Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

346 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 932
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 29
Gots: 105 | 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
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 932
Photo of NickRivers
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A&S - Pours a golden yellow with a finger of paper white head. Not too much coming through on the nose. A few grainy malts, along with a mild breadiness and a floral hop aroma.

T&M - Hits crisp and grainy, the middle of the mouth is sweet with the faintest banana flavor. Finishes dry and clean with a small amount of floral hop bitterness. A nice, refreshing light bodied beer.

O - Overall a great session brew from BP. Calico wasn't half bad, but Big Eye IPA is their best session brew. Its got tons of malt and hops without being overpowered and makes for a great introduction beer. Check out everything BP has to offer, you won't be disappointed. Cheers! (660 characters)

Photo of LordofTime25
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a dark cloudy yellow with a thin white head.

Smells like sweet malts with honey and maybe some grassiness from the grains.

Tastes kind of grain at first, but then there is a sweetness I belive from honey. Then you get a slight bitterness.

Very crisp form carbonation and light.

A good brew worth a drink or two every now and then. (344 characters)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes: 12/19/08 Ballast Point Yellowtail "Pale Ale" 22 oz. bomber into Pint glass.

First off, the label says Pale Ale, which it is clearly not. It actually is Kolsch style.

Appearance= vigorous pour into pint glass yields a very thin white head. Weak pale yellow color.

Smell= Weak, not much of anything.

Taste= Pale ale... Tastes almost Belgian or German, on the sweeter side, not hoppy side.

Mouthfeel= good mouthfeel

Drinkability= Average. Very underwhelmed by this beer. I've had many other pales with a ton more flavor. There again is the Kolsch thing...Would not drink again (591 characters)

Photo of gatorbreath
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kolsch, eh? Damn I need a smartphone...

Didn't get the facts/make the connection on this until just now..probably why I didn't enjoy it to the fullest.

Got this pale ale because I thought it'd be hoppy, somewhat, and piney but not overly so, just shy of an IPA, no idea of the Kolsch style.

Appearance is golden and white head. Smell is malty/biscuity and even a little spicy. Taste is not really hoppy at all, forgive my ignorance, mostly malts and caramel, i am picking up, and the mouthfeel is thin and slick. Overall, a good entry to this style of beer. Although not my favorite, I enjoy trying new things!

Have one! (624 characters)

Photo of weazal
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow hay color. Light head...I hate to say it, but kinda urine looking.

Smell: Light, sweet. Some alcohol at the end.

Taste: It tastes like it smells, but more intense and earthy. It has a dry nuttiness and hoppy flavor. Surprisingly clean and brisk with a little tang at the end.

Light, sizzly carbonation on the tongue. Quick and easy to drink. (363 characters)

Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle I picked up at the Charleston Beer Exchange while on vacation. Tried this one the same night as the Calico, in a similar pint glass.

Appearance: Light amber/gold in color with some haziness to it. About a one finger head of foam that leaves ok lacing.

Smell: Yeast and malt with some fruitiness coming through from the hops, but not much. Kind of a let down in the aroma category but as long as it tastes good I won't mind.

Taste: Has some fruity and floral hop flavors to it, but the malt flavor is more pronounced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with pretty even bitterness throughout the experience. Dry in the finish as well.

Drinkability: High thanks to the low ABV and light flavors. The malt and hops are pretty well balanced so it won't tire you out.

Decent, but for what its worth I haven't had too many Kolsch styles that have blown me away. (873 characters)

Photo of boston2bburg
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a stange, this beer exhibits a very light straw color with a touch of haze. The white foamy head has a respectable layer of retention with some clumping. Lemon and a bit of cake on the nose.

The mouthfeel strikes me as starchier than expected. Its rough, hop-forward flavor exhibits lemon tartness and pale German malt. The hops give character where the grains merely balance. Very spicy bitterness. This would be a very nice summer pounder but the lemon flavor is a little too one-dimensional. (507 characters)

Photo of bohemiandonut
2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From a bomb into a wine glass.

I wanted to like this beer,
Even though it is a Kolsch,
Pretending to be a Pale Ale,
That smells like fruity dishwater,
And tastes like moldy wine.
Because it almost has some shape,
Or trans-Atlantic shadow,
But it's really some sick prank,
To be drank in one sweet gulp,
Rather than a bleating horn
of disappointment.
Egh. (357 characters)

Photo of Bajasith
3.51/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had plenty of pale ales and this is not a pale ale... Being that it cleary states its a Kolsch with a twist.

A: Very nice golden color and very clear with a nice two finger head that dissipated rather quickly.
S: Very earthy with biscuit tones and a slight hint of hops.
T: Very distinct flavor of sour bread washed down with mineral water... Almost nutty.
M: Not much going on here as for flavor intensity. Very light and a small kick of hopps at the end.
D: Could be a great summer beer if you dont want heavy flavor to get in the way of a sixer. (556 characters)

Photo of Chadpaq
2.57/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I admit, I've never had a "Kolsch" before, but when I picked up this beer, I thought it was merely an American Pale Ale. I guess I was a little off on that. My mistake.

I was a little skeptical of buying this beer at first because a lot of people have said that there have been freshness issues with Ballast Point stuff, and they don't date their bottles. I risked it and scooped it anyway...just a single. Drainpour if need be.

...And I almost had to, if I can be quite honest.

It poured out like a fizzy Bud Light. The head was okay and receded pretty slowly, but not much lacing was left. A lot of carbonatio and...oh man, what the hell is floating around in there? I guess some sort of fermentation? I'm not really sure, but I'm not the type of person that's deterred by appearances either.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance.

Smells sort of hoppy. Definitely crisp. Maybe some citrus fruit. Oranges? Lemons? Hard to say. Definitely wheaty.

Tastes pretty clean and crisp. I'm still thinking about that junk floating around in the beer, but whatever.

Very carbonated. That's about all I can say for the mouthfeel. Felt pretty damn...bland. Yes, it FELT bland.

Overall, this beer...well, it kinda sucked. Perhaps it just isn't my favorite style. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Whatever the case may be, this simply wasn't my cup of tea. However, certainly won't deter me from trying Sculpin when it comes into season.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance. (1,519 characters)

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. (1,054 characters)

Photo of LunaChick
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm a bit confused by this one. It pours a nice golden color with a head that dissapates quickly. Smells very faint citrus, maybe some yeast but overall its all very muted. Taste lacks the hop presence of other beer this style--a very faint hint of citrus and a finish of yeast but again very muted. Reminded me much more of a pale ale than a kolsch. Even as a pale ale I would have found the flavors subdued. In the mouth its light-bodied and overall easy to drink.
Just to be sure I wasn't nuts I tried a sample of Kenzinger for comparison.
To me this particular brew by Ballast lacks the brightness and crisp taste of other kolsch brews. And if labled as a pale ale I still would think the overall flavor subdued. Not a bad beer by any stretch though. In fact this might be a good beer to start a macro-drinker into craft beer. Its not too agressively flavored that it would scare anyone off. (897 characters)

Photo of branimal9
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sampled at home - 5/30/2010.

Cloudy pale gold in color, with a thin and soapy white head. Aroma holds light hops and caramel. Flavor yields delicate honey & toffee maltiness with subtle floral hops. Light in body and super easy to drink. Quite solid overall. (266 characters)

Photo of hoppyhour
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like everyone has said before me; THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL PALE ALE
This beer pours, tastes and smells like a pilsner, very similar to a miller light imo.
You could straight beer bong this shit.
I was also disappointed as many others here that the packaging does not represent the correct product. This is a great session beer or if youre eating a big meal but other than that there is no reason for me to buy this again. Very little to no hops. :( (449 characters)

Photo of BaronRogue
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden straw with a slight head and basic retention.

Grassy, slightly skunky-bread nose. Can tell the European influence, but I'm guessing this bottle has been around awhile.

Tastes really decent, you can tell that quality ingredients went into the production, but nothing really jumps out at you. Just enough of everything to consider it a decent beer, kind of like a weak Hofbrau.

Plenty of carbonation, a pleasant mouthfeel overall, definite drinkability.

Not bad at all! Definitely keep in mind that this is a light brew, great if you're not looking to get overwhelmed with hops but still want decent flavors. (625 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
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. (269 characters)

Photo of stonefan55
2.58/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My fault for not reading the label, As it states ''pale ale'' I thought It was a Pale Ale. either way not bad but also not a taste that a west coast pale ale should be. It is as the label says in tiny print, a kolsch style beer thats like a lager but brewed like an ale. I love Ballast Point for all of their other styles...
Looks more yellow in color than a pale ale, Smells a little skunky, tastes between a Heineken and fat tire, feels too lite with little alcohol on it, crisp and dry... (492 characters)

Photo of ccm414
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle...

A- Appears to be rather cloudy with some small debris floating around inside the glass. VERY large head here, about 3 1/2 fingers that lingers for a long time but without much lace on the glass. (Living in New England this beer may have had some temperature abuse during transit, appears way over carbonated).

S- Rather malty with a lot of wheat coming through. Light citrus notes and a little of the floral hops pokes through.

T- Malty fruit flavors are present, apple being the first that comes to mind. Not much flavor from the hops really comes through. It appears to place most of the emphasis on the fruit/citrus flavors.

M- Way too carbonated, but as stated before, I believe there was some problems with storage/transit of this beer. I have had it on tap at their brewery and liked it a lot. This bottle had some issues.

D- Rather drinkable. I drank it expecting more of an IPA taste, and was rather surprised when I realized what it really was. Lighter bodied, but has some complex characteristics and at 5% you can definitely grab for a few more of these.

Cheers! (1,115 characters)

Photo of sbw138
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a bottle at another great trip to Pub on Passyunk East. Poured a golden yellow, with a bright white, but thin head. Left a small tracing at the top, but very little the more I drank.

Bready, malty smell. Pretty much what you'd expect from a Kolsch.

Light bready, malty taste, nice crisp finish.

Not really my style of beer, but not bad for what it is. (361 characters)

Photo of ANIMOUL
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bias-Alert: I typically like (nee LOVE) ALL San Diego brews.

That said, upfront, the beer is mis-labeled. When I think of a "Pale Ale" I tend to think of an "IPA Light"... but, as the words on the can warn, this is more of a kolsch style beer. That said, for the style, its damn good. A very refreshing and crushable beer... a great choice to enjoy after a long run or on a Sunday afternoon bbq. Tastes like a very well done Budweiser... which is a complement in my book. (472 characters)

Photo of Blupoet03
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear and golden with a light lacy that did not stick around long.

Initial reaction was that this beer is very light and crisp - good in hot weather. The nose hinted at a light floral hopping, with just a bit of malt in the taste to work with the bitterness. It left a lingering, though not unpleasant, aftertaste.

Overall, it was a good beer. Take it along on your next fishing trip or BBQ. (402 characters)

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

Received this one in a trade. Not a huge Kolsch fan, but this one is good. Cloudy, yellow/gold body with a pillowy white head that sits around for a while. Smells like a lot of citrus and a little soapy smell at the end. Very drinkable, light beer with an earthy, bitter flavor. (278 characters)

Photo of chargerfanjess
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
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 (347 characters)

Photo of charliedango
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Plenty has been said about this beer, however I'm wondering if age of the beer plays a factor. Considering I am based in the midwest, hundreds of miles away from a major metropolitan area, it would make sense that the Ballast Point brews we get here are older than what other cities and other states get.

With that said, I've gone through a six pack of bottles in which each bottle produced a head greater in volume than the content of liquid being poured into the glass. I don't know how that happens, but it's happened consistently here. (540 characters)

Photo of sj660
4.34/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thick white foam that retains and leaves laces over a yellow clear (but not perfectly so) liquid. Smells softly of fruit, but otherwise clean. The flavor is grainy, slightly sweet, low bitterness on finish and a bit of spice. The flavors are smooth.

Lower carbonation despite huge head, lighter body, very slight pucker.

Why this is called a "pale ale" I haven't a clue. If you're making craft brews, beer snobs are your audience. Tell us it's a Kölsch! Drinks easy and has a surprising complexity of flavor without all the bitterness. Definitely fills a niche. (567 characters)

Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.