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.
very good

1,014 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 391
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 24
Gots: 60 | 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: 1,014 | Reviews: 391 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of originalsin
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this tonight. I've heard great things about Ballast Point, hopefully this is the start of a beautiful relationship.

Pours a deep amber color with a small white head that laces well. The smell is both sweet and bready at the same time. There's substance to the nose on this one. Not necessarily a lot going on here but there's substance. Taste is quite similar to the nose, of course. There's some residual sweetness but mostly just big bready malts and a lot of caramel malt as well. Mouthfeel is light and drinkability is excellent.

originalsin, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with a one finger off white head which leaves a small lace on the side of the glass. Smell and taste are of bitter grapefruit flavored hops and biscuit malt. Finishes dry. Light bodied, moderate carbonation, and fairly drinkable. A decent beer, but not a favorite of mine. Leaves a disagreeable bitter aftertaste.

hardy008, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was excited to hear that Rattle N Hum had this on cask. It poured a deep amber, and laced surprisingly well. Had a nice bouquet of citrus, woodiness, vanilla, and malty breadiness. The taste started with citrus and breadiness, but ended on a hop note. A little too bitter on the finish as well. The cask certainly gave it a nice mouthfeel, but I was expecting more from an American amber. The lack of overall balance in this beer didn't have me rushing to order another one, but I could certainly see this as a decent session beer.

donniecuffs, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Poured amber with a slight haze and was topped with a frothy off-white head that held great retention and left some excellent sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Aromas were caramely malty sweetness, brown sugar, vanilla, and toasted grains with faint hints of floral hops. Tastes were similar to aromas and very complex - biscuity, bready malt, brown sugar, and caramel notes with a slight hop bite on the bitter-sweet finish consisting of citrus notes and mild pine. Mouth-feel was fairly creamy and medium bodied with modest carbonation. This is probably hopped more than an amber should be, but I thoroughly enjoyed this take on an American amber ale.

barnzy78, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Charleston Beer Exchange and poured into a regular pint glass.

A: Pours an amber brown with a small amount of tan head that doesn't hang around more than a minute before becoming a slight haze over the top of the brew.

S: Quite a bit of caramel malt aroma with a bit of hoppiness mixed in. I expected more of a hop aroma than this. There is a hint of hoppiness, but it almost seems like more soapy than the regular hop aromas. I hope this isn't an old bottle, but I see no date on it anywhere.

T: This seems like some sort of odd mid ground between an ESB and a Pale Ale with more caramel than pale malts. There is more hop bitterness than most ESBs but the malt seems more like that style. It is an interesting although not great mixture for my tastes.

M: The feel is a bit thin, but based on the style designation, I do not know if its too far outside of the range for the style. The carbonation is a bit on the aggressive style instead of helping to make the beer creamy.

D: The low ABV and relative balance of sweet and bitter make it an easy drinker.

GatorBeerNerd, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber color with a nice white head. Nose is is faint with caral and grain. Tastedoes not get going until room temp. A slight metallic taste colder but as it wared i got more caramel, maple out of it. Mouthfeel was good and drinkability was very good once it warmed up.

barleywinefiend, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of Bigfatbino
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A = dark amber, as the name implies. Beautiful thick lacing left on the glass. Nice head with tight bubble structure.

S = bright and flowery, with barley undertones.

T = Wow. Nice and on the bitter side, but not overpowering. Taste of roasted coffee and some chocolate undertones along with the grains are wonderfully pronounced.

M = Tingly, bright, bubbly, nice resiny feel left on the tongue.

D = This is a wonderful beer to go with a nice man-food dinner, like Porterhouse.

Bigfatbino, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz botle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a tarnished copper color with a significant amount of haziness. Capping this is light-khaki head, one-finger thick, that while not retaining for very long-leaves some attractive looking lace in the glass.

S: Pretty heavy on the malt, at first sip. Sweet caramel, toffee, and vanilla. That quickly gives way to some floral, piney, and citrus-y hops.

T: For me, the taste does a flip flop with the hops (pine & citrus) coming on in the beginning. It briefly switches over to the sweet caramel-y malt in the middle, and them the finish is an excellent blend of the sweet malt and piney hops.

M: Starts prickly, gains a little smoothness, and then turns prickly and peppery again. Quite oily and coating.

D: This beer is awesome! Typically this is one of those styles that we pass over, but this may force us to change our prejudice towards the style.

GbVDave, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Clear amber color with an off-white head that thinned to a layer and still left a good coating of lace.
Fresh citrus hop aroma.
The beer is very well balanced with a bitter citrus hop flavor upfront being tamed by a solid roasted malt back bone.
Medium bodied, well carbonated and very easy to drink.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH snifter pours a murky dark amber with a decent amount of floaty sediment and a nice cappuccino-like frothy light-tan head that lasted to the end and left great lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice balance of Earthy citrus hops and caramel malts. The taste is a wonderful balance of sweet caramel malts and citrus hops with hints of vanilla pine. The beer is quite light, crisp and refreshing, great session brew. This is a truly exceptional Amber, but I expect nothing less from Ballast Point.

atsprings, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour a pretty, dark amber color (almost ruby) with an average egg-shell colored head that dissipated into a light ring. The brew has a nice hoppy aroma, not strong but nice. A nice fresh juicy hop, some grapefruit; some caramel malt in the end. A very nice hop forward amber ale. Again, nice juicy hop, has a fresh taste with little hop bitterness. Solid caramel malt body to add a backdrop to the hops. The flavors aren't crazy but are nice, perhaps a poor mans nugget nectar. The feel is light to moderate, semi-soft carbonation. Seems a touch watery at times. Finishes a bit dry. A very nice amber ale. I do enjoy the amber ales that showcase the hop flavor.

Gmann, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Light brown/amber pour. Light white head. Surprisingly malty aroma, caramel, biscuit and citrus pine. Taste nicely balances caramel malt, light biscuit and pine citrus hops. Finishes with a clean hop presence. Good light/medium body with good drinkability. Hands down the best amber I've had since Bell's Amber which is the standard in my opinion. Ballast point is becoming an under rated overall high/low gravity brewery.

Bung, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear copper amber with a little bit of white head and some good lacing.

S-Bready malt and some hoppy grapefruit in the background.

T-Nice malt sweetness in the front with a moderate hop bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with some lingering hop bitterness.

D-A nicely drinkable amber ale.


sholland119, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Amber, rusty body under a huge slightly off white head. Very chunky. Great retention and lace. Have to take away a little because the beer produced 3/4 head and 1/4 beer upon a gentle first pour.

S: Toasted and sweet malt, bit of caramel and toffee, some citrus hops mixed in. Pretty good aroma, but I could stand for some more hoppiness. What is there is balanced well.

T: Sweet, a lot of caramel, toffee, vanilla, candy-like flavors. Fruity, dark fruits, reminiscent of a Belgian beer up front for me. Finish is mildly bitter, tangy hop in blended very well in between, some citrus hop in the back end, but overall fairly sweet. Very surprising taste profile.

M/D: Medium bodied, slight prick on the tongue from the carbonation but not too much. Drinkability is really nice. Overall a solid beer. Can't say that it quite conforms to the style, but a very good beer indeed.

NCSUdo, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brownish copper....decent tan head leaving patches of spotty lace

light...sweet caramel and honey....faint bit of hops

bitterness from the hops on the first sip followed up by sweetness from the malt which hangs around in the aftertaste

medium bodied...nice crispness

nice maltyness and hop balance....very sessionable at 5% ABV

SPRichard, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Martin2D
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Amber with a pure white head that fades quickly

S - Hops and alcohol with a strong malt smell

T - Strong hop presence with an equally malty backbone. Plenty of citrus hops. Beautiful balance.

M - Medium-high carbonation and medium in body

D - I could hammer these all night. Such balance and flavor. Great beer and am glad I have tried it.

Martin2D, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured this into my pint glass

Pours an amber like color with an off-white one finger head. Head does not last too long but does not go away quickly, its on par average. Very small amounts of lacing is left behind.

Smell is that of dark fruits with the likings of purple grapes, prunes, berries, sweet caramel, bread like yeast. Smell is just wonderfully full of malt flavors. Cant wait to take a sip!!!

Taste lacks what I got from the smell. Very low malt flavor giving it just a slight sweetness to it. Lacks flavor and its pretty watery.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with low carbonation.

Well the smell was great but this lacked flavor to me so it was a disappointment.

tr4nc3d, May 22, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep, clear red - ruby, with a thin white head. The head was gone as soon as I'd gotten done smelling it. About average I'd say, good color and clarity, poor head. The smell is light on the hops, moderate on the malts. A tiny whiff of tropical fruits and oranges comes up, followed by a powdery sweetness. No real whiff of breadiness. The taste, for the average american amber ale, is right on the money. A nice pleasant fruity hop presence comes by, tart cherries, orange, just a bit of leafiness, like tea in the background. Then there's a sweet tea finish, with a tiny bit of a biscuity malt presence. Something feels kind of syrupy in this. Maybe the low carbonation did it, but the mouthfeel is very nice, more full than I expected. And this one is overall very nice. Not the most enjoyable of all, but a bit better than average. I probably wouldn't enthusiastically buy this, but I'd say it was worth the visit.

taylorhamrick, May 17, 2009
Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very tasty beer with a nice combination of malt flavors and hop bitterness. Really enjoyable and worth the price. I will continue to drink more of these in the years to come.
The appearance is a nice dark copper color, has a decent head with moderate lacing down the glass.
The smell is hoppy without being overwhelmingly so.
The taste is really nice with solid malt flavors and bright, assertive hops in flavor and finish.
I can drink a lot of these.

FacistCannonBall, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. Pours a clear, well, copper amber in color with a half inch of foamy off white head. Offers decent retention and lacing.

Moderate malts on the nose, some toasted caramel, citrus and hops. Not as sweet and buttery as might be typical of the style.

Smooth and slightly bitter in taste. A bit of toasty breadiness on the tongue. Crisp and clean on the finish as the sweetness doesn't overwhelm. A nicely balanced amber with good flavor and drinkability, particularly for someone who doesn't prefer simple sweet versions of the style.

HalfFull, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a beautiful amber/copper with about a half inch of white rocky head. Head recedes pretty quickly leaving thin wispy lacing. Nose is outstanding! The caramel malts are well done in the aroma, with a touch of bready malts that are faint. If only the taste picked up where the nose left off. Perhaps I got a bad batch, but the taste was muted, the bready malts dominated and weren't well balanced between the caramel and hops that are present. It seemed unequal and offbalance. This is a light to medium bodied beer, medium carbonation, slight grainy texture in the mouth with a sticky finish. The offbalance in the taste lessens the drinkability on this beer, but I will look to try it once more in hopes of simply getting a bad batch this time around.

Jayli, Apr 23, 2009
Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.