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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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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 UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Pours a clear yellow-gold color with a 1 inch white head that settles to a thin film. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is good but basic with malt and floral hop aromas. Taste is of sweet malt and some floral and herbal hop flavors. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a solid beer from Ballast Point. Nothing too special but nice and easy to drink for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 17:34:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Polished brassy gold with a suggestion of juicy orange. There's almost no visible carbonation, which looks a little odd, especially right after the pour. The head is bone white and picks up a hint of yellowish orange from the beer beneath. Soapy ropes of lace arrange themselves into (transient) rough rings as the cap lazily retreats.

The nose lacks both power and personality. I realize that Kolsch isn't a style that lends itself to bold aromas, but a little more fragrance would be welcome. It's mildly sweet pale malty with a little fruitiness for good measure. I'm having a hard time picking out anything resembling hops.

Things still aren't wonderful on the palate. I'm fully capable of appreciating subtlety. I even desire subtlety at times, especially on a hot July day like today. Yellowtale Pale is overly subtle, though, and would benefit from more flavor. It tastes like an all-malt ale. In other words, it has the simplicity of an all-malt lager, but with an ale yeast fruitiness and a slightly more full, ale-like mouthfeel.

Speaking of the mouthfeel, it's on the light side of medium, feeling a little more full thanks to the quiescent carbonation. Each upending of the glass stirs up a cloud of fine bubbles, so I know the beer has retained its CO2. Too bad it isn't that evident in the mouth.

Yellowtail Pale Ale is a decent Kolsch that doesn't put any kind of a serious scare into the world's best versions. After enjoying Big Eye IPA, it was my hope that this one would be just as good. No such luck. While I don't have any desire to throw it back, I won't be mounting it above my mantle either.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 16:33:18 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate.

very drinkable in deed.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 01:31:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 22:13:56 | More by brentk56
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 metter98
metter98

New York

3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of biscuit and cracker malts are present in the nose along with some hints of white grapes.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there are stronger notes of grapes and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little dry and chalky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good American representation of the German Kölsch style.

Serving type: can

01-10-2014 23:45:01 | More by metter98
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 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 feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
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...

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2007 08:55:50 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 04:12:10 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light pilsner malt scent along with moderate hop aroma and clean finish. The taste is decent as well. It's crisp and clean with a touch of hop bitterness and a solid pilsner malt composition. It's not a complex brew, but it's an easy drinker. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great summertime brew; light and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 21:26:58 | More by WesWes
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 zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a fizzy, somewhat cloudy, golden yellow color with a foamy, soapy, white, two-figer head. There were some rings of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus and was quite floral.

T - This was pretty sweet with a nice barley and grain taste. It also had some spicy hop presence.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is one of the best Kolsch-style ales that I've ever had. I liked the hop kick that it had.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 16:08:53 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 21:52:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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

This brew poured out as a nice looking golden color, kind of hazy. The head was a little fizzy but ended up sticking around for a little while. The smell of the beer was pretty nice, giving off some decent hop aromas and malts. The taste of the beer has a nice crisp bitterness that faded into a sweetness as is settled on the tongue. The mouthfeel was crisp and sharp, nicely done. Overall I pretty Solid pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 23:05:15 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Pours straw golden yellow with a thin white head that holds up for awhile before becoming a vanishing patch.

The smell is sweet grain with a hint of Continental-type/floral hops.

The taste follows the nose. A touch of "wet cardboard". A bit yeasty, though with some crispness. Sweetish, turning to a dryish finish. Appropriately light-bodied.

A decent attempt at the style, though not quite as crisp and refreshing as some more classic examples of a Kolsch-style beer, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 14:20:24 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a clear gold with a white-ish head that wastes no time in falling. Flavor is a bit sweet and smooth. Noticeable grain attributes. But that sweet aftertaste sticks with you for quite some time. Feel has a biting carbonation. This is pretty easy to drink. I have to say this kölsch style is growing on me lately.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 07:28:40 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First things first the label is misleading, this should be labeled a Kolsch or a golden ale. When you see Yellowtail Pale Ale from San Diego, my Pavlov's dog in me starts to salivate. When I get home and pour a pale golden crystal clear beer with a bright white head forming thick, it's definitely not what I was expecting. Aroma has sweet biscuit malts slight honey sweetness with some herbal hops lingering a nice cereal grain presence with a mild metallic mineral water accent and hints of grassy/citric hops in the backend. Flavor is grainy light toasted malts bringing biscuit to minds with a touch of citrus/fruit esters very mild hops in the finish. Not even great German style brewing going on just pretty much a dissapointment as a whole. Mouthfeel light bodied easy going, easy drinking, care free crossover style golden ale. Drinkability, okay but I'm shocked at how light on flavor and color their labeled "pale ale" is. Crappy pale ale, okay kolsch.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 17:45:01 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

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

Appearance: pours a dark golden yellow color with a 1" head that lingers a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: grass, hay, and some malt sweetness is detectable by the nose.

Taste: grainy malt base with grass, pears, and mild bitterness. Very simple kolsch style that is refreshing.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkbaility: definite session beer here. I was surprised the label states pale ale but the liner notes explain this is a kolsch. Tasty and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2008 23:29:32 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light amber color with a slight haze. Good lace. Modest head, but lasts.

Slightly stinky, but not skunky. Dry malt and slightly grainy. Very low hop.

Astringent is the first word that comes to mind. Flavorful, but dry. Smooth mouthfeel but not overly rich. Nice hoppy finish with good aftertaste.

This wouldn't be the first beer I'd reach for, but it is innocent enough to enjoy. No flaws but no curiosities either.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 22:28:21 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear golden colour with a firm white head, good retention, some creamy lace.

S: Classic Kolsch nose of white grape and ale fruit, bready malt.

T: The malt is nice and there is a good fruit/pear-like flavour to this brew. There is a fair amount of hops in this beer, a San Diego take for sure. Hops are very green and grassy, not exactly my style, and it's too hoppy for this kind of beer.

M: Light-bodied, kind of flabby at times with a crisp finish.

D: A solid Kolsch, but I really prefer the classic Koln-made stuff in this style. Not a beer where being overly hoppy is a virtue.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 03:51:22 | More by Halcyondays
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 tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

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

Picked up a single from Abe's.

Well it's a good thing they're calling this a kolsch, because it wasn't much of a pale ale. This beer just has a clean pale malt flavor with a touch of sweet biscuit and a hint of hops. The aroma has sort of a bland light malt smell, but not much more. Still a tasty beer, nothing wrong with drinking this if you want something lighter.

UPDATE: 5/13/10: I'd just add that there's an interesting popcorn aroma and pleasant mineral character to the flavor and water.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 13:55:17 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high based on the rating average here on beeradvocate. I usually quite fancy kolschs, so I'm excited to try this one. Here we go!

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow.

Sm: Light barley and subtle bright fruit notes. A mild strength aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: A touch creamy over top a clean barley foundation. Too malty. I don't detect the wheat the label mentions at all. A very simple beer. Boring but pleasant. Built decently but without boldness or inspiration.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so in fact. A bit thick for a Kolsch as well.

Dr: They got the style wrong, but its a pleasant simple beer, with muted flavour. It's too restrained to be truly good, but if you're not expecting much, it's a highly drinkable beer. It's certainly sessionable. I'd try it on draught on a rainy day, but it won't be coming up in conversation anytime soon. Nice try, lads, but you didn't do anything interesting.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 08:14:06 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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

22 ounce bomber, no freshness info offered. Pours light and clear, under a fairly thin off white tiny bubble head, that leaves plenty of sticky, fine sheeting. Resiny hop nose. Easy drinking, snappy, hopped up offering. I personally find it confusing when a brewery puts out a "pale ale" that actually is a Kolsch beer. Anyway, this beer is a pleasant enough light sipper. Nothing special going on here.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 12:11:44 | More by Billolick
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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.