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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: 962
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 31
Gots: 124 | 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: 962
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy/creamy white head, some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is slightly sweet, hoppy/malty, spicy, and some caramel. The taste is soury though, slightly hoppy, some spices thrown in and caramel. The finish is dry. Medium body. Drinkable, I bought this thinking is was a Pale Ale, WRONG! Not really a fan of Kolsch brew's.

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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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden-hued and clear, below a small white head.

Citrus-y aroma, fresh orange and lemon zest...light spices....fragrant and lively.

Fresh on the tongue, with plenty of hop zing blasting the palate. Then all is smooth and lovely. Light bodied, light hops, tasty malt below...a kolsch, but called a "pale ale" on the label..."I guess"...but, it works, it's a lighter easier-drinking ale, no chore to toss back,but full of flavor.

Should be offered in 6-packs, though, not 22 oz bombers. Just not spectacular enough to warrant the size or the price. A good beer, don't get me wrong, just doesn't push my buttons...

...searching....searching....no, that's all I have to say on this...

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Cost Plus World Market for carrying this in your vairety pack! On to the beer:

A soapy head forms on top of this golden ale, albeit one that doesn't last too long. But it does the job on a pleasant warm day. It's semi-sweet with some hop grape and bready flavors. The crispness is light and finishes a touch dry. A great beer to have when the weather is too much to have something big.

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Photo of bjohnson
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to solomon420 for sending this offering my way.

Pours a darker golden color with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. A few bubbles rising to the top. Bready malt notes with hints of fruit hops. Buttery with a hair of lemon zest. Not much going on here except the subtle aromas that I mentioned. Kind of boring actually.

Bready and biscuit malt flavors. A tinge of lemony hops. Slight bitterness towards the edges of the tongue. A bit bland with not much going on. Thicker body then I expected as I was looking for something more crisp and cleaner. Slick through the mouth leaving a trail of buttery ooze behind. Again, like the aromas, the flavors are just middle of the road. Nothing stands out here. A mediocre brew at best, though actually quite drinkable, despite it's pedestrian disposition.

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Photo of flexabull
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale clear gold color, with a nice tall white head.

Aromas are mostly sweet, with a touch of cirtrus.

Flavors are of light carmel malts, sweet, and creamy in the mouth. The finish is crisp, but the flavors seem a bit flat.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. The carbonation seems about right, but the overall feel to this one just seems a little too light.

Not bad, not great either. I had no trouble drinking this one, but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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

12 oz. bottle- color of honey yellow , with a decent frothy off white head - nose of citrus (orange) , sweat , slight hops , and malts – taste of grapefruit , dough , hops , and slight minty-ness - body is medium , dry chalky-ness, and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of stale hops , sweat , and salty

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden orange color. Frothly white head becomes a nice film.

Smell: Has an aroma of florals and spices.

Taste: Mild taste of semi-sweet floral malts, with a bit of spices and some very light hop bitterness. Maybe a bit of bread too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with soft carbonation. Light- to medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, physically, though it doesn't fully keep my interest.

An enjoyable beer, but nothing that particularly stands out. A bit too sweet for a beer this light, at least for me. But it's certainly worth trying.

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

As others have said and the label states this is not a pale ale but a kolsch.

Pours a medium gold with little head and little hops aroma. I don't pick up any hops or malt aroma. Taste is a bit soapy? Not much body or hops. Mouthfeel is a light-which is good for a Kolsch. Drinkability-I have to give this beer a good because it is drinkable and is one I could have after mowing the lawn (if I had a lawn)

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Photo of uberabr
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 into a pint. I'm going to go ahead and review this one as a Kolsch and not a PA, otherwise we'de have some problems...

Minimal head even after a hard pour. The serious hop oil up top is probably the culprit. Lacing and carbonation are great, however.

Appearance is a light yellow amber, faint red and gold hues. Not getting much out of the nose...smells like a lager. Spicy malt and a hint of bitter.

Taste is deep and rich for such a light beer. The bitterness is subtle but complements the sweet malt very well, although there is a slight grassy effect. Lots of bread and butter, some sweet honey, oats and rye. The body is quite full and i'de rank the drinkability as solidly quaffable.

This is a great Western take on a traditional European style. It's really quite good. The name is confusing though, as this is definitely not your typical california Pale Ale, and the text on the label clearly calls it a golden Kolsch. Weird. I probably won't drink it again, but if you're into this style I'de highly recommend it.

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Photo of Talisker
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice example of a non-American style from a West Coast brewery.

Poured from a 22oz bomber (BevMo SF area, $3.99). Basic clear yellow with an orange tint. Foamy head that dies down quickly - no lace. Crisp German hops flavor (no citrus) - nice to experience without the metallic lager aftertaste. Nice light bready malt complement. Finish is long, maybe lingers a little too long for such a crisp beer.

If you can find this fresh and like the style, it's worth a try. Very nicely integrated beer.

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Photo of Barleywhiner
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz., this beer is very clear with a light orange tint, there was a decent head that faded away after a minute or two, good amount of carbonation. The smell is very nice, a light citrus fruit that was unexpected. The taste/mouthfeel is somewhat watery, yet not bad. It is very light on the tongue, not really much malt flavor, and leaves a slightly tangy finish that fades about 15 seconds later to a earthy aftertaste. Overall this was a very smooth and well balanced beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy golden straw color with no head, smell was pale malt. I was expecting it to be clear, but realized the cloudiness is from using some wheat. Taste was light bready malt and slight hops, that combine with a medium carbonation to give it a bit similar to a pilsner, although the body is a little heavier. It was still crisp and clean.

This was an good tasting Kolsch style beer.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.03/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a bright gold with reddish highlights and a smallish off white head. Smells of bread, malt, and a hint of hops.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin. Taste is slightly off as well, and is mostly weak. The bottle says it’s styled after “the crisp golden Kolsch ales of Cologne, Germany,” but I’m not so sure about that. Though I didn’t see a freshness date, I’m wondering if I might have gotten a bad bottle.

Has the potential to be a good beer, so maybe I’ll try another bottle at some point. However, if this is the norm for this beer, then I’ll have to pass.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Zorro and BIF 41 for this bomber.

Pours a clear golden color with a white two finger head that quickly recedes to a ring. Moderate lacing remains. Bubbles rise steadily to the top.

The aroma contains citrus fruits, light doughy bread and hints of cinnamon (or something close to it). Smells good, but it has a very light scent to it.

Crisp taste. Some spicy citrus, caramel, bread, and lighter floral qualities at the end. Nice balance between the sweet and spicy. More malt and yeast flavors than were noticed in the smell.

Medium body with crisp, refreshing carbonation. The ABV makes this very sessionable. Ballast Point hasn't let me down yet. Nothing absolutely outstanding, but every one very solid.

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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.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF for providing the oppertunity.
Pours a clear golden color with a head that rises about 2" and quickly recedes to a halo of lace.
Smell is nice and strong. Very noticable hop aroma. Also a hint of butterscotch.
Taste starts of biscuity but the hops come in quickly. Very earthy tasting.
Mouthfeel is light bodied.
Overall a very drinkable quaffer on a hot summer day.
This is a style I don't really have a lot of experience with, but this beer motivates me to explore more.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.23/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a super clear golden copper color. Has a small white head that stays, as it is being fed by a constant flow of bubbles rising to the top. Good lacing.
Smells crisp and clean. Malty, biscuit aroma, and German hops?
Wonderful flavor. Nice balance between the malt and hops.
Light bodied. Good carbonation. Smooth AND CRISP FINISH.
What a good refreshing beert. Highly drinkable, and perfect for a hot Summer day.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice two finger head with good lacing. Pale yellow color. Looks a bit like a domestic lager.

S: Bread-like aroma with some yeasty smells and a bit of citrusy fruitiness.

T: Very malty and buiscuit-like flavors with a nuttiness that I can't quite place. Finishes with a small amount of citrus and floral at the end.

M:Nice tight, bright carbonation. Although head has dissapaited.

D: Very Smooth and drinkable, something that I would drink for a thirst quencher when I wanted something a little more complex than your run of the mill macro.

Overall I really like this beer, it has a really pleasant nutty malt. And for an ale it is really smooth, bordering on a lager. This is my first of the style so I dont have anthing to compare it to but i really like it.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear golden straw with an orange tint to it. 1" fluffy white head, retent is decent. Some lacing as well.

S- faint sweetness, hoppy aromas as well. Not much on the nose.

T- biscuity, maltly for sure. Strong pear flavors. Floral hop behind the scenes, come forward in the aftertaste.

M- silky smooth and light on the palate.

D- this is a good summer brew. Refreshing with good flavor. I'll reach for this when i need to cool down and unwind.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, light copper color and is topped by a two-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. This beer has a light, herbal, lemon-like hoppy aroma to it. As I dig around a bit deeper in the nose I get an interesting aroma of something like cinnamon.

The beer has a fairly light taste to it, in fact it is almost completely dry. The hops almost get it a tangy tartness though and there is a noticeable herbal hop character found throughout this beer. The flavor almost reminds me of those exotic, yet mellow, basils (e.g. cinnamon basil), but that is not quite it. A light lemon-like note is here as well as some spicy hop notes. This is not your typical American Pale Ale, but I really like its hop leanings. Light and quaffable as well and it makes for an easy drinking 22oz bottle.

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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.

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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?

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