best by date.


Pours a lovely reddish brown with very fine carbonation that leads to a fluffy tan head that is extremely slow to settle.


Bready and nutty with notes of cashews and some ripe fruit aromas.


Smooth mouthfeel, though a tad thin. Loads of nutty goodness with just a slight soapy flavor lurking in the background. The sweet nuttiness transitions into a mildly medicinal hop by midsip, only to swing back again to a roasted nut for the finish.

This would make a fantastic session brew, as it goes down easy, and has the relatively low ABV. My only complaint is that the price is a bit high for what you get.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 19:44:10 | More by cbl2
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle copped singly from Super Saver in Somerville... Recently sampled this brewery's IPA, which was a pretty good sample of the style, and have heard a lot of positive things about this one, so I decided to give it a go...
Pours a deep, dark, red, amber, ruby-red hue with a minimal foamy and frothy head that left a fair amount of lacing...
Typical, grainy, amber aroma with a nice balance of hops and malts...
Taste was redolent of caramel, vanilla, barley, malts, hops, forals, and bread and butter...
Certainly not a very powerful taste, but pleasing and easily drinkable to say the least...
Not as good as their IPA, but this one went down crisp, clean, and smooth without any overbearing or cloying factors...

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2008 01:52:45 | More by dsa7783
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point- Calico Amber

A- Deep amber red with a huge billowy head. Heavy lacing with excellent retention.
S- Big thick malt with a nice dose of floral hops. A light touch of dried fruit.
T- Sweet malt with a light caramel touch. Floral hops really come through midway through with a spicy finish.
M- Sweet and malty throughout with a dry spicy finish.

Overall- A delicious Amber! Ballast Point finally made it to my region. Hopefully I can retry Yellow Tail, a beer I trashed years ago when I just started beer advocation.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 23:00:05 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of gpcollen1


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

Poured this bomber into my Troubador tulip. A nice head forms o n top of this ruby-amber brew. A light sweetness with hoppy overtones. Hits the mouth medium bodied with a full flavored mild sweetness and a nice transition into the hoppiness that finishes this one off and stays for a bit.

A very nice drinker for those of us who do not need turbo beers all the time.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 00:08:36 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of charlzm


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

Consumed on 9/10/07.

Beer welled up and out of bottle immediately upon opening at refrigerator temperature. Pours dark, clear amber with lively carbonation and modest head which soon shrinks to proper thin skin of foam atop beer's surface.

Aroma is strong malt balanced with resiny hop notes. Flavor is very hoppy for an amber ale with citrus bitterness dominant over the malt.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a touch creamy. Finish is a lasting hop bitterness with a hint of astringency that lasts a long time. A good beer, to be sure, but not what I was expecting from an amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 03:24:44 | More by charlzm
Photo of SetarconeX


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oddly syrupy on the visual, with a crystal clear copper color. Smells ever so slightly hoppy and sweet.

Heavy hopping is your dominant flavor on this one. What's surprising about this one, however, is despite its hoppiness, it doesn't have the bitter, lingering oil flavor you might expect. It has a nice, clean flinish to it that makes this a far more drinkable beer than I would have expected.

I like this one. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 23:17:42 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of malibujohnny


2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

golden brown with a head that starts out well but disappears to just some bubbling after about 1/4 the way down.smell of hops seem to slightly overpower the malt characterictics.carbonation is a bit much and has a kind of green beer taste between the other flavors.this beer reminds me of a few good amber homebrews i've had.it's a pretty ok brew.but if i'm in the mood for this i'll make it on my own.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 01:43:18 | More by malibujohnny
Photo of bashiba


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy shade of Reddish Copper with a light and thin, but very sticky head.

Smell was very light and floral with a bit of bready malts.

Taste has a big blast of minty and piney hops up front with some nice grapefruit notes, slowly the nice toasted malts make there way through balancing it quite nicely.

The mouthfeel starts out failry thick and oily, but leaves a suprisingly dry finish.

Overall easy to drink, a hop lovers amber, I will be having this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 01:58:50 | More by bashiba
Photo of Floydster


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint at the PB Tap Room a couple nights ago for four dollars

Color was a deep red amber color with a much lighter tint when held up to the light, a 1/2 inch slightly off white head that stuck around for a few minutes, decent retention, not much lacing

Smell was full of hoppiness, there was a little pine and floral much top my surprise, lots of citrus mostly including grapefruit and lemons, some biscuity malt, also some a hint of caramel

Taste had lots of bready malt up front with a small amount of floral hoppiness, as it warmed there were some tangerine and grapefruit flavors that came to the surface, also some toffee and caramel later on, nicely balanced overall, lacked a real strong taste on either side of the spectrum, could have used more citrus or malt, either one would have made this one stand out more, still not bad overall

Body was pretty good fvor an amber ale, lots of carbonation, taste could have lasted longer, light mouthfeel overall

Could drink a couple pints of this stuff, the alcohol percentage is about as low as gets for craft brews, it is not too heavy on the stomach either, the main thing is that the taste gets old pretty fast

Not the best from Ballast Point but not too bad either, would make a decent session beer at a low cost, average among the other red ales I have tasted, this stuff is also available in six packs and bombers which is a plus, recommended

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2008 16:30:01 | More by Floydster
Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 930 ratings.