Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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

346 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 932
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 29
Gots: 105 | 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
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 932
Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This different pale ale has a sweet fruity aroma. There is a hint of ester in the flavor as well as a good sweet smooth malt presence. This brew is more reminiscent of a tasty golden ale. The only really noticeable hop presence is a bit of a bitterness in the finish. (270 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear pale golden color with a marshmallow cap; decent retention and a touch of lace

Smell: Bready, with lemon floral tones

Taste: Opens with sweet malty elements that have a considerable lemon character; after the swallow, the contrasting flavors persist and are joined by a hint of wheat and a dollop of husky grain

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little maltier than would be expected for the Kölsch style; when I reviewed this on tap I was overly critical as I thought it was a pale ale (557 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellowtail is, in fact, yellow (but a rather dulled shade of it at that). It is actually so dense that I had thought its natural haze was condensation built up on the glass, but no, that's just what happens when you use the right amount of malt in your brew. Its head is incomplete but does make the 5-inch or so trip round the whole circumference of the glass.

The aroma showcases a very assured, wholesome maltiness that is so thick as to be almost doughy. It smells like crackers or biscuits and is deliciously aromatic, even despite its paleness. With quality malts like this I don't even want hops or yeast to interfere and I'm quite happy they don't (although others might detect a subtle fermentation-driven fruitiness).

You don't need a million different flavours for a beer to be flavourful, sometimes you only really need one. This kölsch, like most golden beers in this alcohol range - and in particular the German-style ones - is not terribly complex, but it is extremely flavourful. Cracker-like, noticeably biscuity maltiness is all you taste, but it's really all you need. These malts are highly-attenuated and very rich in flavour yet incredibly simple and clean too.

I could have a beer like this every day with lunch and be a very happy man. (I'm not sure the bomber would fit in a lunch box but this is definitely the kind of thing you'd want alongside a big sandwich.) Despite being so approachable and easily quaffed, it is still a considerably hearty and flavourful beer so far as its maltiness is concerned. A beer like this makes me think that if I never saw another DIPA again I wouldn't miss them one bit.

There's not one beer style that Ballast Point does badly. In fact, I have yet to rate even one of their beers as 'just alright'; all of their brands are exceptional examples of their respective styles and Yellowtail is certainly no exception. I don't think any other brewery makes as many of my #1 favourites when it comes to examples of different styles. (1,996 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a light golden colour with a fluffy head of all-white foam. The aromas are slightly fruity, with nice roasted malts, and slight citrus-y/floral hops in the aroma. The taste is super light and refreshing. You can really tell that this is a low alcohol brew that is crafted with the utmost care and passion. Truly 'artisinal'. The mouthfeel is pretty good, bordering on great and the drinkability is nice for this new age Kolsch as well. A good, solid, brew! (464 characters)

Photo of jdskinns
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one in a trade. Not a huge Kolsch fan, but this one is good. Cloudy, yellow/gold body with a pillowy white head that sits around for a while. Smells like a lot of citrus and a little soapy smell at the end. Very drinkable, light beer with an earthy, bitter flavor. (278 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little hazy/translucent golden with average white head that has some decent retention. Nose is faint citrus, herbal, and light melon. Palate offers a nice herbal dry character, and somewhat "dirty" on the finish. Refreshing and rather easy drinking. Pairs well with french bread. (287 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes on my recent trip to Arizona for vacation. Beer reviewed 4/16/2011.

A - Brown 12 oz yellowfin bottle without any noticeable dates. The beer pours a cloudy golden color with a brilliant white bubbly 1 finger head. Good retention and lacing throughout.

S - A nice blend of light citrus, a bit of floral hops, sweet malt, and wheat.

T - The beer starts with a sweet toasted malt base with a nice fruit presence. Apples and citrus though not too powerful. Very mild bitterness. Very clean and crisp throughout. Easy drinking beer for sure.

M - Light bodied and adequately carbonated.

O - A light refreshing beer for sure. I am glad to have had the opportunity to try it as Ballast Point beers aren't available locally for me. Not a whole lot of character but pleasing.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-22-2011 15:14:35 (981 characters)

Photo of chickencoop
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clean amber , nice lacing. Smell was dominated by malts and a touch of citrus. The mouthfeel and the taste were very smooth and easy on the palate. This is a very drinkable beer, something that I could see pounding on the beach in San Diego all day, but I think it suffers from being overshadowed by the guys at Stone. It doesn't stand out, but maybe that was the intentions, good beer though. (402 characters)

Photo of rousee
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice light translucent gold color. Smell and taste are very typical of a british pale ale yet this is described as a German Kolsch style on the label--strange..

It has a smell of malty cider and is quite woody. The taste is a dry full flavored caramel with some nuttiness- cedar-like finish. Extremely drinkable --a little too chalky in the mouthfeel. (354 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours roughy into a snifter glass to net nearly 3 fingers of head over a brassy gold body. Below average retention leaving clumps of lacing on the glass.

Biscuit and cookie dough malt that isn't overly bready with some hay, lemon pith and white wine notes. Very uplifting, a touch of adjunct grain but you already tell this is a refreshing beer.

Light bready, almost cracker-like malt lays down a good foundation with a touch of corn and raw grain husk before a pleasant hop profile of dried grass, lemon zest and grain washes over the palate. Not much bitterness but cleanses well like a lager. Some fruity red berry notes in the finish.

A little bit of heft in the body and unremarkable carbonation until the end of the drink where it fizzes up like seltzer and really scrubs itself dry.

This beer has exceeded my expectations, a flavorful representation of style that could easily be over looked. Will return to this one, a crowd pleaser that does justice to both a craft drinker's palate as well as the masses. (1,019 characters)

Photo of snpub540
4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear straw golden hue with a 2 finger white head. Leaves some lacing but not much. Endless bubbles floating up from the bottom but its not super fizzy.

Smell is great. Sort of grapey or vinous if you will. A nice bready malt aroma also lingers.

Taste is a mixture of the bready malts and a nice floral hop flavor. Clean and crisp, it is a real thirst quencher. Slight grape flavor in the there as well made this quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but thats about my only gripe with this beer. Drinkability is great. it is a smooth and clean, flavorful beer that can be sessioned. Definately something I can get use to drinking more often. (660 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours perfectly clear, with a beautiful bright gold hue but no head to speak of. The nose is pretty mild -- just some clear, pale German style malts and a dusting of hops. On the palate, surprisingly rich, almost chewy malt content that nonetheless remains light. Both hops and carbonation provide a sharp and balancing counterpoint to the malt. Mouthfeel is just right for the style -- or at least the American version of the style, as it's a bit thicker and bigger than the original kolsches. Overall, though, this is quite nice. It's not a bold, incredibly complex beer, but it is drinkable and satisfying and doesn't sport any flaws. Well done. (648 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from t0rin0, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a becker pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of grain, light malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste very bready with flavors of grain, a mild malt sweetness, despite a substantial malt character, and a touch of fruit. There's a good hops presence for the style and it provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready, slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is very good beer to pound for and entire evening. (837 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden color with a fairly-large white head. The nose has a lot of malt, especially for a beer being labeled as a kolsch. Along the same lines, this is pretty hoppy, so it seems like BP is right in describing this as a pale ale. Bready malt and some citrus hops come through in the nose and taste. Mouthfeel is very nice and refreshing, with more of the German lager-type carbonation atop this softer pale ale. Drinkability is good. (446 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden yellow color, thick white head, bubbles flowing throughout the glass throughout, light lacing left on the glass

S-light bready smell, some yeast, hint of fruit, and light citrus

T-pale malt up front, citrus hops to balance, sweet fruit finish of white grapes

M-lots of carbonation, light body, crisp finish

D-pretty tasty and light, solid session beer (364 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle picked up in Asheville, NC

A - A yellow straw color, with nice lacing on the glass and 1 finger of head. It is clearly unfiltered as well with some sediment floating around in the glass

S - German malts are very prevalent. Not too much hop aroma

T - Fairly sweet, with a nice bitter aftertaste. Well balance

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated. It is very smooth.

O - An excellent, tasty, easy drinking light beer. Perfect for a hot summer day.. (465 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice, refreshing yet tasty beer.

Faintly hazy, pale golden amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin ring and wisps.

Aroma is grain, bread, citrus, grapefruit, hints of honey and pine, very nice.

The taste is light but zesty and intriguing, grain, crackers, citrus, 7-up, hints of grass and pine, light sweetness and balancing bitterness. It has great balance and is quenching. (421 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6er of these at Berkeley Andronico's for a great price.

A: A finger of white, frothy head over hazy, semi-unfiltered dark yellow to light golden. Thin layer of head hangs around.
S: Sweet malts with honey, and a small bite of that pils grassy hop characteristic.
T: Grainy at first. Sweet honey comes through with the grassy hops to balance. I get the slightest hint of hops, and they really add something special to this beer. Small note of metallic.
M: Pretty crisp carbonation, and light-bodied like a lager.
D: Very refreshing! And at 4.60%ABV, this is one beer that you can literally get lost in all day. Seemingly perfect for the style. (656 characters)

Photo of BrewerB
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into an AJ Fruh stange. Light golden color with excellent clarity. Formed a 1-2 finger white head with superb retention. Visible carbonation streams up the body of the beer.

S - Moderate noble hops in the nose well balanced by a pilsner malt character. Slightly floral.

T - Moderately bitter, well-balanced brew. Pilsner graininess is off-set by a moderate floral/noble hop character. Bitterness is moderate. Finishing dry with a lingering grainy flavor. Touch of saltine crackers.

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth.

D - This one goes down easy. Is it just the memories conjured up by my authentic Fruh glassware? Nah...this is actually a refreshing beer. Well balanced, nice pilsner character pairing with a floral hop profile. Not quite a world-class example but a damn fine beer none the less. (830 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.11/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An imperial pint at Monk's Kettle, San Francisco.

Well done, but boring. Golden color, clear, decent head retention. Grainy aroma, what you'd expect from the style. A bit of carbonation up front, but not too much. Slight bitterness in the middle, clean finish. Better balance than most of the Kolschs I've had and not quite as grainy. Medium to medium light body. It would make an excellect everyday summer drink, not special, but very drinkable. (447 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have to agree with the previous reviewer's description. this one is very biscuity ,and the floral hops are a perefect accessory to the malt. hints of sweetness along with everything else make for a slightly unusual but quite refreshing and delicious beer. this is for sure not a dieseldorf, but very good in it's own right. another quality beer from a brewery that i wish would focus on their strengths and not what they think the masses want. (445 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Launched Ballast Point"; "Our original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it's hopped like a lager, we ferment it like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It's extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be. And complex, like a good craft beer demands."

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I was ready to see what was inside. An inverted Glug later, curtailed midway through as it threatened to overflow the sides of the glass, and I had a massive finger-and-a-half of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep, rich gold with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future.

I will be returning to the site of the creation of the term, "NE-quality clarity", which refers to one being able to read the Sunday comics through it, a level of clarity used by the brewer at Empyrean BC in Lincoln, NE to describe the kind of beer his patrons wanted in 2006 when I visited. I will be going back in late-February 2015 for a joint birthday celebration with Val MidWest who turns 21 y/o on Valentine's Day of that year while I will hit the big 5-Oh on the 25th. The party is planned for Yia Yia's and Old Chicago on Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 if anyone wants to join us.

While I was typing, the head fell, allowing me to lean in for a good whiff. The nose had a distinct biscuit malt/bready yeast quality, like freshly baked bread or biscuits. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium and the initial flavor was of mixed fruit, but followed with a subdued yeasty spiciness. It was like JuicyFruit gum, but with a bite. Finish was semi-sweet and highly refreshing on this hazy, humid day. Of the two so far (Longfin Lager) and this one, I am giving the majority of the cooler space to this, but neither really trip my trigger the way that the next two CAN.

The following is my original Bottle review dtd 12-31-2009

It arrived with a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a bright golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity (although that is redundant when using the term "bright" to describe a beer). Nose had an interesting tang, a little sweet, as though the hops and yeast were fighting it out. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweetish, spicy black pepper taste on the tongue. Finish was dry, but not overly so. (3,082 characters)

Photo of BOSMECH
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this before making dinner and it was very good and smooth.
A lite to dark amber in color and the head was about 1 inch then weny away.
S has a malt smell and then a hint of hoops but mostly malt.
T very smooth with the malt going down.
O very nice beer to have with any kind of party or function and very smooth to drink. (325 characters)

Photo of mactrail
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at a German restaurant in Ocean Beach, where it is a house draft called "Kaiserhof Kölsch Pale Ale."

Crisp and slightly hoppy. Such a nice clean taste. Very light body. Pale golden color in the mug, nice lacing. Like a lager with a rich tangy flavor. Flowery nose. Malty, yet delicate. Best Kölsch I've tried in a long time, not knowing what the heck it was. Score one for the local lads, but it really is a highly decent drinkable light beer and well worth a try. (480 characters)

Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.