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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

725 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.77%


Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ThomasMetal75
ThomasMetal75

Massachusetts

3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy orange/copper appearance. Has a one finger of foamy head. Looks like a typical adjunct lager head. This has some carbination, but it's not real noticeable. Looks like a slightly paler version of a kolsh.

S- Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. There is also a lemony element here. Has a lager type graininess.

T- Follows nose. Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. Lemons. Lager type graininess.

M- Mild. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Finish starts out with sweet, but ends fairly dry. Easy drinking beer for sure. No complaints here. It just about drinks like a lager.

Overall this beer is very good. It's what got Ballast Point going. And I'm glad they stepped up their game in just about everything else they've done. It's an above average beer for sure, just not anything that blew my socks off. This would be excellent with seafood like mild whitefish, shrimp, or crab. I'd say try this if you are new to the craft beer scene or if you just want something that is light and extremely flavorful. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 03:04:31 | More by ThomasMetal75
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a thick head with good retention and leaving some laces.
Predominant aroma of papaya and bread.
Fruity flavor with a light spicy feeling. Hints of orange and papaya with lemon drops light sourness, green pears, floral and herbal hops, wheat and pale malt and yeast. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with low carbonation.
I was expecting an American Pale Ale but this is actually a Kolsch with a distant APA background. Still faithful to style and well crafted.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:10:26 | More by FLima
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Noted as "pale ale the original" on the bottle.
Soft mixed aroma of pale malt, light hops and some yeast. Yeasty qualities become stronger in time.
Huge white head caps a very clear golden body.
Again with yeast flavors first, then the paler malt (pretty clean with a slight sweetness) and mild bittering/very soft hop flavors and rather light dryness on the finish.
Nice refreshing quality and probably closest to a lawnmower beer than anything?
Goes down easily and pretty clean for an ale. Nothing offensive. Good for summer.
Received as part of xmas exchange.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 21:30:13 | More by garymuchow
Photo of JimiO
JimiO

Nevada

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A good Pale Ale

Great color... easy to drink... nothing offensive in anyway

In being critical... it lacks a defining character... it's a bit plane... but that is a common charateristic I find in most Pale Ales

It's a pleasant beer you just want to drink... without having to feel the need to taste and analyze every sip... it goes down smooth... easy to put down a six pack

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 01:25:55 | More by JimiO
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My label is a bit different than the one pictured and says only Ballast Point Pale Ale, "the original", and lists a 5.20% abv instead of 5.00%. I think this is my second beer from Ballast Point.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a hazed lemon colored body with just under a finger of soapy white head that fizzles to a bubbly ring quickly. Some spotty sticky lacing.

S - Smell is of buttery diacetyl, bready malts, a bit of honeyed graham cracker, some soapiness, corn, and some musty yeast. Otherwise, the smell is pretty lame and boring.

T - Taste is of buttery caramel malts, corn, grains, herbal earthiness, crisp fruity yeast, grainy pilsner malts, and subdued indistinct fruitiness.

M - Feel is crisp and clean, light-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a fairly boring, uninspired beer. Poor duration of flavor, but light-bodied, refreshing, and drinkable. Inoffensive, but it doesn't really do anything for me. This would be a great stepping stone beer for those looking to get into craft beer, though.

Ballast Point Pale Ale ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 00:56:25 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Sacrifice
Sacrifice

California

4.94/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

newer bottle design, 5.2% ABV. almost as good as their sculpin IPA, which is how i came to sample other ballast point beers. clear taste but nice for cold as well as warm weather.

ballast point is now my favorite san diego brewery - better than stone, even

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 02:12:40 | More by Sacrifice
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 07:00:10 | More by MattyG85
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KYGunner

Kentucky

2.91/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 01:16:29 | More by KYGunner
Photo of matjack85
matjack85

Illinois

3.64/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roommate brought a few of these home to share so not sure of the price. 22oz. (650ml) brown bottle with an expiration date and blurb about the beer on the front label.

The beer poured a slightly hazed straw color, but for some reason it produced absolutely no head and zero lace. Hope this isn't a bad bottle.

Big pineapple smell along with some wheat.

The main flavor is like a can of fruit cocktail. After that it has a lemony flavor with a bit of bready malt, wheat, and a kiss of honey sweetness. There's also a bit of bittering hops.

Light bodied with moderate to medium carbonation.

Light, crisp, and refreshing, yet still not one of my favorite Kolsch's.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 07:14:50 | More by matjack85
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
ExaltedNecrosis

Texas

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Clear light golden straw color with a finger and a half of white head.

S - Smells like wheat, straw, and sweet corn.

T - I get wheat, lemon, corn, and a bit of straw. It is sweet and not very bitter; quite refreshing.

M - Thin body and moderate carbonation. This is a crisp, easy drinking beer that's perfect for summer.

O - A good take on the kolsch style. Nothing spectacular, but a solid brew that I could drink multiples of.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 18:04:23 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 00:28:35 | More by JackieTH
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If it's a Kolsch why not call it one instead of a pale ale. I expected a lot more from this in the way of hops but now reading what it is I understand. I'm still pissed though as I wanted a true APA from BP...As a Kolsch it is decent enough...some malt sweetness....relatively clean...some bready/cereal notes....light fruitiness (apples/pears)...decent for the style but still pissed this is not an APA..I'll rate for style though

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 05:25:47 | More by ZAP
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 19:09:59 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into an english pub glass. the body was an orange-golden color. not much lacing and sheeting here unfortunately.
s - citrus hops
t - citrus hops balanced by pilsner and bready malts.
m - moderate, a little on the thin side.
o - i had high hopes for this one and while it's a decent pale ale it fell short.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 20:52:17 | More by GPHarris
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
best by: 10/28/13

The label is a bit misleading, as it just says "Pale Ale", which led me to expect an American Pale Ale, but it turns out it's a Kolsch! Anyways. . .

Pours a fairly clear, golden with a foamy, bubbly white head.

Pale, malts upfront with some grainy notes, grassy hops, and light floral/fruity notes as well.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A well done Kolsch, easy drinking with a subtle, but tasty hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 07:44:13 | More by vkv822
Photo of JWeldon
JWeldon

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip at 46F

A: Pours gold with a fleeting white head

S: Hops, lemon, grass, bread, hint of apple

T: moderate hops, good citrus, grass and a dry, gentle hop finish

M: light bodied, unexpectedly creamy, light malt, high refreshing carb. Well balanced.

O: Refreshing and thirst-quenching, but not what I expected from a beer labeled “pale ale.” I had heard it was more of a kölsch styled brew before I drank it, but my eyes read “pale ale,” and I wanted a pale ale when I cracked it open. (Strangely, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been labeled “kölsch.”)

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 22:59:15 | More by JWeldon
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 11:50:01 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane

New York

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy lemon yellow with an orange tint. A hell of a head of foam that stayed forever to a cap and collar. Great lace. Nose is dank and yeasty up front with light bread. Hops are perfumey and floral, There is a light apple smell and sweet grain with grass. Taste is smooth. Light with the apple and cracker malt. The malt is just awesome in this. Hops are noble, floral and reserved. There’s a pleasant sweetness from the malt but nothing you could point at and name and say "honey" or "caramel;" and a little sour from the yeast. A faint touch of spice and straw. The finish was dry and had a nice bitter twang. Finished malty. This is actually a kolsch and tastes like a kolsch. I t derived it’s dryness form the malt more so than from alcohol or hop bitterness. It was a cereal dryness.

I like it. Its not loud, it’s not really fruity. It has a small pucker from the sweet apple and that’s where it gets it’s sweetness. The malt sweetness is understated and behind that. A good kolsch reminds you that malt is sweet in and of itself without caramel, toffee or sugar . The malt stayed dry and breaddy . Very impressive.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 13:58:24 | More by utopiajane
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice clear golden/yellow color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramelly malts, some breadiness and faint citrus.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet bready and caramelly malts, faint citrus and some floral hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 23:09:52 | More by SebD
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, until I started typing this I had no idea this was considered a kolsch. I mean, why would they call it a pale ale if it was another style altogether? It does explain things, though... It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet biscuit, flowers, and a hint of candied orange peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more of the orange peel and some mild grass for good measure. Overall, a decent little kolsch, and a sad excuse for a pale ale, depending on how you wanna look at it.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 05:35:07 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of GuzzLah
GuzzLah

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well, I bought this thinking it would be a citrusy and medium hoppy APA since it says Pale Ale on the bottle and Ballast Point brewed it.

Come to find out, this is a Kolsch made with Euro hops. OK?

I suppose it tastes pretty good for a Kolsch, but I feel as if I have been duped.

False advertising!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 22:46:17 | More by GuzzLah
Photo of obrike
obrike

Texas

3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single at Round Rock World Market.

Poured a clean, pale gold with a minimal head. Not much retention and little to no lacing.

Pretty fresh scent of apple, pear, and hint of citrus. Some grassy hops in the background.

Taste follows... some fruit, maybe apple and lemon, just a touch of flowery hops. Uber smooth with a medium carbonation...super easy to drink. Almost downed this one in a matter of minutes. Very light, crisp and refreshing...just not a ton of personality... a very good session beer or warm weather beer however.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 02:45:37 | More by obrike
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

2.61/5  rDev -25.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 22:08:28 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a honey gold with a thin white head. Good retention, and a nice lace. Aroma is of toasted grains, and malts. Nice, but very weak.Body is on the light side of medium, and quite carbonated.
Taste is of bready malts. Hops comes through in the finish. A nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 20:47:25 | More by riversider76
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed on 12/14/12. Bottle has an "enjoy by" date of 1/31/13.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is light honey/golden with a small whitish head.

S: I thought there was something "off" about the smell - toasty malt and sweet malt predominate. No hops discernable at all.

T: Sweet malt, fruity malt and a touch of earthy spice.

M: Call it light-to-medium in heft, closer to medium. Good amount of visible carbonation is modestly active on the tongue.

O: A note to brewers: label your beers with the correct style. When I drank this, I was expecting an APA (the label does say "Pale Ale," after all) and was disappointed. On my notes regarding the taste, I wrote: "British style?" - because it didn't seem to have enough hops for an APA. Then in my notes for the "overall" category, I wrote, "Not what I'm looking for in an APA." I've modified my scores knowing, in hindsight, that this is a Kolsch and not an APA (originally I gave it closer to a 3.25). But at the time I drank this, I thought it wasn't a good APA at all, and my initial scores reflected that. I may have felt better about this beer had I known when drinking it that it wasn't an APA and was instead a Kolsch.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 16:42:19 | More by Kendo
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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.