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Calico Copper Amber Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Calico Copper Amber AleCalico Copper Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,084 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,084
Reviews: 401
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 26
Gots: 83 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 04-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,084 | Reviews: 401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on nitro at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. My wife and I actually ordered one on-tap and one nitro to do a side by side comparison. Most of this review will be in comparison to the on-tap version. The beer has a darker red coloring, with a foamier and lighter colored, big bubbled head. Slight sweet malt on the nose, but barely detectable. The body is rounder, and much creamier, and the hops flavors come across a bit muted. Nutty flavors are good and strong, but the hops leave it a bit unbalanced. Very smooth finish, with minimal aftertaste, almost watery. Amazing difference between nitro and tap.

Photo of ChanChan
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Blue Palms in Hollywood Califas!!
Appearance: Evidently copper in color. Lacing is amazing!

Aroma: Malty, woody and a bit of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and creamy.

Taste: Bitter, malty and again a bit hoppy.

Drinkability: After a few sipos this beer becomes quite drinkable

Overall: This beer is not amazing but it will grow on you especially because of the aroma appearance and mouth-feel.

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

Poured in a large chalice at the PB Shore Club in San Diego. Not the most appropriate glasswear but still cool.

A - Pours a nice strong amber color with a copper outline and a nice ecru colored head. Some nice lacing forms on the glass as the head slowly recedes.

S - Strong grain aroma with some slight malt caramel sweetness. Good toasty malt backbone that has some nice grassy hop notes on the back. Slightly dank.

T & M - Starts of with freshly baked bread notes with some slight spice. Almost some rye notes in the malt. The middle and finish is nicely dank with some slight pine notes and nice resin. The finish is also combined with the great slightly sweet malt and spicy notes. The beer is light and refreshing even for the ammount of flavor.

O - Ballast point continues to impress me with their solid offerings. Good solid amber ale.

Photo of thepeter
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed for JD Wetherspoons Spring Beer fest 2011 and slightly different at 5.2%. Looks quite nice, amber frothy head decent lacing. Smell muted but nice, floural hops, decent malt backbone slightly doughy. Taste is similar but hoppie rthan I expected, especially at first. Mellows out nicely and you get some sweet citrus and biscuity finish. Once again, I find almost all Cask ales to have amazing mouthfeel and this was no different. Smooth with perfect carbonation. Overall a very good beer, nothing exceptional but I would def have it again.

Photo of gregalobeer
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This guy is actually a fairly dark amber. It could equally pass for a red ale. The head was very pretty: dense, good retention, a excellent lacing. On the nose, I couldn't get much other than yeast and malts, maybe a little orange peel? The only outstanding quality taste-wise is the hoppy/metallic finish, which plays well with the bubbly, sharp texture. Other than that, a very conservative amber ale, which for the genre, is par I guess. I enjoyed it but probably won't buy another sixer, only because I prefer the more complex Ballast Point varieties.

Photo of augustgarage
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dry hopped version - hand-pump @ Blue Palms - served in a nonic.

Brilliantly clear reddish amber body with a raft of beige up-top. Perpetual retention. Decent lacing.

Lavender, potpourri, and faint caramel in teh nose. Restrained/subdued aroma overall.

ESB-like hoppiness with lemon zest, digestive biscuits, kettle-caramelized malt, vague single-malt, and maybe a touch of sulfur on the palate. Dry faintly toasty finish.

Sort of uninspiring and bland compared to the regular bottled version - still decent with food though...

Photo of gopens44
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a pint glass at Capitol Ale House, Midlothian VA.

A - Whispy foam head with nice lacing. Nice coppery brown color and crystal clear

S - Slightly nutty malt smell with just a pinch of fruitiness.

T - Earthy hops followed by a sweet berry taste. Very nice indeed.

M - Highly carbonated with a light to medium body. Slightly bitter aftertaste is a very nice reminder of how good this is.

O - At 5%, and with such a great taste, this one is incredibly drinkable most any time.

Photo of uustal
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice cherry wood color with a milky colored one-finger head. Nice lacing and retention. A bit of a dark fruit aroma, little caramel as well. Big malts. Dark cherries lead the way. Some sticky caramel and toffee notes as well. More subtle citrus hops and earthy notes round the beer out. Simple and well done. Really nice amber flavors.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/9/11
*From notes

A: Really inviting copper hue. A 1.75 finger head on a standard pour. Reasonable yet unremarkable lacing.

S: Smooth hints of malt. Very mellow - not loud or extreme in any way. A slight amount of sweetness peaks my interest when breathing deeply.

T: This one's all about the finish. It's mild, inoffensive and easy drinking up front. It breezes by the mid-palate to a really nice grainy, malty and slightly biting finish. In between sips I notice a bit of yeasty dark bread.

M: Smooth and creamy enough. Pretty impressive for a 5% ABV brew.

O: A quintessential craft session brew. This is a really nice everyday beer, and one I hope to have stocked in my cold fridge this hot summer. Ballast Point continues to impress, and their Calico Copper get my seal of approval.

Photo of rudzud
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up on a whim from Julio's just because the fisherman in me couldnt let the bass on the front stay on the shelf. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A very nice reddish amber pour with a fluffy not quite two finger head that faded slowly leaving a white slightly clumpy blanket and some good side lacing.

S - Some nice sweet malt aromas as well as some good fruit aromas typical of a dark ale. Not getting any hop qualities though.

T - Theres soemthing off with this...I get the nice dark fruit qualities of a dark ale as well as some great malt sweetness on the end with just a flash of hop bitterness. Getting no hop flavours really I am getting some really bizzare aftertaste. I cant place it but its almost funky but not quite. Its actually rather unpleasant.

M - Very nice mouthfeel here. Light carbonation, just enough to prevent this from coming across as thin or watery.

D - Stuff is quite drinkable and enjoyable but this very weird aftertaste, I just cant shake it. Really a shame. I want to like this beer, but I just cant bring myself to do so.

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Good Beer in NYC.

Appearance is a medium amber tone with a one finger head. Its` smell is a mix of malts, hops, cookie dough and some spice. Taste has citrus hops, candy, with some sweet bitterness in the end. MF is medium. Drinkability is pretty good in this amber style from Ballast Point. A couple of these over the course of a leisurely meal would make a good fit.

Photo of rdilauro
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color with almost zero head. It has a semi-hopy aroma. At the first sip, the hop disappears and is taken over by a good amount of malt flavor. I think the malt overpowers the hoppiness. I did detect a little vanilla taste Its smooth, and what I like in any beverage, the start and finish is the same

Photo of BillBuckner48
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

a delightfull bev. I very much enjoyed this beer

A- a dark amber color, looked great pouring it from the bottle

S- it had a hoppy smell, with a little bit of maltyness to it

T- It was a delight to drink, a little dark and thick but nice

M- it was like a playground full of cherubs in my mouth

D- oh it was drinkable.. dont you worry

Photo of bpalfrey10
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep reddish hue, perfect clarity, large off-white head
S: citrus, orange-y hop aroma, but a with hint of caramel malts
T: extremely well balanced beer which is exactly what i'd hope for in a west coast american amber. upfront I get caramel malt and then very quickly a pleasant hop bitterness. not overpoweringly bitter.
M: full mouthfeel, moderately high carbonation
D: smooth drinking beer, could definitely put down a lot of these

Photo of HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


On tap at Ballast Point Old Grove.

A: Transparent reddish amber with a white head. Lacing is good and the head is long lasting.

S: Floral notes blend with grapefruit and orange. Hops are aromatic and expressive. Malt provides balance and is redolent of caramel with only a little sweetness. It's lightly biscuity as well.

T: Firm citrus presence, with notes of orange and grapefruit flesh and a hint of rind. Lower moderate bitterness with no astringency or harsh notes. Hop flavor is vibrant and is nicely balanced by lightly sweet caramel and biscuit notes. No alcohol. Great flavor. Citrus lingers in the smooth and bitter finish.

M: Lower medium in body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: It's slightly ridiculous that this was my first time trying this and I've probably seen it more than a hundred times. It's smooth, drinkable, and damn tasty.

Photo of haazer
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Philly Winter Beerfest.

A- Great head retention. The offwhite head sits atop a well filtered dark ruby colored beer.

S- Caramel ooze blends nicely with floral hops. Suggests this one could be balanced.

T- It is. Apple, citrus and grapefruit flavors define the hops. There is definitely a nice caramel malt backbone associated with this brew to keep it from being to bitter.

M- Light to medium bodied brew. Smooth, sweet and also the slightest bit of puckering from the hops and sweet flavors having a tug of war.

D- Good amber ale that is well balanced. Low enough ABV to drink more than a few of these. I guess since Nugget Nectar set the standard for me this doesn't compare to that, but still a good offering from Ballast Point.

Photo of veinless
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clean and clear amber appearance, wth a nice dense head on top that sticks to the glass a lot.

Immediate smell is of biscuits you have with tea in the afternoon, Parle-G if that strikes a bell with anyone (indian biscuit). Bit of orange as well.

Initial taste is of orange real quick, but then morphs into malt bomb which is very pleasant. Biscuit flavor again, lots of toastiness. Nice bitterness, which isn't too strong at all and does its job. Hops + lots of bready malt yields a really nice combined taste at the end, with a back and forth between the two.

Body is really well balanced, with enough fluidity to go with a full body. Carbonation is ample, but not overdone. Drinkability is excellent as well, as the hops get you ready for the next malty sip. Really, really well crafted beer.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red/copper color with a fluffy, off white, two finger head. Thick foamy lacing down the sides.

S: Upfront there is a lot of biscuity malts and some caramel and a slight roasted aroma. There is also a floral hop aroma as well.

T: Nice floral hop flavor upfront the slightly roasted malts come through followed by a sweetness on the finish.

M/D: On the lighter side of medium. Had a little less carbonation than I was expecting. Overall very pleasant and easy drinking, would definitely get some...if only it was sold where I live.

Photo of smakawhat
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  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.

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.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of beagle75
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,084 ratings.