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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
Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2011 05:12:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Brazen BBQ
San Diego, CA

Clear golden yellow with a thin white cap. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Simple and muted aroma--lots of bready malts, grain, and little else.

Flavor follows the aroma--very simple and plain. There's some mild bitterness, lots of bread and grain, and a touch of floral and citrus, but not much at all. Though nothing unpleasant, this beer lacks much hop character and is simple and boring.

Medium mouthfeel. Clean, dry, crisp, and refreshing.

I think Ballast Point do themselves a disservice by calling this a pale ale. This is a simple, bready ale, but there's a lot more flavor and character in Sierra Nevada and Stone Pale Ales.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2011 22:17:31 | More by ehammond1
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

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

A: Clear golden color with a thin eggshell-colored head.

S: Honey and a slight hint of grassy hops. Very clean smelling.

T: Lots of honey malts with a grassy hop backbone. A slight breadiness towards the finish. A solid and very very drinkable pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 14:11:24 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 15:32:30 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft service into a chilled mug at Whole Foods in Tustin.

A: Clear, medium (slightly brassy) golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very mild, with sweet and tart apple detected most clearly. There is also a nebulous thread of honey and very pale grain, but it has to be searched for in order to be found.

T: Begins dry, with honeyed pilsner malt and crisp Golden Delicious apple. Acidity is initially muted, but becomes more apparent later. Malt becomes more husky in the middle, developing a faint citric quality that becomes tart for the style in the finish. Grassy bitterness and elevated sweetness also emerge at the end, but the palate is ultimately left tasting of honey, apple, and citric acid.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate with snappy acidity, and with very low carbonation.

D/O: Possibly one of the most poorly-marketed beers currently bottled, this "pale ale" offers an experience that is nothing like all other similarly-labeled beers. If Ballast Point needed a synonym for kolsch, it seems like blond ale would have been a more apt selection. Compared to other kolsches, this beer is full-flavored but a little unrefined, coming across as heavy-handed. Early fruitiness has a definite inauthentic resonance to it, leaving behind a sense of artificial flavor. Hoppy bitterness in the finish is bold for the style, although one would never mistake this for IPA-level bitterness in quantity or quality. However, it is effortless to drink, serving as a superior form of refreshment and really holding up well when served too cold.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2011 03:55:47 | More by beagle75
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2011 04:36:29 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale yellow with white head.

Not much on the nose besides a little overall "freshness" from the hops but couldn't pick up any specific flavors.

The taste is a slight bitter on the front as the malt washes through on the back.

Not a very complex beer but refreshing. Ive had it a few times but only when its my last choice. The other Ballast Point offerings are much better.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2011 17:10:57 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of Chizoad
Chizoad

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2011 06:10:26 | More by Chizoad
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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

2/18/2011 

On tap at Ballast Point Old Grove.

A: Transparent straw golden with a big white head and good retention.

S: Light fruit notes, redolent of pear and orange, with wheat, grass, and a little sulfur. Low noble hop presence.

T: Lightly fruity, with notes of melon and orange. Grassy and slightly herbal with a decided wheat flavor. Smooth, mellow, clean and dry finish.

M: Upper light in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, soft, and sticky.

Overall: An enjoyable Kolsch that I have seriously neglected. I will definitely enjoy more of this when the weather warms up.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 17:36:28 | More by HopHead84
Photo of bbb099
bbb099

California

3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass at Burgers & Brew (CA).

A - Clear, golden color with minute amount of white head. No lacing.

S - A little fruity and malty, not much. Possibly because of the food aroma all around.

T - Sweet pale malt, wheat and some citrus (lemon). Traces of hops, but overall the flavor was quite weak.

M - Medium bodied. Unusually high amount of carbonation.

D - Would have been decent if it wasn't so highly carbonated. The amount of carbonation was so much that it dulls the tongue and prevent you from drinking a large amount at once.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2011 04:54:13 | More by bbb099
Photo of TylerJones62
TylerJones62

California

3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap last weekend in a bar down in San Diego. Now, being a fan of their IPA I figured their APA would be to my liking as well. So after complaining about this beer to a friend I was informed that it is in fact not an APA but rather a Kolsch. So while not being familiar with this style (i.e. nothing to compare it to) here's my review.

Didn't see the actual pour but as the pint arrived at my table it appeared to have all the characteristics of a APA. Nice thin white head which didn't stick around too long, brilliant pale amber/straw color. All the makings of a great pale ale. The smell is where it turned for me. After learning a little more about the style, I realize the abundance of yeast/bready qualities I normally dont find in pale ales was very present in this beer. At the time I thought it was strange but apparently thats how its supposed to be? Tasted much like the smell did.

So, take this review for what its worth. I would definitely like to try more beers of this style because it wasn't bad.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2011 19:24:21 | More by TylerJones62
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 17:11:50 | More by LittleDon
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Uno's in Langhorne.Color is well...Yellow. A lear Yellow with a flimzy white heading that was here and gone. Some lacing left around.

Smell is mostly of the wheat malts, a slight lemon-esk aroma and soft fruit.

Taste is very plain. Wheat malts,a slight hit of grassy hops and ever so little touch of lemonzest.

Mouth is lighter than light bodied,good carbonation and finishes extremely clean.

A good beer on a hot summer's day maybe a little light for anything else.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2010 20:23:41 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a light gold in color. A pale ale or a Kolsch? Make up your mind Ballast Point! This brew leans more to the kolsch side, making it a good summer option. Light floral hops, no real bite. Crystal and pale malts. Tinge of lemon. Fairly bitter, and very clean at that. Easy to drink but just a run of the mill kolsch style beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2010 23:21:22 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of armock
armock

New York

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

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2010 19:24:58 | More by armock
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale has a bright golden body with a very white head that is about a finger tall. The retention is ok and some scrappy lacing is left behind.

The aroma has some pale malts and some ale yeast fruitiness. Not a bad aroma, but it lacks any punch.

Yellowtail Pale Ale tastes OK, but I don't really notice much of a hop presence. A decent amount of pale malts are sweet and cracker-like. The ale yeast provides some nice fruitiness. I would like at least a little more hops. I know Kolsches aren't supposed to be hop bombs or anything, but they shouldn't taste like they are all malt either.

The body is probably a touch over medium for a kolsch, and the carbonation is middle of the road.

Drinkability, is pretty solid, which is something I will say for the kolsch style in general. Yellowtail Pale Ale is solid, but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2010 15:21:46 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2010 15:48:47 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Serving type: can

12-31-2009 23:39:58 | More by woodychandler
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap while in San Diego on a quick Labor Day vacation. I will admit, I was a bit tipsy from drinking some wine over a great steak dinner beforehand but I went through the routine while trying this.

Appearance - When given to me by the waitress, there is about a half inch of head, and okay lacing. The color is a light amber color.

Smell - Honestly, week. I get made fun of yet again by my fiancée for smelling beer in a restaurant. You can smell floral tones with a bit of malt.

Taste - Again, fruity, floral, sweet. A bit of peach and a hop crispness.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. Decent carbonation - fitting for this drink.

Drinkability - It was an okay drink, but I don't think I will seek this out. Decent Drinkability but nothing special imo.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2009 01:28:16 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of DrunkenMaster
DrunkenMaster

California

3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Lahainas in Pacific Beach. Clear golden color with no almost no head. Tastes more like a pilsener than an pale. Light floral aroma with just a bit of citrus. I drank about 3 pitchers of this beer just sitting out on the patio at Lahainas on a beautiful night.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2008 20:14:29 | More by DrunkenMaster
Photo of domtronzero
domtronzero

California

2.78/5  rDev -21%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2007 05:28:31 | More by domtronzero
Photo of


3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap in the Marriott Marina Hotel, San Diego.

Poured a clear, pale yellow color. Medium, off-white head.

Primary aroma is bread dough. A bit of an acidic/unpleasant aroma comes along with it.

Taste is OK. Good balance. Biscuity with citrus/grassy hops.

Light body. Medium carbonation. Dry.

OK, but something off in taste or smell. Could be that this is not a fast mover at the Marriott. I would be willing to try again based on brewer's reputation, but not in any great hurry.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2007 17:54:10 | More by
Photo of chargerfanjess
chargerfanjess

California

3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad. Crystal clear clear clear yellow pale straw. Fair size head that left bunch of white lace. Very light hop nose and malt as well. First sip light corn flavor and grain. Very crisp finish and very full mouthfeel for this type of light brew. No aftertaste which was nice for this type. Good drinkable beer on and on

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2006 19:09:31 | More by chargerfanjess
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

4.47/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a yard of this at O'Hungry's in Old Town yesterday and was very impressed. It poured a nice medium yellow color with a small white head that left some lace down the glass. The smell was very refreshing with a crisp hop scent. The flavor was equally as smoothe and crisp with a slight hop kick that was more balanced towards the slighty spicy malt profile. This is a great session beer and just goes to show that you can make a very light and drinkable beer and still have a great flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2004 11:01:17 | More by Dmann
Photo of oggg
oggg

California

3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is orange. Less dark than my friend's Karl Strauss Amber and darker than the wheat beer I had later. White head with long lasting Belgian lace.

I thought it reminded me of Sierra Nevada Pale ale at first sniff and taste. Woodsy aroma. Cascade hops? Maybe not, because I liked it much more than SNPA. After the first hit of hop aroma, the taste becomes caramel and malt. In this respect, it's much like Fuller's London Pride Pale ale...

Very drinkable. This was an excellent session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2004 02:44:00 | More by oggg
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.