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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

350 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 350
Hads: 945
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 29
Gots: 112 | 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: 350 | Hads: 945
Photo of IntriqKen
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an ever so slightly cloudy light, pale amber with a med head and tiny bubbles whitch seemed perfect for this style.
Aroma is sweetly malt with a very faint citrus.
Mouthfeel is crisp from the carbonation.
Taste is first sweet malts, then sharp hops, followed with a slightly banana and lemon taste. Actually, much more balanced than it sounds. The flavor of this brew is very complex, but pleasingly so.
Aftertaste is drying hops with a lingering pleasant bitterness.
Although this probably has more of a hops signature than is usually found in this style, I found it extremely refreshing and qualfable.
I could drink these all summer long
NOTE: I just read up a little on Yellowtale brewing from their web site and found that they use 5% wheat in this beer...THAT is the crispness I was tasting...there is definately a bread thing going on in the taste and aftertaste. Wonderful!

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

Pale yellow with about a half finger of white head. Grassy, earthy hop aroma with a light biscuity background. Well balanced hop/malt flavor. The grassiness plays well with the caramel malt. The medium mouthfeel and slightly dry finish makes this really refreshing and enjoyable.

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

A tasty Kolsch from Ballast Point. Dark yellow gold with a foamy white head, with hints of yeast in the aroma. Smooth and medium bodied with a great light hop bitterness that adds a little spiciness to this easy drinkin' brew. 12 oz bottle from a sixpack purchased at the Mission Valley(San Diego) BevMo.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.49/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much to look at. Loose white head falls to a small island and no retention to speak of. Color is a pale yellow w/ multiple sized carbonation, similar to a run of the mill macro lager.

I couldn't pick up to much in the smell. Bready malts and nothing else. Pretty smooth on the palate and it has a creamy feel to it as it going down. Hop presence is very subtle and more or less helps to crispen this up more than any flavor I get out of it. Fruity undertones of bananna and sweetened lemon round it out.

Notes: I like some hops to balance out a good kolsch. This stays on the bready side all the way through and it leans towards doughy. Good malt character. Delicate finish. Not one of my favorites but its an approachable offering with some depth.

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

Pours a pale gold with a big bubbled head that didn't last long at all. Macro?!?

Faint aroma... not much to discern here.

Slight grainy malt flavor gives way to the tiniest of hop bitterness and flavor. Grassy if anything. Wimpy all the way.

Light bodied. Would be great on a hot day, but overall pretty bleh and plain.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a bright yellow label. Description of the beer (apparently a Kolsch, despite the name) on the label, no freshness dating.

Appearance: Golden color with some orange in it - thin head.

Smell: Very malty - toasted bread aroma. Also some fruity hops, but these are much more subtle.

Taste: Tastes a lot like it smells. Nice medium bodied with a fairly smooth mouthfeel. Taste is bready, with a nice amount of hops finishing it up. A bit of spice from the yeast plays well with the other flavors.

Overall impression: A nicely drinkable beer. I always like it when beers that were previously bombers only show up in six packs! This would be a great choice for any spring/summer activity.

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

Dirty looking orange-amber color. It's got brown to it as well. Thus a dirty look. The head is ivory white and thin. Well retained though. And the lace left is nice. The aroma is quite thick and gritty for a kolsch. Very grainy. And dusty. (Like the grain room at the local homebrew shop.) Not that that's bad. Taste is average. It's quite grainy as well and not really quenching (as a kolsch should be). Dry finish. A bit of herbal and earthy hoppiness. Pretty average.

Thanks for yet another Ballast Point offering Mr. Bum.

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Photo of winomark
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep gold with a vigorous 1 inch pale yellow head. Sweet grain maltiness with a very mild hop citrus notes. Dry malt up front and a mild, soft hop finish. Typical pale ale, IMO. Nothing too exciting, but still a great offering from a good San Diego brewery. Give it a try when you find it.

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Photo of Dmann
4.45/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Orange Blossom Festival in Riverside, California. Served very cold on a cold, rainy day. Pours a golden yellow with minimal head. Aroma & flavor follow each other fairly well- there is a nice hops balanced with a light citrusy and buttery tones. A complete lack of sweetness. Drinkability is, well, let's put it this way- my notes say: "yes!!!".

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Photo of Zorro
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden brew with lots of carbonation.

Smell is sweet grain and a mild perfume smell.

Taste is sweet with lots of grain. There is a tartness to this gives it a different flavor. The hop bitterness is in balance with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good.

A super drinkable brew, very mild brew.

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

The beer after splitting from the 22 ounce bottle pours a translucent and lustrous gold with the head large and bright white with a pleasing creamy texture, lace a fine silky curtain to cover the glass. Nose is dominated by the sweet malt, crisp and fresh, with the start nicely malted, lightly sweet and the top fair in its feel to the palate. Finish is equable in its acidity, the hops are pleasing but a bit mild, the aftertaste quite dry and a fine session beer it will make.

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Photo of oggg
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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

This is a light golden colour with a fluffy head of all-white foam. The aromas are slightly fruity, with nice roasted malts, and slight citrus-y/floral hops in the aroma. The taste is super light and refreshing. You can really tell that this is a low alcohol brew that is crafted with the utmost care and passion. Truly 'artisinal'. The mouthfeel is pretty good, bordering on great and the drinkability is nice for this new age Kolsch as well. A good, solid, brew!

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

Ballast Point- Yellowtail

A- Bright clear yellow with a thick fluffy white head.
S- Sweet lemon and hay/straw. Slight citrus twang.
T- Sweet lemony citrus. Slight grassy hay/ straw.
M- Very sweet and a slight grassy hop dryness.

Overall- A good Kolsch that's a decent beer on a warm day.

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

A clean and crisp brew that really hits the spot. The golden-hued body has a nice head and laces well. The nose is malty and bready with a good sense of grain. There is nice flavor from the malting and the feel is quite light and crisp, giving a very nice snappy finish. Easily drinkable in some volume.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Pizza Port, Carlsbad. Poured a clear, bright golden color with a large bubbly white head that slowly settled down to a thin, patchy skim. Mild carbonation seen when iggitated.
Smell was pretty mild but seriously sweet. Had a fruity, sort of apple-crisp note mixed in a light bready malt base aroma.
Taste was a nice blend of a yeasty maltiness and gently spicy fruitiness. No hints of hops until a light bitterness came out in the finish.
Feel was light, crisp and refreshing.
This is a very easy-drinking brew. I found Yellowtail Pale Ale (?) to be a delightful beer.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.41/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed on 2 February 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
This is a lawnmower beer. That's all. Slightly sweet on the tongue w/ a little bite. It has No aroma. The appearance is Clear yellow w/ a small head. You won't find much flavor here

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Ballast Point Brewing Company, Yellowtail Pale Ale comes in a 22 fl.oz. Bomber with a very colorful label showing a yellowtail in a striking “sweeping down” pose. No strength or freshness date is indicated.

Appearance: Beautiful golden color with a yellow straw appearance. The head is a massive white pillow when first poured, but as the beer settles, then stands, it completely relaxes to a thin broken covering with some light lacing. Average carbonation when swirled.

Smell: A crisp refreshing nose with clean lines that include grain malts, fresh bread and biscuit aromas.

Taste: Malt introduction mixed with a little yeast that is well defined, crisp and clean. Hop bitterness rises in the middle which is very refreshing, and makes way for a decent tasty finish that has a slight spicy hop twang. A beer with an overall soft edge, yet it still has enough crisp tastes for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light ambience on the palate.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed, and the taste-buds offer little resistance to the clean golden refreshing lines of this cool Kölsch style Ale.

Overall: Labeled as a Pale Ale in the style of a Cologne Kölsch. It is certainly a decent effort, the malt aspect is crisp and light hops are refreshing. Not a bad effort at all.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium yellow color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and sweet. A medium bodied ale. Malts are mild, fruity and kind of sweet. Hops are present, but kind of hidden. They pop out at you every once in a while. Very smooth. More of a Kolsch than a pale ale. It's a great hot day/lawnmover beer. Mild and interesting. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Advertised as a kolsch-style, one should expect this to be less a "west coast" pale than Ballast Point's other offering. The beer is a clear, very light copper in color, with a very thin head. Aroma is mild, wheaty and suffused with German hops. The flavor is surprisingly rich for such a crisp-feeling body, with a raw grainy malt and an earthy/herbal hop very dry finish. A refreshing yet substantial beer, and a nice entry in a style which, admittedly, I tend to find a bit uninspiring.

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Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This different pale ale has a sweet fruity aroma. There is a hint of ester in the flavor as well as a good sweet smooth malt presence. This brew is more reminiscent of a tasty golden ale. The only really noticeable hop presence is a bit of a bitterness in the finish.

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

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Very mild chill haze, big frothy white head that cakes to a great thick lace.

Smell: Light breadiness with hints of yeast and grain. Faint whiff of fruit and hops also.

Taste: Medium body, sweet pale malt flavour through and through with a even hop bitterness (slightly spicy) and mild leafy noble hop twang flavour. Sweet bread and yeast on the palate straight into the drying finish.

Notes: Decent go at the Kölsch style, quite palatable with an impressive malt character for such a light coloured brew. Nice addition of hops to make for a perfect balance.

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Photo of geckointhebox
4.7/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I enjoy a good pale ale and this is a pretty good one. Had it shipped for the holidays and I was the hit of the party. Very drinkable, very balanced. Everything you can hope for in an ale.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.