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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

726 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 726
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: 726 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Toscana Cafe. Pours clear golden with nearly no head. Aroma is light fruits like pears and white grapes, sweet pale malts, light grass and yeast. Flavor follows with some light hay, honey, sweet wheaty flavors, yeast lingering on the palate. Light bodied with medium high carbonation. Not great but plenty drinkable I guess.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2013 05:35:17 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of EagleTalon
EagleTalon

Arkansas

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a nice but thinnish white head with minimal lacing and pale gold color. Aroma is sweet grainy pale malt and grassy, floral hops. Flavor starts slightly sweet with a dry wine and noble hops finish to balance it out. Mouthfeel is a bit rough for the style. Overall a great beer that is pale and an ale but is nothing like a "pale ale". I ordered it not knowing it was a kolsch. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 18:29:53 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of natedirka
natedirka

Arizona

1.15/5  rDev -67.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2013 02:33:41 | More by natedirka
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer was served on tap at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a Blue Point pint glass, glowing a golden straw coloring. It held a one finger head of white bubbles, showing moderate retention, and foamy, patterned lacing down the sides of the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared higher end. The aroma gave big mustiness, paler malts, light lemon, light plastics, warm nuttiness, wheat, orange flesh, clove, and grassy hops to cut. With warmth the hops came to a sweeter end, with barnyard funkiness, mineral, and freshly-cut-grass cleanliness. Our first impression was that the flavoring gave a nice blend of pale malts and citric sourness. As we sipped, sour wheat and pale malts, lemon flesh, citric rind, huge metallics, and the dryness of straw and all of its bitterness mixed for the start. The middle peaked with dirty copper, big adjuncty bite, lemon rind bitterness, hoppy grassiness, and chalky bitterness. The finish came with white flour, baker’s yeast, bright melted plastic warmth, continued grassy hop, and citric rind to the final puckering drop. The aftertaste breathed of massive coin, straw, barnyard yeastiness, chalk, grassy hops, mineral and mud, floury adjuncts, and light fusel air. The body was medium, and the carbonation high, with prickle across the hard palate. There was big foam on the swirl around the mouth, with an otherwise decent slurp, sip, and smack. Froth and cream were lesser. There was an initially wet coating that turned into a strong pucker and eventual dryness. The abv was fine, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, our favorite thing about this beer was its crisp freshness and robust flavoring for the style. Many beers in the style go too far with the drying flour bite and the adjuncts, with big puckering grassiness, and further drying elements of straw. While this guy teeters on the edge, it doesn’t go overboard in these aspects, making for a decently drinking, crisp beverage.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2013 01:02:15 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 02:39:06 | More by Murrhey
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately, kind of leafy, kind of citrusy, with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a lightweight medium, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2012 01:42:15 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Common Table in Dallas. The beer pours a cloudy orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee with some orange citrus and some light grass notes. The flavor follow suit. I get a lot of toffee and caramel malt as well as some citrus and pine notes from the hops. The malt is much more prevalent than the hops, but there is still a light bit of bitterness and some hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2012 04:56:06 | More by Mora2000
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 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
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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.