Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and 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.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

353 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 353
Hads: 959
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
Reviews: 353 | Hads: 959
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.

 1,143 characters

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.

 269 characters

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.

 760 characters

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.

 393 characters

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.

 1,519 characters

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...

 492 characters

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.

 1,121 characters

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.

 526 characters

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.

 417 characters

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.

 450 characters

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.

 274 characters

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.

 512 characters

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?

 351 characters

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.

 1,171 characters

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.

 318 characters

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

The aromas are quite light. A little sweetness and breadiness with some earthy notes. Not much here.

Tastes are grainy and light bready malts up front with a decently flat finish. I think this is not quite fresh so this may be a biased review. Pretty simple overall tastes. Nothing exciting going on here, but it's well done for what it is. Undercarbonated for the style; light body.

Overall this is very easy to drink, but with other options, why fill up on this? This is a decently enjoyable beer, but the weakest Ballast Point offering which I've tried to date by far. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't wow in the slighest.

 629 characters

Photo of Murrhey
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a taster at Ballast Point, in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger thick foamy white head. Middling retention. Crystal clear pale gold color. Not very appealing.

S- Some pale malts. Wet dogfood is a smell I can't shake, unfortunately.

T- Sweet and crisp flavor. Some bitterness. Best part yet.

M- Light but crisp carbonation.

O- Flagship beer? Unfortunate. The smell especially really put me off. Not terrible, but not something I'm rushing back towards.

 486 characters

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

Precursor: I am not very familiar with Kolsch-style ales, so I am tasting this beer compared to the typical pale ale styles found around San Diego county (i.e. Sierran Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Paddle-Up Pale Ale by S.D. Brewing Co., etc.).

Pours a light golden copper color with a small, dense, tightly packed head. Head-retention is lacking, but some lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is very sweet with a subdued hop presence. Taste is different. Definitely not the typical pale ale. Actually, it's a Kolsch-style ale. Not very much like a common American pale ale. Very sweet and malty with a very grainy/toasted malt flavor. A slight grassy hoppiness is noted. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, and the carbonation helps it go down. Overall a less-than average beer, but maybe its because they call it a pale ale. It might be a pale-colored ale, but in San Diego, this beer would not pass as the standard pale ale style. A note to Ballast Point: please label your brews accordingly.

 993 characters

Photo of morimech
2.82/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bomber $4.49

It is pale and it is an ale so I guess it is a pale ale. But if you are expecting a hoppy beer, you are going to be surprised. It pours a clear, light golden color with a one-fingered head that dissipates quickly. No head retention and no lacing.

The smell is bready and yeasty.

The taste is of malt with a little caramel on finish. No hop bitterness noted.

It doesn't finish clean and dry which is another thing I would expect. Leaves a bit of a greasy feeling in the mouth. This is just a mediocre beer regardless of style.

 549 characters

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: golden straw, slightly hazy

S: tad fruity like dried fruit, sweet

T: fruit again, stale not to my liking

M: meh

O: I'd love to try their other pales but I'm no fan of this fellow

 185 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, what a disappointment after being blown away by the Dorado and Marlin offerings from Ballast Point.

No real head, the mouthfeel is flat and thin, and there is a sour aftertaste that is neither pleasant, nor well integrated with the flavor of the beer. And the beer, itself, has no real hops, no malt-backbone, and other real flavors to speak of. Just not good, at all. Pours a yellow with a hint of amber/orange.

 418 characters

Photo of Lothore
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden orange color with a small one finger head that fades pretty quick leaving no trace. Appears to be pretty heavily carbonated.

S- Slightly sweet, hoppy smell. I get the smallest hints of raspberry in the nose.

T- Full grain taste with a bit of hops. Not at all bitter which I was expecting it to be. Very mild and unimpressive, not completely watered down but not full of flavor at all.

M- The mouthfeel is fairly viscous, chalked full of carbonation.

D- You would think with the inoffensive taste this brew would be pretty drinkable but I find myself not wanting to ever pick up another glass after the first. It only seems a bit better than something i'd pick up in a cheap 18 pack at the liquor store, quite dissapointing for a craft brew.

 770 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

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

Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.