1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

812 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 812
Reviews: 335
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 17
Gots: 50 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 812 | Reviews: 335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

01-18-2011 17:11:50 | More by LittleDon
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow-gold with thin white head and not much lacing.

Smell: Wheat malt, citrus, apple and spicy, floral hops.

Taste: Malty mix of wheat, apple, lemon and orange. Some spicy counterbalance from the noble hops. Would have liked more Munich malt than Wheat, but still quite good.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, creamy somewhat full body and semi-dry finish expected for a Kolsch.

Drinkability: Very refreshing and enjoyable Kolsch. Not quite as dry or spicy as I prefer, and too much wheat.

01-04-2011 02:42:02 | More by bsp77
Photo of TCgoalie
TCgoalie

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%

Al 6-pack bottle #5.

Pours a golden yellow with a one finger white head. Some lacing sticks to the glass but not much.

Wheat and a faint grass hop come out of the scent. Mildly sweet but not too complex.

The wheat flavor really comes out in the taste with an essence of lemony grass hops.

The carbonation is low in this beer, but I think it works for it. Light in the mouth with a slight drying in the end.

This is very drinkable and a solid session beer.

01-03-2011 02:05:13 | More by TCgoalie
Photo of B967ierhunter177
B967ierhunter177

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -23.9%

This beer pours a clear, gold with 1/2 inch head that quickly fades. It does leave lace till the end. The aroma leads off with caramel followed by some banana and vanilla. It's flavor has notes of caramel, grapes, and a hoppy tang. Well balanced at first with a dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium however the dry hop tang lends itself to only drinking one at a time. Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale is a good example of the style, recommended.

01-01-2011 00:55:02 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

12-26-2010 20:23:41 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
TheSupremeAJ

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +13.6%

12oz bottle poured into pint. Bought from Abe's of Bethlehem... bottle was a little dusty however their turnover there is good.

A- Traditional golden yellow color with creamy white head.
S- Light fruity ale notes intermingled with almost a pilsner style malt profile.
T- Very nice balance. The pale ale on the label is misleading because there really aren't that many hops in this beer. Very subdued and mellow.... a nice chill beer!
M- Carb is OK. Flavors stick around near the back of my throat.
D- Good drinkability. I could see my non-crafty type beer folk really liking this too.

12-26-2010 19:20:06 | More by TheSupremeAJ
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%

Man I knew as soon as I cracked the bottle it was old.

A - Pours a pure dead yellow with no head and mild ring lace, which seems to only cover half the glass. The sediment was low due to a slow pour but it was impossible to avoid.

S - Smells kind of grassy, kind of muddy, and kind of grainy. You get pretty much malt and grain and very muted hops (typical pilsner)

T - Wow it taste kind of belch. Like Grolsch Lager yet its an ale not a lager so age has turned it kind of sour. Second sip it taste like the carbonation wants to bring something to the field other than grain and grass but really thats all I am getting, bitter on bitter but not in a good way. Sad thing is only a few bubble of carbonation are visible.

M - Light and bitter like an ESB but it's an ale! Damn this beer is old!

D - Well apparently this company is notorious for not having dates on their beer along with getting this from a shop I knew had old beer was a lose/lose situation. It's weird since it's really not drain pour worthy yet not really exciting and full of flavor so I will pour it. Sad since even hella old the IPA still rocked my taste buds this beer is so/so at best new or old. Every beer is not a winner.

12-18-2010 01:42:33 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Chadpaq
Chadpaq

North Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -28.1%

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.

12-16-2010 15:33:53 | More by Chadpaq
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -4.8%

This beer is very misleading because I tried this on draft and did not know that this was a kolsch, but rather thought it was a APA like I would expect from Ballast Point that makes Big Eye and Sculpin. It's false advertising and you definitely do not get what you are expecting. There are some tell tale signs. The color is a golden pale clear color with finely knit white foam and lace. The flavor is very malty with a distinct grain tannin and sulphurs from the yeast. The finish is very dry and clean with little fruit flavor.

12-10-2010 05:27:59 | More by Soonami
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

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

Wisconsin

3.18/5  rDev -9.7%

Thanks to July2Nov for this one.

A- Pours a clear bright straw yellow and a fizzy finger worth of carbonation. Sticks around for a little while but doesn't leave much lacing.

S- Lots of crystal malts and a bit of fruitiness. There is not much of a hop presence to speak of. There is also a bready quality to it.

T- Pretty much spot on with the nose. Fruity and bready malts that is pretty balanced. Not much going on with this beer.

M- Light bodied with some nice crisp carbonation. This is a pretty quenching beer.

D- Crisp and refreshing but not much going on. A summer time beer for sure. Nothing bad but nothing to seek out.

12-05-2010 19:46:08 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -6.8%

Had this in Columbia, PA on 2010-12-03.

A - Hazy gold with a lot of floaters. Short fizzy head that quickly dissipated.

S - Mild lemon and yeast

T - Surpsingly,it is on the sour side followed by lemon drop sweetness, biscut and yeast. Mild bitterness. Finishes dry with little lingering aftertaste.

M - Light body and medium carbonation yield a thin feel.

D - This doesn't taste like a pale ale to me so the surprising flavor set me back a bit. The bottle is labeled as a pale ale but I'm not buying it. If you're into the sour taste and this style, it definitely can quench your thirst.

12-03-2010 23:27:17 | More by Tucquan
Photo of SDtastentune
SDtastentune

California

3.73/5  rDev +6%

A - Yellow and fizzy, poured a head but is quickly dissipating.

S - Grains, bread, and a little malty smell.

T - Bread, malts, not to bitter, not much aftertaste other then malts.

M - Kinda fizzy over carbonation, but a pale ale needs that. Medium to light body.

D - Easy drinker for the not so brave, easy entry lever craft beer. I like more of an IPA true bitter beer or double stout, So this tastes like a light beer to me. Over all pretty balanced and good.

11-13-2010 03:07:31 | More by SDtastentune
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.23/5  rDev -8.2%

Very interesting. Of course a kölsch is a pale ale, technically, but one marketed as a pale ale in America seems like something of a misnaming. Anyway, let's see how it is.

Pours a very pale yellow colour, with a filmy but fine-bubbled head of white foam, that leaves some abstract lacing. Looks very lagery, which is stylistically true for a kölsch at least. But thin, but decent enough.

Nose is slightly grainy, with a sharp German hop profile. Hint of molasses or raw processed sugar, along with something slightly phenolic. It reminds me a lot of a Munich Helles. Less fruity and clean than I expect for a kölsch, but not bad.

Taste is similar. Some graininess on the back, fronted by a light sweetness and a sugary, slightly nutty aftertaste. There's something all a bit insipid about it, however, and the characters don't mesh together particularly well. Mouthfeel light, which is expected, but it doesn't add anything to the beer, which really needs a lift.

Eh, drinkable enough, but really, there's something unappealing about it. It's not so far as to be offensive, but there's so little to it, I wonder why they bother.

I'll stick to Sculpin, thanks.

10-30-2010 23:43:08 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -21%

The aromas are quite light. A little sweetness and breadiness with some earthy notes. Not much here.

Tastes are grainy and light bready malts up front with a decently flat finish. I think this is not quite fresh so this may be a biased review. Pretty simple overall tastes. Nothing exciting going on here, but it's well done for what it is. Undercarbonated for the style; light body.

Overall this is very easy to drink, but with other options, why fill up on this? This is a decently enjoyable beer, but the weakest Ballast Point offering which I've tried to date by far. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't wow in the slighest.

10-23-2010 17:16:43 | More by claspada
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
OBeerMeGreatOne

California

3.78/5  rDev +7.4%

Look: Poured from a 12oz into a pint. Pours an orange/gold with a 1/2 inch head and some pretty decent lacing.
Smell: Very light. Slight sweetness and a bit grassy and citric. Not much going on.
Taste: Interesting. Pale malts, citrus hops and something else I can't quite figure, not unappealing at all. Still very light on the taste.
Mouth: A nice light-medium. Goes down easy.
Drink: Good summer brew. Not heavy, easy to session.
It's a solid beer but not very unique. I'm still pretty happy with Ballast Point so far (3rd offering I've had).

09-27-2010 05:43:45 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +11.6%

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Clear golden yellow with plenty of carbonation. A slight head quickly disperses into film, leaving light rings of lacing while drinking.

S - Grainy wheat and a touch of hops.

T - Begins with light wheat and toasted grain flavors, eventually unleashing the somewhat fruity middle. Juicy hops and a sweeter malt base combine for an interesting, yet tasty profile. Finishes with a slightly buttery, tingly, hoppy bite.

M - Lighter medium body and bubby, with lingering dryness.

D - Ultra smooth and easy going. A bomber disappears pretty quickly with this one.

Another quality beer from Ballast Point - what else would anyone expect at this point?

09-27-2010 03:30:32 | More by xnicknj
Photo of DaveHS
DaveHS

California

3.73/5  rDev +6%

I'm a big fan of all the other Ballast Point stuff, so I'm expecting this to be pretty decent.

A-Pours a light amber with a quarter inch of eggshell white head. Leaves a bit of streaky lacing.

S-Grains, pale malts.

T-A little heavier than I'm used to from the kolsch style. The malt character is one-dimensionally sweet. Reminds me of malt liquor for a hot second. Then the sweetness is overtaken by flavors of earth and grassy hops. The finish is crisp.

M-Light bodied, but bigger than your average kolsch.

D-The kolsch style is pretty friendly in general, and this beer is no exception. However, it isn't one of the more successful American micro versions of the style.

09-23-2010 03:53:44 | More by DaveHS
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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.

09-07-2010 23:21:22 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of gregshead
gregshead

California

3.6/5  rDev +2.3%

A - Light golden/yellow color, pours with finger of head. A very thin layer of foam remains.

S - Pine with citrus/lemon smell

T - Sugary malt mixed with a pine and lemon citrus hops. A hard to describe taste finishes it off. Reminds me of banana but not sure that is the best adjective to describe it.

M: Light thin feel with decent amount of carbonation.

D: Typical of BP brewing, they have brewed a tasty, unique ale. Maybe a little too unique to add into my regular rotation. Also not my first choice to give to a friend trying to enter into the hoppy world because of these unique qualities.

09-05-2010 23:16:45 | More by gregshead
Photo of wknight167
wknight167

California

3.65/5  rDev +3.7%

Apearance - Pours slightly darker than golden with a 2 finger white head that hangs around for a bit, and leaves some lacing behind.

Nose- Pale malt, a little citrus and a touch of bread.

Palate- Mostly sweet pale malt, but there is some spicy hops and some very light fruitiness.

Mouthfeel- Just north of light bodied and just south of medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Very easy drinking, but nothing to write home about.

08-11-2010 05:42:58 | More by wknight167
Photo of kflorence
kflorence

California

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%

A: Drank from the bottle. Poured, I would imagine it to be a golden yellow/amber in color, with a fair amount of head (judging by the carbonation levels).

S: Smelled of floral hops with a more subtle sweet malt blend in there. Also of note are citrus and grass.

T: Pretty balanced palate overall, though slightly hop-dominated initially, but with a definite malt backbone that lingers on the tongue. There is also citrus in there, mostly lemon, as well a grain/bread flavor and some honey.

M: I would say this is a medium-light beer. It's heavier than most light beers, but it's not as heavy as a typical Amber. I found the mouthfeel quite pleasant, as it had some substance to it. Probably a strong point of this beer.

D: The other strong point is definitely the drinkability. Nothing exciting here, but it's pretty well balanced and very sessionable. Wouldn't turn my back on this, but wouldn't seek it out either.

07-27-2010 02:58:17 | More by kflorence
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -6.8%

Crests at about two fingers of cream white foam, loosely knit and swiftly to dissolve, does cover the surface well before finally gone, the lacing is slight and not that sticky. As yellow as pale orange in color, while lacking depth it holds enough light inside to create a moderate visual presence, close to zero bubbles to be seen. Biscuity, bready nose with orange peel and mineral water nuances, a touch of blanched almonds, has a sort of oily grassiness like the scents of mowing the lawn, there is a waft of toffee at times, the fruit has a pit and skin aspect to it, mostly peach, apricot and pear, lasts mostly due to aggressiveness than depth of scents. Medium-bodied, does a good job of covering the mouth cheek-to-cheek, especially when you factor in the puffed up carbonation. But it's mostly dull and lifeless on the palate with meager portions of peach, apricot, red apple, red cherry fruit and orange peel. The cocoa and caramel lack sweetness, same could be said for the grain bread and corn flavors. Even the hoppiness lacks real bite, you kinda keep waiting for something to go off but the fuse fizzles out. The kind of beer you'd expect to drink at the ballpark.

07-25-2010 02:48:24 | More by farrago
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -2.6%

Reviewed from notes:

Pours a nice clear light gold color with 2 fingers of creamy head rising to the top of my pint glass. Retention and lacing are minimal.

Some fruity notes and a slight sweet malt that is faint. Finishes on a lemony citrus note with hints of grassiness.

Body is a little thick for the style. Good carbonation.

I could certainly have a couple of these. Nothing too crazy or mind-blowing going on here, but nothing unpleasant either.

I would prefer Summertime Chicago by goose

07-24-2010 22:08:24 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%

Appearance: clear, orange-yellow in color, minimal head, low carbonation

Smell: tropical fruits and toasted malt

Taste: tropical fruits, toasted malt, caramel, honey, and a bit of bread

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, very sweet

Drinkability: I could have several of these. Nice, sweet, and a bit fruity for the style. A good warm day beer, I could have a six.

07-12-2010 20:41:53 | More by tigg924
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 812 ratings.