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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

352 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 352
Hads: 958
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 31
Gots: 122 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 352 | Hads: 958
Photo of andyinsdca
1/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Based on the other reviews here, I must have gotten a bad bottle, but who knows? The beer was fizzy to the point of looking almost like soap bubbles. The taste was a strange fruity/sweet/sour taste that I did not expect from a pale ale that was very off-putting. I had a few sips and dumped this beer.

I am surprised at the quality of this beer (or this specific bottle) as I like other Ballast Point beers.

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Photo of gfg0020
1/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm generally fair in my reviews. I'm also not generally lied to about what style of beer I'm purchasing. Putting "Pale Ale" in big print and "Kolsh" in tiny print is misleading. So as far as a pale ale goes this beer is terrible. I'm rating it as a pale ale because it says that's what it is on the bottle.

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Photo of natedirka
1.18/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was not good... At all. Had this on tap and thought it was a pilsner. My girlfriend ordered a pilsner and thought the glasses were switched in front of us.

It had almost no nose and tasted like dishsoap.

I enjoy IPA's more than Pale Ales and can still enjoy less hoppy ales but this was just plain bad.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.03/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a bright gold with reddish highlights and a smallish off white head. Smells of bread, malt, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin. Taste is slightly off as well, and is mostly weak. The bottle says it’s styled after “the crisp golden Kolsch ales of Cologne, Germany,” but I’m not so sure about that. Though I didn’t see a freshness date, I’m wondering if I might have gotten a bad bottle.

Has the potential to be a good beer, so maybe I’ll try another bottle at some point. However, if this is the norm for this beer, then I’ll have to pass.

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Photo of Urk1127
2.05/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

-Hazy yellow
-Pretzel dough, salt, sweetness, grass, grains
-Odd doughy sugar sweetness, grassy
-Creamy, fizzy

-did not care for the weird sweetness, but i do like other Kolsch

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.18/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Transparent golden yellow that pours with a fizzy white head. Head fades pretty quickly but a thin collar remains. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is moderate but offers lots and lots of pale malt and some musty, earthy hops in the background.

T- Taste is very similar to the smell-but honestly this reminds me of MGD or something. Pale malt is the highlight of the flavor but the finish is an accent of hops (similar to the triple hopped miller)...its just not for me.

M- Light to medium body and fizzy carbonation.

D- I got through about half the glass than decided I didn't want it anymore-drain pour. What's really a shame about this for me is that it is my first disappointment from Ballast Point. I love Sculpin, Big Eye, Double Dorado, Victory at Sea...but this just isn't for me. I guess every brewery has to have their beer that appeals to BMC drinkers...and this is it...unfortunately its on the same tier instead of a step up-even though its supposed to be a completely different style.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From a bomb into a wine glass.

I wanted to like this beer,
Even though it is a Kolsch,
Pretending to be a Pale Ale,
That smells like fruity dishwater,
And tastes like moldy wine.
Because it almost has some shape,
Or trans-Atlantic shadow,
But it's really some sick prank,
To be drank in one sweet gulp,
Rather than a bleating horn
of disappointment.

 357 characters

Photo of funkyspunk87
2.23/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Yellowtail Pale Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Style: Kölsch
ABV: 4.60 %

Out of the bottle into a chilled glass. I drank this right after an AleSmith X (American Pale Ale).

I really did not enjoy this beer and thought the X blew it out of the water. I would not recommend it nor would I buy it again.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.37/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Paid $3.69 for a bomber from BevMo in Willow Glen, CA. Poured into a pint glass with 2 pours.

A 1 finger off white head that disappears to nothing quickly. Medium carbonation. Transparent light yellow color. Lacing is almost non existent.

Mild aroma of hops with hints of toasty nutty malts.

A sweet dry malty taste with grassy hints.

Light body, watery finish, lightly carbonated.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.41/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed on 2 February 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
This is a lawnmower beer. That's all. Slightly sweet on the tongue w/ a little bite. It has No aroma. The appearance is Clear yellow w/ a small head. You won't find much flavor here

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Photo of tr4nc3d
2.46/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12Fl. OZ. bottle poured into my three floyds pint glass

Immediately as I was opening the beer I can see this one was going to foam out so I got ready. I open it and a little foam came out but not too much.

Pours a very pale yellow with a MONSTER white fluffy head. The head is very frothy and has great head retention and lacing. I cant get over the head man, you can scoop the shit out like ice cream.

Smell is kind of straw like with some funky-ness. Mild hops with the likes of lemon. Some acid like smell is coming in along with the funkyness that dominates. From the smell alone I do not look to forward to tasting it.

Well I guess the taste is not as bad as I smelled. Has a very mild hop taste, kind of herbal and earth like with some malt backbone coming in for only a short while and leaving kind of an acid like dry straw like finish.

Mouthfeel is thin with medium carbonation and an herbal finish to it. This is not bad but just not to my liking.

Overall I would not drink this again and the flavors put me off. I have not had another beer from this style so I will do that and compare and see if its the style I do not like.

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Photo of Enola
2.48/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a little lighter than typical. There is a foamy head. The smell is similar to a lighter beer combined with a wheat beer. The taste is a bad bitter. Not a very desirable beer. this is kinda hard to drink. I don't think this beer will be in my cabinet again.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.49/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much to look at. Loose white head falls to a small island and no retention to speak of. Color is a pale yellow w/ multiple sized carbonation, similar to a run of the mill macro lager.

I couldn't pick up to much in the smell. Bready malts and nothing else. Pretty smooth on the palate and it has a creamy feel to it as it going down. Hop presence is very subtle and more or less helps to crispen this up more than any flavor I get out of it. Fruity undertones of bananna and sweetened lemon round it out.

Notes: I like some hops to balance out a good kolsch. This stays on the bready side all the way through and it leans towards doughy. Good malt character. Delicate finish. Not one of my favorites but its an approachable offering with some depth.

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Photo of Chizoad
2.55/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well maybe I came into this thinking I was getting a pale ale of the IPA variety. Sorely disappointed.

Pale yellow gold with nearly no head or lacing. Fruity-cardboard nose. Musty even.

Very similar flavor although maybe even a little worse than the nose. Some malts but the sweetness feels forced.

Decent mouthfeel but not great. Light but not crisp. Not one I'm going to ever have again.

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Photo of Chadpaq
2.57/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I admit, I've never had a "Kolsch" before, but when I picked up this beer, I thought it was merely an American Pale Ale. I guess I was a little off on that. My mistake.

I was a little skeptical of buying this beer at first because a lot of people have said that there have been freshness issues with Ballast Point stuff, and they don't date their bottles. I risked it and scooped it anyway...just a single. Drainpour if need be.

...And I almost had to, if I can be quite honest.

It poured out like a fizzy Bud Light. The head was okay and receded pretty slowly, but not much lacing was left. A lot of carbonatio and...oh man, what the hell is floating around in there? I guess some sort of fermentation? I'm not really sure, but I'm not the type of person that's deterred by appearances either.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance.

Smells sort of hoppy. Definitely crisp. Maybe some citrus fruit. Oranges? Lemons? Hard to say. Definitely wheaty.

Tastes pretty clean and crisp. I'm still thinking about that junk floating around in the beer, but whatever.

Very carbonated. That's about all I can say for the mouthfeel. Felt pretty damn...bland. Yes, it FELT bland.

Overall, this beer...well, it kinda sucked. Perhaps it just isn't my favorite style. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Whatever the case may be, this simply wasn't my cup of tea. However, certainly won't deter me from trying Sculpin when it comes into season.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance.

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Photo of stonefan55
2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My fault for not reading the label, As it states ''pale ale'' I thought It was a Pale Ale. either way not bad but also not a taste that a west coast pale ale should be. It is as the label says in tiny print, a kolsch style beer thats like a lager but brewed like an ale. I love Ballast Point for all of their other styles...
Looks more yellow in color than a pale ale, Smells a little skunky, tastes between a Heineken and fat tire, feels too lite with little alcohol on it, crisp and dry...

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.59/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Not much head here, a half finger white color that fades quick.

S: The malt profile has a strange biscuity aroma to it, almost like smoky meat. Not a good smoky meat, either. Some neutral malts and light noble hops hide behind this strange and even unpleasant note.

T: Very biscuity to start. This nature is honestly kind of intrusive. The finish sees a surge of mild noble hops and lemon esters, too bad the balance is out of whack. Not great overall, but better than the nose - that's for damn sure.

M: It feels a lot heavier than a kolsch should in my opinion. The hefty, creamy texture works in concert with the strong carbonation to make this one hard to drink.

O: I haven't been super impressed with Ballast Point so far, and this one is no exception. To me, this drinks like a cross between a kolsch and Fat Tire - and it doesn't really work. Maybe a fresh bottle/keg would be better? I wouldn't be averse to giving this a second chance.

Note this gets a 2.61 as a kolsch; if I reviewed it as an APA, the score would be even lower.

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Photo of mobud
2.62/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into tulip.

A- Dark straw with no head and very light carbonation.

S- Wheat with light smell of cut grass.

T- Light wheat with a tang that I have trouble placing.

M- Insanely thin with almost no body and not all that refreshing.

D- I purchased this beer at a Von's close to my San Diego resort and was unable to find a freshness date or code to find if I was drinking old beer. Ballast Point has such a great rep that I hope it was old and not them. I will give this one another shot if I can get it in the future.

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Photo of bashiba
2.66/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a golden orange color with a light off white head. Decent lacing.

Smell was light and grainy with a bit of corn.

Flavor was light with touches of light grainy malts and a hint of lemony hops, but they were all overshadowed by a tin like metallic taste that seemed to dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel was light and a bit dry with some mild carbonation.

Drinkability is ruined by the persistent metallic taste.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear, gold with 1/2 inch head that quickly fades. It does leave lace till the end. The aroma leads off with caramel followed by some banana and vanilla. It's flavor has notes of caramel, grapes, and a hoppy tang. Well balanced at first with a dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium however the dry hop tang lends itself to only drinking one at a time. Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale is a good example of the style, recommended.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fizzy pale yellow, with thin foamy white head.

Aromas of bread/dough, very grainy, with some faint malt. Pretty boring nose.

Some sweetness, faint traces of malt, even fainter, if any hops. Very grainy, light-bodied. Usual high carbonation. Pretty bland and lifeless brew.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in La Mesa. Color was clear golden. Minimal head and minimal film on the sides. The lacing, however, stayed for awhile. Appeared to be heavy on the carbonation.

Smells were skunky malts and somewhat bitter. Grainy malts also were involved.

No improvement on the taste. Skunky malts lead the way. A tad bit bitter at the end.

Medium-to-high carbonation. Medium body.

A pretty big disappointment, considering how much I enjoy the Calico Ale.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Crystal clear orangish gold body with an off white rapidly diminishing head

S: Smells mildy malty with hints of fresh cut grass and wheat. Very organic smelling

T: Wow thats standard. Minor tastes of caramel, creamed corn and cantelope on top of a plain kolsch base

M: Bit spritzy and prickly.

D: eh. So why don't they bottle the DIPA?

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Photo of kojevergas
2.75/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | 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.

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Photo of Padron4KM
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, no freshness date.

clear golden with a frothy white head, lively carbonation.

minimal lacing.

Sweet and grainy malt aromas.

Lightly sweet, grainy with a light crisp bitter finish.

nothing memorable, just a middle of the road quaffer. I'd drink again if offerd, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.