Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

925 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 925
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 29
Gots: 100 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

There's no wonder why our Pale Ale is so popular--it is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. We've chosen German hops for aroma, and rounded out the recipe with a blend of American and German malts.

While it is very much like a pilsner, our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt. If you like a lighter brew but also like the complexity of craft beers, then our Pale Ale is for you.

23 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 925 | Reviews: 350
Reviews by yumyab:
More User Reviews:
Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm not sure I get the low scores either, other than frustrations over A) it's actually a kolsch-style ale, not a pale ale and/or B) it's not a big old hop bomb of a beer. Regardless, I thought this was clean and delicious and the description from the brewer incredibly apt -- "...our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt." The German hops natural spice and grassiness work well with that understated citrus fruit note from the ale yeast, but never cover up a clean malt base. Will be reaching for this one very often indeed this summer.

Photo of boston2bburg
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a stange, this beer exhibits a very light straw color with a touch of haze. The white foamy head has a respectable layer of retention with some clumping. Lemon and a bit of cake on the nose.

The mouthfeel strikes me as starchier than expected. Its rough, hop-forward flavor exhibits lemon tartness and pale German malt. The hops give character where the grains merely balance. Very spicy bitterness. This would be a very nice summer pounder but the lemon flavor is a little too one-dimensional.

Photo of Dmann
4.45/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a yard of this at O'Hungry's in Old Town yesterday and was very impressed. It poured a nice medium yellow color with a small white head that left some lace down the glass. The smell was very refreshing with a crisp hop scent. The flavor was equally as smoothe and crisp with a slight hop kick that was more balanced towards the slighty spicy malt profile. This is a great session beer and just goes to show that you can make a very light and drinkable beer and still have a great flavor.

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Very mild chill haze, big frothy white head that cakes to a great thick lace.

Smell: Light breadiness with hints of yeast and grain. Faint whiff of fruit and hops also.

Taste: Medium body, sweet pale malt flavour through and through with a even hop bitterness (slightly spicy) and mild leafy noble hop twang flavour. Sweet bread and yeast on the palate straight into the drying finish.

Notes: Decent go at the Kölsch style, quite palatable with an impressive malt character for such a light coloured brew. Nice addition of hops to make for a perfect balance.

Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a clear goldenrod body that shows a lot of active carbonation. Immense vanilla head retains well and becomes pitted and rocky. Lots of scattered patchy lace.

Aroma is quite biscuity, accented by spicy and floral hops.

Light medium body is well carbonated.

Taste is well balanced, but governed by an earthy and spicy hop bitterness. Malt presence is very biscuity and has a hint of honey. Finishes clean and crisp.

One of the better American examples of the style and very sessionable.

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, no freshness info offered. Pours light and clear, under a fairly thin off white tiny bubble head, that leaves plenty of sticky, fine sheeting. Resiny hop nose. Easy drinking, snappy, hopped up offering. I personally find it confusing when a brewery puts out a "pale ale" that actually is a Kolsch beer. Anyway, this beer is a pleasant enough light sipper. Nothing special going on here.

Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear, orange-yellow in color, minimal head, low carbonation

Smell: tropical fruits and toasted malt

Taste: tropical fruits, toasted malt, caramel, honey, and a bit of bread

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, very sweet

Drinkability: I could have several of these. Nice, sweet, and a bit fruity for the style. A good warm day beer, I could have a six.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas. The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee with some orange citrus and some light grass notes. The flavor follow suit. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt as well as some citrus and pine notes from the hops. The malt is much more prevalent than the hops, but there is still a light bit of bitterness and some hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-gold with thin white head and not much lacing.

Smell: Wheat malt, citrus, apple and spicy, floral hops.

Taste: Malty mix of wheat, apple, lemon and orange. Some spicy counterbalance from the noble hops. Would have liked more Munich malt than Wheat, but still quite good.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, creamy somewhat full body and semi-dry finish expected for a Kolsch.

Drinkability: Very refreshing and enjoyable Kolsch. Not quite as dry or spicy as I prefer, and too much wheat.

Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden beer with a white head. Light aroma of malt and honey. Tastes sharp like a pilsner, but with equal malt flavors. A nutty character sometimes pops with a hint of biscuits. I don't know why they call this a pale ale, because its not. Oh well, its still good.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an alt glass.

Pours a very golden amber with a lot of carbonation, a nice tight little head with good retention. Nose is a bit wheaty/malty with a bit of hoppiness but it's similar to a marzen.

Mouthfeel is a little bit ligt/watery, but still good and easy drinking. Has a toastiness with some subtle wheat and nice earthiness to it. for a so-called pale ale, I'd like it to be a bit hoppier, but as a Kolsch it's just about where it should be.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Rich malty nose, mild herby hops. light fruit
Brilliant golden amber, 2" fluffy bone white foam cap, produces excellent lace.
Malty palate, graham cracker to biscuit, mild hop accent
medium body and carbonation

Photo of ehammond1
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Brazen BBQ
San Diego, CA

Clear golden yellow with a thin white cap. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Simple and muted aroma--lots of bready malts, grain, and little else.

Flavor follows the aroma--very simple and plain. There's some mild bitterness, lots of bread and grain, and a touch of floral and citrus, but not much at all. Though nothing unpleasant, this beer lacks much hop character and is simple and boring.

Medium mouthfeel. Clean, dry, crisp, and refreshing.

I think Ballast Point do themselves a disservice by calling this a pale ale. This is a simple, bready ale, but there's a lot more flavor and character in Sierra Nevada and Stone Pale Ales.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. About two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and fairly sweet German style aroma with citrus undertones. Upfront pale malts with hints of cereal grains, wheat, straw, biscuit, crackers, and yeast. Citrus fruit hints of orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Earthy hop hints with a Noble presence. Slight hints of spice. A pretty decent Kolsch style aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a crisp, clean, bready, and fairly sweet Kolsch style taste with some citrus notes. Upfront pale malts with notes of wheat, cereal grains, straw, crackers, biscuit, and yeast. Juicy citrus fruit notes of orange, pineapple, and lemon zest. Earthy presence of European hops linger around. Subtle note of some kind of spice. Very grain forward. A pretty decent lager like taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent take on the German Kolsch style. Has the crisp breadyness you expect.

Photo of Soonami
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is very misleading because I tried this on draft and did not know that this was a kolsch, but rather thought it was a APA like I would expect from Ballast Point that makes Big Eye and Sculpin. It's false advertising and you definitely do not get what you are expecting. There are some tell tale signs. The color is a golden pale clear color with finely knit white foam and lace. The flavor is very malty with a distinct grain tannin and sulphurs from the yeast. The finish is very dry and clean with little fruit flavor.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big gold color with a relatively ample head.

Taste is maltier and hoppier than mosts kolschs I've come across. Damn good tasting on a hot day around the pool. Kinda dry, yet sweet nuances. The most restrained beer I've had from these guys, and yet a great representation of a style I've traditionally shyed (sic?) away from.

A little pricey for what you get.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First things first the label is misleading, this should be labeled a Kolsch or a golden ale. When you see Yellowtail Pale Ale from San Diego, my Pavlov's dog in me starts to salivate. When I get home and pour a pale golden crystal clear beer with a bright white head forming thick, it's definitely not what I was expecting. Aroma has sweet biscuit malts slight honey sweetness with some herbal hops lingering a nice cereal grain presence with a mild metallic mineral water accent and hints of grassy/citric hops in the backend. Flavor is grainy light toasted malts bringing biscuit to minds with a touch of citrus/fruit esters very mild hops in the finish. Not even great German style brewing going on just pretty much a dissapointment as a whole. Mouthfeel light bodied easy going, easy drinking, care free crossover style golden ale. Drinkability, okay but I'm shocked at how light on flavor and color their labeled "pale ale" is. Crappy pale ale, okay kolsch.

Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz undated but very recently purchased bottle served in a pint glass. Small amount of sediment at bottom of the bottle added mid-tasting.

Near clear golden liquid with a substantial amount of fine-grained carbonation visible. Small white head has moderate retention. More lacing than expected, given the head.

Smells like a malty lager, albeit with a fruitiness that is much more characteristic of ales. The flavor is not as expected. Both the aroma and the "pale ale" labeling led me to expect something with much more hop flavor, but there's only a rather subtle touch of spicy hops in the taste. If I hadn't tried the beer before seeing the description "crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany" I would have been surprised. This beer is mild in flavor, as per the kolsch style. In fact, I had a quite similar, but perhaps even less flavorful kolsch last weekend at the Pisgah (NC) Brewery.

It has a nice, if near watery, mouthfeel with excellent carbonation and some dryness in the finish. Slightly bitter balance, yet more malt than hop flavor.

O - a highly drinkable and refreshing beer that makes an excellent substitute for a light beer ... not that you'd want one of those. Plenty flavorful for the kolsch, but not the PA style.

Photo of brewgetter
2.96/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very clear pale gold in color, very thin head but has some lacing. Smell is reminds me of the BMC crowd. Taste is better than the smell, but leaves a yeastiness lingering. Light on the hops, carbonation is OK but not great. Not too bad, but I was expecting a little better.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a bowtie glass)
Best by 09/21/2013
A- This beer pours a clear glowing yellow body with a thin white film of heat that breaks up after a few sips and a slow carbonation pushing toward the surface.

S- The green bitterness of Noble hops and some dry field corn notes is all that come through this lagered clean aroma.

T- The dry pale malt has some stronger field corn taste that leads to a soft Noble pungent bitter note that lingers with a slight almost sulfury dryness. The taste also has a lagered cleanness to it.

M- The light mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz in the finish.

O- The clean beer has lots of qualities of an American adjunct lager with lots of field corn qualities and Noble hop hints. It was a bit of a let down.

Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head settles to a very big lacing that crawls up the edges of the glass above a clear pale straw golden golden colored beer.

Sour lemons and slightly soapy aroma.

Wet slightly sour grains taste with a little bit of lemony hops that is also probably adding to the sourness of the taste.

Wettish yet slightly dryish aftertaste with a bit of the lemony sourness remaining behind with this light to medium bodied drink.

A bit to much on the sour taste for a pale ale for me, not really what I think of when I grab a pale ale.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a dark cloudy yellow with a thin white head.

Smells like sweet malts with honey and maybe some grassiness from the grains.

Tastes kind of grain at first, but then there is a sweetness I belive from honey. Then you get a slight bitterness.

Very crisp form carbonation and light.

A good brew worth a drink or two every now and then.

Photo of Brenden
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a medium yellow with a deeper amber hue to it. A frothy, thick pure white head starts at 2 fingers tall and eventually falls off to a sturdy foam that drops patchy lacing well down the glass.
It's not until I smell it until I decide to read the description, and it makes a lot more sense. There's a Saaz-like note of mildly sulfuric hops, verifying the brewery's claim; it is indeed like a pilsener in many ways. There's a touch of malty sweetness along with drier malts as well, and the aroma showcases a nice depth as well as proving that a gentler style can have a lot to it.
The flavor showcases those same dusty, earthy and grassy Saaz-like notes as the aroma, with a very gentle bitterness among the malty sweetness. The only thing detracting is that is goes strongly grainy.
The feel is lovely, crisp up front and continuing all the way in a flowing light but deep body with a nice, creamy smoothness that keeps me wanting another sip.
Another good one from Ballast Point.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an ever so slightly cloudy light, pale amber with a med head and tiny bubbles whitch seemed perfect for this style.
Aroma is sweetly malt with a very faint citrus.
Mouthfeel is crisp from the carbonation.
Taste is first sweet malts, then sharp hops, followed with a slightly banana and lemon taste. Actually, much more balanced than it sounds. The flavor of this brew is very complex, but pleasingly so.
Aftertaste is drying hops with a lingering pleasant bitterness.
Although this probably has more of a hops signature than is usually found in this style, I found it extremely refreshing and qualfable.
I could drink these all summer long
NOTE: I just read up a little on Yellowtale brewing from their web site and found that they use 5% wheat in this beer...THAT is the crispness I was tasting...there is definately a bread thing going on in the taste and aftertaste. Wonderful!

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately, kind of leafy, kind of citrusy, with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a lightweight medium, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.