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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

1,058 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,058
Reviews: 395
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 28
Gots: 73 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Calico Copper Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,058 | Reviews: 395 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: Aromas of piney hops stand out in the nose, which also has some notes of caramel malts. The smell becomes sweeter as the beer warms up.
T: There's a good mix of caramel flavors from the malts and bitterness from the hops; the bitterness takes over through the finish. The overall taste becomes sweeter as the beer warms up and the bitterness becomes less noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate. There isn't much carbonation.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and its low alcohol content can make it sessionable. The drinkability improves as the beer warms up.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. botttle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very hazy amber color, with a touch of copper. A fluffy white head forms on pouring, and there is decent retention. Lace spiderwebs the glass on the way down.

Smell: Quite sweet, with roasted and caramel malt the most noticeable. Hint at grapefruit hops as well.

Taste: It starts off quite sweet, with a caramel malt softness. The variety of both the malt and hops give it a nice complexity. Mostly citrus tasting hoppiness sneaks in next. Roasted with a spiciness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel, with the above average carbonation cleansing the tongue after each sip.

Drinkability: The sweet taste and the balanced feel make this quite a balanced, drinkable brew.

Photo of stimulus
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours ruby red with a small beige head.

S: Smells of hops and pine.

T: Quite malty with a crisp hoppy finish.

M: Very smooth on the palate; the carbonation is well balanced.

D: A nice malty beer that can certainly be sessioned.

Photo of PintOHops
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Pint

A - First off It opened with a huge Co2 release, then as I poured it, it created a massive 4-5 finger head with way way way to much visible carbonation! Wow, never had this happen to me before. Color is copper/amber, head retention is amazing, left some splashy lacing.

S - A little dry & floral hop notes upfront, lots of sweet malts, big caramel, some candied date, toasted sugar, a bit of toast. wonderful aroma, very balanced aroma.

T - Big toasted malts, biscuits & caramel unfold into a bit of citric hop bite in the center, following is some toffee and molasses. Finishes with lingering malty goodness and a soft balancing bitterness. As the smell, very balanced!

M - A bit smooth, would be more so if not for the huge carbonation level of this beer, very crisp, lite-medium bodied.

D - God I could quaff this beer all night. I love the balance of hops/malts, this is an exceptional Amber Ale. I highly recommend this beer, just outstanding! Can't wait to have this one again. Cheers!

Photo of JosiahS
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured moderately into a pint glass. Huge soapy head and lots of carbonation! Color is copper-amber and the slightest bit hazy.

Smell required a couple sips to get through the amazing head it produced. I picked up through the head, a light date and hop aroma but now that the head has settled a bit I can easily pick up caramelized sugar, dates, toffee and a dry yet fresh and slightly citric hop aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied, very smooth on the pallete yet has a nice carbonation bite that is just right.

Taste, blended nicely. I don't know what to say comes first and what ends. It finishes very clean with only a light lingering bitterness. The taste is similar to the aroma: dates, toffee, honey, and a nice hop bitterness all rolled into one smooth drink from start to finish.

Drinkability is high on this. It's smooth, goes down easy and tastes great for an amber ale. At 5%, this beer has got a lot of flavor and body.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's with a mixed 6'er. It poured a tall head over a clear amber-red body. The aroma is a little odd, coming off like creamy cranberries. The flavor, however, is quite rich with nutty and toffee malts, citrus hops, and cranberry juice - quite a combination. The finish is dry, and almost astringent. I may not be a huge fan of the aroma, but this is an impressive beer. I can't remember the last amber I had that was this complex with just being crammed full of hops. What a nice surprise.

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.

Photo of JEdmund
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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.

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

Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.