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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

1,119 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,119
Reviews: 408
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 29
Gots: 98 | 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: 1,119 | Reviews: 408
Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of flyingpig
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange to amber, foamy two fingers width tall and takes some time to reduce down to one fingers width, leaving some good lacing on the glass as it does so.

Quite a clean smelling beer to me with a nice hop aroma upfront mixed in with some sweet malts and a little background fruit and spice.

Some hops in the taste upfront with this one consisting of mainly pine but with a good amount of bitterness blended in as well. This bitterness continues through the middle of the beer and is joined by some light, fruity flavours towards the end of each sip helping make the beer a sweet tasting one.

Smooth to the sip with solid, mild carbonation and a sort of creamy feel to it overall. The bitterness through the middle & towards the end is good and not too strong.

Not the most complex beer in the world or the strongest but a very solid performance from a good amber ale. It is pretty straightforward but does have a good balance and nice hop taste to it.

A Bar With No Name Blog:

Photo of patm1986
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

amber red, thick whip cream head that settles into a pile of a semi-full version of itself.

earthy, floral, wheat fields, oatmeal, bitter, oily, hempy hop forward chracteristics: bitter, metallic.

creamy, bitter, dry but salavating finish.

it's an american amber: hop forward, piney, dry. it is SOLID.

Photo of gregb13
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper with a chunky head and excellent lacing. Looks very appetizing. Smell is vibrant with bitter hops, citrus, pine. Taste follows the nose, with a decent malt presence. Some citrus bitterness lingers on the back end. Perhaps just a tad overcarbonated? Excellent brew, tough to find faults. Another winner from Ballast Point.

Photo of horshack7
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dam good looking beer that is a stunning dark mahogany with amber garnet hues around the edges. On top as a crown is a off white rocky head that upon thinning out leaves behind thick lacing.

Aroma: Sweet dried fruit notes. Yeasty bread notes a little bit doughy. Sublte pistachio notes with a little bits of almond. Grapefruit and piney notes all through it.

Taste: Dryness from the malts gives it a toffee mouthfeel with a little bit of butteriness. Citrus fruit notes here and there. Towards the end is a wisp of nuttiness with a semi dry finish.

Notes: A very solid beer very sessionable that has a good malt backbone. Cheers.

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured out with a really nice rich looking copper amber color. The head is solid and has a good retention, not much lacing but still has a good appearance. The smell of the beer is hoppy and had a decent sweetness. The taste of the beer is nicely hopped and quite bitter. The sweet caramel flavors comes through in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Overall this brew was pretty good.

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

Pours a deep copper colour, almost with a reddish tinge to it, and a fine-bubbled head of off-white. Lacing is frothy and patch, but solid, forming around the glass in solid enough rings. Body has some heft to it, rather pleasantly, and the carbonation is mild but extremely fine. Looks good.

Nose is grainy and bright, with pleasant slightly toasted characters and a mild fruit character, perhaps just a hint of banana. Some subtle crushed greens get a look in as well. It's all quite mild, but it's pretty well integrated, and quite pleasant.

Taste is a little thinner, and rather metallic, with a coppery bite towards the bit to back and a slight astringency. Graininess comes through to clean up on the back, or rather it just appears once the metallic character drops out. It's pleasant enough, and it has some character to it, which is good.

Not a bad drop. Sessionable, with enough character. No, it's not the most exciting brew in the world, but it's solid.

Photo of TheDinger
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at a speciality place here in town. Have enjoyed other offerings from Ballast Point so thought I'd try the Amber. Served from a 12 oz. single into a pint glass.

A- Bright copper with 1+ finger of light brown head. Cloudy with a fair amount of lacing that lasts throughout.

S- Thought it would pack more punch. Initial notes of hops that give way to citrus and fruit. A hint of peach.

T- Strong citrus and fruity notes with adequate carbonation. A bit of heavy hops at the end which was a little much.

M- A little thin and dry. Good carbonation however.

O- A good effort from Ballast Point on this one. A bit on the hoppy side which is not my style. Refreshing and fruity and I would probably drink this offering again. Fairly well crafted with a good blend of flavors-

Photo of MrKennedy
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber thanks to ADZA for the trade! Poured into a Redoak globe style glass.

Pours a nice copper colour, good glow to it when held up to light. Beautiful deep beige head of foam that pillows down to sit at a quarter of an inch throughout. Some spotty lacing.

Aroma is very good. Smells initially of malt, sweet, complex and inviting. The hops back this up, starting florally and then a little bit of pine makes a background appearance.

Taste is mixed, at times beautifully creamy malt comes through, then a bit of a slightly off-putting tanginess comes through. The hops come in an out with some nice fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is solid and creamy, with the odd thin spot in it. The body is sufficient to give it a good base, but still staying very sessionable.

A very nice interpretation of what can be deemed a bit of a boring style. Quite like it, especially for this time of year in Sydney, Australia where it is 15-28 degrees celsius.

Photo of jwhancher
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber from the Home Brew Mart when in San Diego last week. Brought back home with me to Philly.

A: pours a crystal clear ruby red with nice off-white head that linger around a bit after it fades. Looks excellent.

S: smells like a West Coast amber with assertive hop aromas. Piney & citrus upfront with some peppery & spicy notes. Sweet malt aroma is there as well.

T & M: starts thin & dry which then leads to the sweetness of the malts. Nice even bitterness comes next. Hops are more in the forefront but with sufficient malt character. Excellent mouthfeel. Feels nice and light with plenty of flavor and great drinkability. If I lived out West this would be my go-to session ale.

O: overall, I'm pleasantly surprised for what I mistook as an accessible beer to the masses. This one borderlines an IPA but is probably best summed as a West Coast Amber or red. Ballast Point is quickly becoming my new favorite brewery I hadn't really discovered until now.

Photo of angrygrimace
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Calico Amber from a bomber, although I've had it from a growler, tap, you name it straight from the brewery.

Pours with deep appetizing clear copper color with a subtle head that does lace the glass a fair bit. Smell is hoppier than you might expect, but not out of line with what you expect from west coast breweries making this style of beer.

The taste is simply exceptional. Toasty, delicious malts and a nice, tight hops bite that just hits you soon after you take a sip. Without getting into superlatives, I'd just say the bitterness level is just about perfect for the style. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry, but perfectly refreshing. You could drink a lot of these.

I'd won't hide the fact that Calico is one of my favorite beers ever. I wouldn't argue it's something you could really compare to an IPA like Sculpin, but that doesn't diminish its qualities considering it's not that type of beer.

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

I was excited to try this brew after having both Sculpin and Big Eye. Poured into a pint glass.
A: Deep copper/amber color, slightly cloudy, white, creamy 2 finger head that leaves good lacing
S: Some sweet maltiness with hop notes
T: Like the nose, I get a good sweet malt character with a good hoppy bitterness.
M: Leaves a good coating on the tongue, moderate carbonation
O: Another great brew from Ballast Point, I haven't been disappointed yet, would happily have more of this amber.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear amber with moderate bubbles and a two-finger, white foamy head that lasted a few minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Malt, fruit, and earthy hop aroma.

T: Moderate sweetness and just the right hop bitterness. Lightly toasted finish. Caramel malt. Very nice.

M: Light to medium body with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and dry.

O: Solid Amber ale. Nice color and lacing, an inviting aroma, and a crisp malty taste.

Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper in colour with a little haze and a dark beige cap. Decent head retention with some streaky lacing. Malty caramel aroma, a little grassy and biscuity. Same in the flavour, some nuttiness, moderate bitterness, a touch of pine and mint in the finish. Light to medium bodied with lowish carbonation. Overall, pretty solid and drinkable.

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

Had this beer on tap at canary in jamaica plain. Served in a pint ...cold.

A. Off white head and a murku amber body

S. Grain and floral smell

T. Nutty and nice hop floral balance

M. Medium

D. Really nice and drinkable but not really thirst quenching. Very tasty and I would certainly drink this again.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a tap into a 24-oz. cup at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. The first ¾-inches of the cup was head and it probably would have been more if the pourer hadn’t spilled some. The film lasted throughout the beer. Thick white lacing that also stayed throughout. Color was dark red, almost brown.

Not that much of a smell. Forced it and finally got hints of caramel. I’ll give the beer the benefit of the plastic cup, but was a bit disappointed.

Good taste with lots of flavors. Initial taste was bitter followed by a strong taste of alcohol. Nutty and malty.

Taste got old quicker than I hoped, but will give the benefit of the doubt for 24 ounces and the plastic cup. Mid-to-high carbonation.

I’m sure this would have been much better out of a pint glass or bottle, but sometimes you have to go with what you have. Will give it another try and check the ratings then.

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

On-tap at the main brewery's tasting room.

A - Poured an amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of sweet caramel malt

T - Follows the nose with sweet caramel malt along with a bit of hops in the finish

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I really enjoyed this beer I hold a special spot for ambers as they were my favorite when I got into craft beer and this one steps it up some with additional hops to keep thing interesting worth getting if you see it around

Photo of d4114
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy red brown with a thin white head. Murky looking.

Malt forward with almost a minty note in there.

Malty, bready and earthy. Still getting the mint.

Thicker on the front of the tongue but watery in the back.

I have had this a few times now and it's just not for me, its not a bad beer but I always feel it has off flavors.

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

Wow, another great beer from Ballast Point. They're somewhat hard to come by here in the NE but everyone I've had so far has been exceptional. This one has a dark amber, slightly cloudy color and great aroma. Hops and malt are very well balanced, with spicy notes and the faintest hint of the booze. So drinkable! I love the way BP is able to really bring out the hoppy flavors and all their subtleties without overwhelming the palette with pure bitterness. Highly recommended.

Photo of PDXHops
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a shaker pint. Deep see-thru amber with a fluffy and creamy head that's in no hurry to leave. Plentiful soapy lacing.

Citric and grassy notes intertwine with stronger bready and caramel aromas. It's fairly nimble in spite of the thickish caramel body, with juicy citrus and anice bitter streak cutting through the sweetness. Earthy and toasted flavors float in and out at times, especially in the finish. Nice little amber ale here.

Photo of biegaman
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Calico Amber must be one malty son-of-a-gun. Its ruddy colour looks thick as clay and, although it's friendly to the light it doesn't let much of it through. While honey coloured highlights lend a dazzling incandescence, that ruddy clay complexion really gives the impression of a substantial, thick-bodied beer. Head formed the second go-round.

The brewery claims it's the yeast they've used that gives this beer its Madeira-like richness, but I think it wouldn't be as impressive without the supporting cast of candied-fruit-like American hops and toasty, caramelized amber malts. The three ingredients form an Axis-of-Deliciousness that amounts to a bouquet greater than the sum of its parts.

Calico tastes like one of the best coffee cakes you could serve. While it's obvious that no actual fruits were added, fruity flavours make up a big part of its profile, whether its the sweetness of sticky figs and dried prunes in the malts, the esters of the yeast or the tutti-frutti, candied-citrus notes left courtesy of the hops. There's also a nice pecan nuttiness.

The malts are almost rich enough to resemble toasted bread crusts, instead they taste like a spongy-sweet honeycomb toffee. They easily rank a seven (maybe even eight) on the caramelization scale, approaching barleywine territory but grounded in a leafy, zestful hop bitterness. And despite the depth of flavour, they don't weigh down the stomach.

There are a few great mysteries in the food/drink world: how do they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar? What's in Coca-Cola's secret formula? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? And now we must also wonder how Ballast Point balances Calico Amber with so much fruity, Madeira-like richness *and* coffee cake and honeycomb toffee flavour *and* so much zesty American hoppiness. Thanks Ultraman9000!

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

A: Pours a translucent amber brown with a thin layer of foam that subsides to virtually nothing but leaves a fair amount of lacing around the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look good.

S: Smells of roasted malts, rye bread, nuts, citrus and cranberry. There is also a more herbal, earthy smell, almost like tea.

T: A bittersweet, citrus and cranberry flavor hits the tongue first, followed immediately by roasted malt and rye bread, finally transitioning back to a tart, bitterness and a bit of residual malty sweetness. Finishes dry and very crisp, almost like drinking cranberry juice. Fairly well balanced, which helps keep the sweetness in check.

M: I found this to be medium-bodied with a very light, almost mineral water-like carbonation. Although it is quite thin in substance, the flavor is a bit heavier and a bit astringent which keeps this from being on the lighter side of the amber beer spectrum.

O: I quite enjoyed this brew, though I must admit it was not at all what I expected. I found this to have more of a tart, citrus flavor, which I am guessing were lent by the hops, instead of the more roasted, malt-centric ambers I am used to. I found the mouthfeel to be a bit odd, as well, coming off as almost mineral water-like with a very crisp finish that left almost no risidual matter on the tongue. That said, it is quite drinkable and even refreshing, I must say. It is quite on par with other beers in the Amber category, though it will not wow you in any way. Cheers!

Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Misconduct Tavern, Philly, PA

Poured into a nondescript pint glass, a clear tangerine-amber color with a thin, wispy head. Pretty basic aroma, with a decent balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts, almost reminiscent of an APA. Basically the same in the taste, with a nice balance of the malt and hop elements. Very nice for an amber ale. Meduim mouthfeel, and very easily drinkable.

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

The brew pours amber, obviously, with decent head and lace. The nose is a bit of toasty grain, but herbal dankness explodes on the palate. The disparity between mellow grain aroma and surprisingly vibrant hop flavor creates an intriguing dynamic. Lighter than medium, soft carbonation. Very drinkable and a nice example of the style. It is actually one of my favorite BP brews overall.

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Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,119 ratings.