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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

1,106 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,106
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 29
Gots: 90 | 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: 1,106 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out an amber color with about half an inch of fluffy slightly off white head. A light biscuit malt aroma with a tangy fruit hop aroma. Flavor is light and bready malt with a light citrus hop bite. Finishes with a sweet and tangy malt/hop finish. For the light malt body it has a full character. Creamy bready malt body and tangy hop finish.

Photo of yusef
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an British nonic pint glass

A: pours a dark amber color with an off white fluffy head that stays around for a while. some carbonation bubbles stick to the side of the glass.

S: first thing i picked up that i have seen others mention is a nutty type smell. next was hops and some sweet malt. i have read others mention a citrus smell but i never got it, maybe due to a old bottle not sure.

T: i get malt first followed by hops. i think this is probably a well hopped beer for the style, but never experienced any bitterness

M: medium bodied, creamy texture

O: overall a good beer and i am glad i tried it, but probably wouldn't buy it again.

Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this one at the brewery/home brew mart in Linda Vista. Poured a nice clear copper hue, with a decent off-white head on top. Aromas of biscuit, light grain and grassy hops. On the palate, this is an easy drinking beer, light bodied and refreshing, with flavors of grassy hops, oranges and light caramel.

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

355ml bottle bought from BeersofEurope.co.uk...

Poured a deep amber red colour. Light mocha head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quite quickly to wispy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... no real carbonation... some decent lacing lines...

Aroma - Quite nutty, lots of grassy and piney hops, sweet caramel and biscuit malts, quite bready, some over ripe fruits (apples, some pears, the faintest hint of banana), light molasses, floral notes...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma - lots of piney and floral hops backed by caramel malts and biscuity notes... quite bready too..

M&D - Quite sharp and dry... light / medium bodied... A good sessionable brew at only 5%...

Overall - An excellent Amber ale and very quaffable... this is something i wish i always had access to.. recommended

Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber ale. Pours a reddish-amber color, slightly hazy. Big light tan/antique white head with good retention and patches of lacing.

Smell is mild piney hops. I expected this to be a hoppy beer. Taste is a surprise. The primary flavors are caramel and biscuity malts with the hops more for finishing bitterness than for any big hops flavor. The flavor is strong...stood up to Indian food, but not quite the hoppy beer my nose was exposed to.

Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. The hop presence is just enough to keep this from being too sweet.

Overall this is a good beer either to savor or as a session beer. I am a hophead but I can enjoy a well constructed malty beer too.

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

I picked up a growler of this from the Springfield Whole Foods.

A: Cloudy amber color, with a huge foamy off-white (mild reddish tinged) head that stayed frothy throughout the session.

S: Hoppy, red velvet cake batter, with a nice pillowy yeasty quality.

T: Very understated.... especially consider that this was the same brewery that gave us such hop bombs as "Big Eye" and "Sculpin." I really started to enjoy it more and more the more I sampled it. Simple, yet effective. Mild, crisp hop presence, with a cushion of yeast to push some of the bitterness away.

M: Nicely carbonated, with the sweetness kept to a minimum. The lacing was moderate.

O: A nice warm weather, near session beer, by a fantastic brewery.

Photo of ebrauser
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber red with a thick muddled white head.

Aroma: Grassy malt sweetness with a great bouquet of floral notes, honey, and coriander. One of the best smelling beers I've had.

Flavor: Bittersweet intensity and bite. There are more grass notes and a little bit of pale NW hops. Rich red flavors develop as the beer warms up a bit, along with a roasted malt.

MF: Easy drinking light/medium body. Beer slides down and doesn't stick or coat the mouth, though lingering floral hops remind you what awaits the next sip.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy deep red/ amber color with some orange hues. It has a thick looking light brown head that leaves some scattered lacing. It looks to have a normal amount of carbonation.

S: Smell is mostly of toasted malts with a little bit of sweetness from a fruity scent. Basically the essentials you would expect from this style.

T: Mostly the earthy, toasted malts come through in the taste. There is also a nice hoppy bitterness to it.

M: It is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Leaves a subtle bitter aftertaste from the hops.

D: Overall, it drinks very smoothly and is a fine example for the style. I'm looking forward to trying more from this brewery.

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

I have been very spoilt lately with all these great American beers that i never usually see but am seeing alot of now and this is another it pours a see through light copper hue that has nice carbonation which leaves behind a cream coloured two finger head that quickly recedes to a layer of froth and some sporadic lacing,the smell is quite nice with hints of peanut brittle,sticky toffee and some floral hops,it has a light-medium bodied well carbonated mouthfeel which is perfectly suited to allow the tastes of butterscotch fudge,toffee,candied grapefruit all to make their own cameo before being finished off with a herbal,citrus hoppy bitterness which really rounds this brew out and for a Amber fan like myself i have had better examples but in saying that i could easily session on this brew anyday of the week.

Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

415th review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz.

App- A very dark dirty copper color. A very big two and half finger head on this with a very top layer of sticky lace.

Smell- A very half and half mix of malt and hops. I got some twinges of grain and a little sweetness.

Taste- Again the taste follows the nose and its a fifty/fifty mix of the two flavors. The malts come first and the hops close the taste with a bigger feel than the beginning sips.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb feel with a bit of biscuty malt residual flavor.

Drink- I need to get through a lot of the California beers as trading has calmed down and I need to develop some homer pride for CA as I have lived here for 10 years. I probably wont come back to this one, except for a nitro or a cask if ever in SD

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.

Calico Copper Amber Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,106 ratings.