Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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

356 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 356
Hads: 978
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 33
Gots: 143 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 356 | Hads: 978
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

 749 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Hopping Pig in San Diego

Expected an APA with this one and didn't realize this was kolsch. A little dissapointing as I wouldn't have ordered it had I known it was not an APA.

A - Straw yellow with a small amount of white head.

S - A very light overall nose. Some grainy/bready notes and light bitterness but not much going on overall here.

T - Bready/grainy malts with a slight hop bitterness. Seems like a pils, not a pale ale. I don't get a lot of hops at all and the malts are very subdued as well.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

O - I can't really change my review to reflect the fact that this is a kolsch. At the time, I reviewed it as a pale ale and it didn't meet my expectations. They should change the name of this beer.

 760 characters

Photo of Brabander
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Today Sietse (apophis666) paid me a visit. He loves the IPA beers so i cracked a few open. After the IPA's we opened this bottle of pale ale. I got this bottle in a trade with listenatjoes.

This is not a bad but also not a very spectacular beer. Just a normal drinkable beer.

Nice and decent head, foamy.

You get some wheat or corn taste in the mouth. Too bad the taste is also a bit watery.

 394 characters

Photo of armock
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of light hops and bready malt

T - Follows the smell light hops on bready malt

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

D - I was a little disappointed with this one sure it wasn't bad but seeing the tap handle say pale ale I expected a good hoppy pale and I didn't get that this is a beer that I'd passover for something else

 427 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy golden yellow with a modest white head that quickly becomes a thin soapy sheen. Slight carbonation and no lacing.

Aroma is pale malt, grassy, with mild citrus hop character.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Dry pale malt up front. Slight metallic bite. Lemon grass and light hops bring a crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

A crisp light beer. Flavor is very mild and subdued. Overall, nothing extraordinary though.

 437 characters

Photo of t420o
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- straw colored beer with a 1/2 finger white head that fizzles away quick leaving very little lacing

S- Slight bitter hop scent, toasted bread, grains, slight alcohol. Very similar to a pilsner.

T- bland! Grains, slight bitter hops, toasted bread. Everything is very light tasting and watered down tasting. Tastes like their is salt water in here. Very average

M- Slightly over carbonated. Good other than that

O- A decent Kolsch, but below average as a pale ale, which is how they labeled it and how I will grade it. Below average drinkability.

 550 characters

Photo of hoppyhour
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like everyone has said before me; THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL PALE ALE
This beer pours, tastes and smells like a pilsner, very similar to a miller light imo.
You could straight beer bong this shit.
I was also disappointed as many others here that the packaging does not represent the correct product. This is a great session beer or if youre eating a big meal but other than that there is no reason for me to buy this again. Very little to no hops. :(

 449 characters

Photo of JackieTH
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Meager yellowish ale pours smoothly kicking up a white foam cap. Sticky and leaves substantial lacing. Sweetish, bready, lemony and yeasty odor. Tastes of crackers, lightly sour- lemons, and yeasty. Mildly sweet. A bit of wet earth. Body is light. Definitely has kolsch elements, it's just not my style of pale ale.

 315 characters

Photo of JDV
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Fordest.
Gold pour, light white head, short lived. Smell is of some light malt and hops with a slight grassy alcohol smell. Taste is fairly crisp, refreshing, with a decent bite to it reminiscent of a pilsner. A bit dryer than most kolsches and light to medium carbonation. One of the better ones of the style that I have had.

 346 characters

Photo of 3PuttPar
3/5  rDev -14.8%

This was a very disappointing beer. It has all the drawbacks of a light American beer, but lacking the crispness and carrying a higher price. Avoid this if you are looking for a pale ale. It is most similar to Kona Longboard or Olympia. Too much malty sweetness for my taste, without much complexity to balance it out. The lingering aftertaste is better than some of the other beers mentioned, with some hints of citrus fruit. This is my second go around with Yellowtail, figuring the last batch I had was a dud, but I am just as underwhelmed.

 548 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again.

 385 characters

Photo of hardy008
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold color with a white one finger head. Aroma is of lemon, hops, and bread. The taste is somewhat sweet, and matches the aroma. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin. The beer is crisp, refreshing, and easy to drink with decent carbonation. It is also somewhat generic. Nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing which stands out either.

 344 characters

Photo of gatorbreath
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kolsch, eh? Damn I need a smartphone...

Didn't get the facts/make the connection on this until just now..probably why I didn't enjoy it to the fullest.

Got this pale ale because I thought it'd be hoppy, somewhat, and piney but not overly so, just shy of an IPA, no idea of the Kolsch style.

Appearance is golden and white head. Smell is malty/biscuity and even a little spicy. Taste is not really hoppy at all, forgive my ignorance, mostly malts and caramel, i am picking up, and the mouthfeel is thin and slick. Overall, a good entry to this style of beer. Although not my favorite, I enjoy trying new things!

Have one!

 624 characters

Photo of prototypic
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmph. I was fully expecting this to be an APA, but much to my surprise, it's a Kolsch. Who knew? Without further ado, it's pale gold and a little hazy. A foamy white head sits atop and stands about two fingers tall. It was surprisingly slow to dissipate and left a much more generous coat of lace than I expected. Nice looking beer.

The nose is weak and below average. Primarily, it's grainy and grassy. There's some light lemon and orange notes. Pale malts are noted and add a sweet scent to the mix. Past that, it's tough sledding. It doesn't smell overtly bad in any way, there's just not much here to work with. This could definitely use some attention.

Yellowtail is interesting beer, but not in a good way. A testament to a beer's average-ness occurs when the most notable thing about it is how dry it is. That's the case here. It's not all bad and is better here than on the nose. Still. Work needs to be done. It's very grainy and grassy throughout. Very light lemon and green grape flavors are present. It has a sweet, pale malt base that's not bad. A bitter surge of spicy hop flavor attacks toward the end. That's actually the high point for the flavor. Did I mention it was dry? It finishes extremely dry. Very average across the board.

The body is light, leaning medium. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. It's not quite smooth, but it's not bad. Drinkability is pretty average. I don't like the flavor very much and it's so damn dry. Ordinarily, a beer like this would be nice on a hot day, but I'm not sure I'd want something this dry.

Yellowtail Pale Ale is easily the most disappointing beer I've had from Ballast Point. First of all, the name is a little misleading (at least in my opinion). To be fair it says it's a Kolsch, but I wasn't holding the bottle when I ordered it over the interwebz. Small gripe. More substantively, the nose is very weak, it's way short on flavor, and is way too damn dry. I recognize that Kolsch is a tough style to pull off. But, this one's not really close to a good take on it. If crossed with the opportunity to pick up another bottle, I'd probably pass. I'd suggest you do the same.

 2,149 characters

Photo of Tom_the_bomb
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Overall, not bad. Although, having recently sampled PBR (pabst) in a can, no less, I actually find PBR to have more character - from aroma, character, lingering taste appeal - I think the PBR revival has something going - including an attractive price point. a 24 pack at $13 goes much further than 22 oz. at $5. i'll stick with sculpin if I'm looking for real character.

 371 characters

Photo of ThePaleRider
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark straw in color. Crystal clear with absolutely no head at all.

S - Very light hops. Malts kick in pretty well and leave a nice nose. Almost has a pilsnery scent.

T - Almost tastes more like pilsner than a pale ale. Not a lot of hops seem to be floating around in there. Very malty and sweet. Lots of bread in the after taste with a little bit of toffee sneaking around in there.

M - Light bodied with not carbonation to speak of.

O - Eh, nothing too spectacular here. Might as well be drinking Sierra Nevada (which I like).

 536 characters

Photo of bjohnson
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to solomon420 for sending this offering my way.

Pours a darker golden color with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. A few bubbles rising to the top. Bready malt notes with hints of fruit hops. Buttery with a hair of lemon zest. Not much going on here except the subtle aromas that I mentioned. Kind of boring actually.

Bready and biscuit malt flavors. A tinge of lemony hops. Slight bitterness towards the edges of the tongue. A bit bland with not much going on. Thicker body then I expected as I was looking for something more crisp and cleaner. Slick through the mouth leaving a trail of buttery ooze behind. Again, like the aromas, the flavors are just middle of the road. Nothing stands out here. A mediocre brew at best, though actually quite drinkable, despite it's pedestrian disposition.

 817 characters

Photo of letsgopens
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up several selections from Ballast Point today at 3 Sons including this little fella. It pours a completely translucent, golden, wheat-color with sparse rising bubbles. The soapy pearl head recedes quickly and soon becomes almost non-existent. A slippery ring barely sticks to the glass.

Grainy golden malt up front with some spicy/floral hops that work their way in. A bit of buttered toast and subtle overall.

Much like the aroma would suggests; the flavor starts off with a firm, husky grain note accompanied by toasty malt and a buttery consistency. The malt gives way to some floral hop character. Finishes dry with just a hint of slick booziness which is surprising for the ABV/style.

Crisp, bright mouthfeel which is to be expected but then fades to a cloudy, almost musky, dryness. A decent representation of a style that is known for its drinkability so I would consider it fairly 'middle of the road' for this category.

 940 characters

Photo of brewgetter
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

 273 characters

Photo of Grabbin2nd
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes: 12/19/08 Ballast Point Yellowtail "Pale Ale" 22 oz. bomber into Pint glass.

First off, the label says Pale Ale, which it is clearly not. It actually is Kolsch style.

Appearance= vigorous pour into pint glass yields a very thin white head. Weak pale yellow color.

Smell= Weak, not much of anything.

Taste= Pale ale... Tastes almost Belgian or German, on the sweeter side, not hoppy side.

Mouthfeel= good mouthfeel

Drinkability= Average. Very underwhelmed by this beer. I've had many other pales with a ton more flavor. There again is the Kolsch thing...Would not drink again

 591 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high based on the rating average here on beeradvocate. I usually quite fancy kolschs, so I'm excited to try this one. Here we go!

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow.

Sm: Light barley and subtle bright fruit notes. A mild strength aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: A touch creamy over top a clean barley foundation. Too malty. I don't detect the wheat the label mentions at all. A very simple beer. Boring but pleasant. Built decently but without boldness or inspiration.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so in fact. A bit thick for a Kolsch as well.

Dr: They got the style wrong, but its a pleasant simple beer, with muted flavour. It's too restrained to be truly good, but if you're not expecting much, it's a highly drinkable beer. It's certainly sessionable. I'd try it on draught on a rainy day, but it won't be coming up in conversation anytime soon. Nice try, lads, but you didn't do anything interesting.

***
12/29/15 2nd impression:

C+

 1,205 characters

Photo of KYGunner
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

With a name like Yellow Tail Pale Ale, I was expecting a pale ale, not a pale yellow adjunct but that is exactly what this portrays. The body, the scent and even the taste is all adjunct despite the claim it's a Kolsch. I smell corn, I taste corn and the pale yellow body screams adjunct. As I finish it there's the metallic aftertaste that seems to always accompany an adjunct. Ballast Point is such a great brewery but this is easily their worst effort.

 455 characters

Photo of charliedango
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Plenty has been said about this beer, however I'm wondering if age of the beer plays a factor. Considering I am based in the midwest, hundreds of miles away from a major metropolitan area, it would make sense that the Ballast Point brews we get here are older than what other cities and other states get.

With that said, I've gone through a six pack of bottles in which each bottle produced a head greater in volume than the content of liquid being poured into the glass. I don't know how that happens, but it's happened consistently here.

 540 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. The beer was semi-hazy, bright, and a vibrant yellow-gold with a ring of filmy head. Mellow nose, with very slight hops characteristics. Watery flavors initially, but heavy toasted flavors on the tail end, with only a hint of hops. Slightly pale/hoppy and sour aftertaste, with a musty, lingering finish. Overall, it was a bit watery throughout.

 412 characters

Photo of DocJitsu
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, pale golden color with a thick white head. Some loose lacing with the attenuation of the head. Earthy, pilsner-like aroma with little hop noted. Mild apricot flavor, but finishes like a chalky pilsner. Very poor example of the style, but not a horrible beer. That being said, I won't buy it again. I also don't understand the hubbub of the Sculpin IPA and how it manages to stay in the top 100 on BA's list. I've tasted better homebrew efforts.

 458 characters

Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.