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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

853 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 853
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 19
Gots: 61 | 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: 853 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Launched Ballast Point"; "Our original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it's hopped like a lager, we ferment it like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It's extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be. And complex, like a good craft beer demands."

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I was ready to see what was inside. An inverted Glug later, curtailed midway through as it threatened to overflow the sides of the glass, and I had a massive finger-and-a-half of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep, rich gold with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future.

I will be returning to the site of the creation of the term, "NE-quality clarity", which refers to one being able to read the Sunday comics through it, a level of clarity used by the brewer at Empyrean BC in Lincoln, NE to describe the kind of beer his patrons wanted in 2006 when I visited. I will be going back in late-February 2015 for a joint birthday celebration with Val MidWest who turns 21 y/o on Valentine's Day of that year while I will hit the big 5-Oh on the 25th. The party is planned for Yia Yia's and Old Chicago on Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 if anyone wants to join us.

While I was typing, the head fell, allowing me to lean in for a good whiff. The nose had a distinct biscuit malt/bready yeast quality, like freshly baked bread or biscuits. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium and the initial flavor was of mixed fruit, but followed with a subdued yeasty spiciness. It was like JuicyFruit gum, but with a bite. Finish was semi-sweet and highly refreshing on this hazy, humid day. Of the two so far (Longfin Lager) and this one, I am giving the majority of the cooler space to this, but neither really trip my trigger the way that the next two CAN.

The following is my original Bottle review dtd 12-31-2009

It arrived with a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a bright golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity (although that is redundant when using the term "bright" to describe a beer). Nose had an interesting tang, a little sweet, as though the hops and yeast were fighting it out. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweetish, spicy black pepper taste on the tongue. Finish was dry, but not overly so.

woodychandler, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an alt glass.

Pours a very golden amber with a lot of carbonation, a nice tight little head with good retention. Nose is a bit wheaty/malty with a bit of hoppiness but it's similar to a marzen.

Mouthfeel is a little bit ligt/watery, but still good and easy drinking. Has a toastiness with some subtle wheat and nice earthiness to it. for a so-called pale ale, I'd like it to be a bit hoppier, but as a Kolsch it's just about where it should be.

kingcrowing, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying another Kolsch. I have a hard time reviewing these to style, as I'm not sure I've ever really had an excellent one. But I generally enjoy them regardless.

Appearance - A nice light golden/hay color. Very clear. Two inches of stark white head soap bubble quickly dissipate into a thin ring. Looks nice.

Smell - Lots of sweet grains in this one. Almost like an old, slightly moldy grain bin. Hint of biscuit. Almost like bread dough.

Taste - Follows the smell. Starts off with a little citrus bitterness, and a little dry. Then it mellows out for a moment before turning quite sweet and grainy. There's a dry sourness on the finish I'm not loving.

Mouthfeel - Nice and light. I'd love a hint more carbonation.

Drinkability - Oh, I could polish off a sixer without blinking. That said, it wouldn't really hold my interest either. I'd probably just take them straight from the bottle if I was in the mood to just have beers.

It's beer. Hooray beer. Nah, it's quite quaffable, but nothing special. Next.

callmescraps, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of GarrisWH
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden color with a thin, white head that quickly drops down to nothingness. Leaves very light lacing behind.

S - Light citrus aromas as well as some spicy, fruity, yeast qualities.

T - Slightly tart, citrus flavors as well as an herbal character make up most of the flavor. Pale malts also come through as well as a bit of yeast. Finish is crisp and dry. No unpleasant off flavors, but lacking a bit in flavor intensity.

M - Light bodied with a pretty subdued carbonation. Very smooth going down.

D - A decent enough beer, albeit simple and light. I was somewhat expecting a pale ale when I bought the sixer, and was slightly disappointed to see I had bought a kolsch instead. Not bad, but nothing exciting here at all.

GarrisWH, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden yellow color, thick white head, bubbles flowing throughout the glass throughout, light lacing left on the glass

S-light bready smell, some yeast, hint of fruit, and light citrus

T-pale malt up front, citrus hops to balance, sweet fruit finish of white grapes

M-lots of carbonation, light body, crisp finish

D-pretty tasty and light, solid session beer

cpetrone84, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of mikedepue
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass

A - Poured straw yellow with white head that left quickly.

S - Light crisp smell, nothing spectacular.

T - Tastes like it smells, way too light for my palat. Somewhat refreshing. Slight hoppyness but not nearly enough (just not a fan of the style).

M - Thin

D - Drinkable beer, but the only time I'd want to was a very hot summer day. Worth a try.

mikedepue, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About ½ way through the review I pulled up the site to get ready to post my review. I see this is listed as a Kolsch. This explains quite a bit. I like it, but thought it was

Light golden color with quite a bit of visible carbonation quickly escaping to the surface. The head is bright white and foamy. Rises to about 2 fingers and quickly fades to a thin cap. Just the slightest touch of lacing remains.

Aroma is slightly sweet and with some light cracker notes. Slightly grassy and also a touch yeast.

Lighter than I had imagined, but still pretty good. Balance is the order of the day here. Initial moment of sweetness is quickly balanced with some nice bitterness. Light bready and hay flavors. Ends with a little doughy note and some sweetness.

Fairly light body and bright mouth feel.

Very drinkable and a nice beer. This is an excellent gateway beer.

Nicely done!

Reagan1984, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured In: Snifter Glass
Attained through a trade.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a finger of head. The head quickly vanishes, and as the beer calms down from the pour the effervescence is revealed, which looks quite low. No lacing is showing up on the side of my snifter.

Smell: Some hay like smelling malt in the background, with some herbalness as well. Slight fruit aroma, perhaps pear? Honestly, it seems rather similar to a pilsner except with a few fruity notes.

Taste: Same as the nose really. Some light malt sitting in the background that's slightly herbal, with a few fruit notes as well. Again, similar to a pilsner, but with a few fruit additions.

Mouthfeel: A thin bodied beer with a good crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Sitting at only 4.6%, it's a beer that's easily drinkable. Although, the flavor and aroma is mediocre, so I'm not sure that it's something I want to pick up again.

Ek0nomik, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of NicholasMiller
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I first had this beer at a pasta cafe on coronado in san diego and man was I in love. although it isn't the typical english style pale ale but a german kolsch style, I thought it was so good they could of called it a porter. everything about this beer is good to great. I drank so much of it this summer that my local bevmo started stocking it in the fridges there. I recommend this beer to everyone.

NicholasMiller, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Ezekiel81923, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of SpdKilz
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap while in San Diego on a quick Labor Day vacation. I will admit, I was a bit tipsy from drinking some wine over a great steak dinner beforehand but I went through the routine while trying this.

Appearance - When given to me by the waitress, there is about a half inch of head, and okay lacing. The color is a light amber color.

Smell - Honestly, week. I get made fun of yet again by my fiancée for smelling beer in a restaurant. You can smell floral tones with a bit of malt.

Taste - Again, fruity, floral, sweet. A bit of peach and a hop crispness.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. Decent carbonation - fitting for this drink.

Drinkability - It was an okay drink, but I don't think I will seek this out. Decent Drinkability but nothing special imo.

SpdKilz, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice hazy, carbonated, golden yellow with a good head. Floral, citrus, grassy, woody, and brown sugar were all evident in the nose; fairly impressive. The flavor was a little less so, but very good nonetheless, with all of the aforementioned flavors. The finish was a dry grassy-ness. Impressively complex from sip to sip, sometimes tasting like a weak barleywine. Mouthfeel had a nice carbonated balance. Definitely good for a session.

donniecuffs, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Poured bright golden yellow with a very thin white head that left little lacing. Aromas were simple with some hints of biscuity malt and trace citric hop. Tastes were crisp with notes of biscuity malt (similar to other Ballast Point offerings), mildly fruity, with a slight grassy hop bitterness on the clean finish. Mouth-feel was thin to medium, but creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Well balanced and represents the style well.

barnzy78, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of jdskinns
4/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

jdskinns, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - golden in appearance with a massive, frothy head

S - smells of malts, a lot of citrus, and a bit of soap.

T - a bit of wheat, with a lot of citrus and some grassy hops. Very light and refreshing.

MF - goes down pretty smooth and full.

D - this is an easy drinking, delicious kolsch. One of the better ones I have had.

birchstick, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of hardy008
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold color with a white one finger head. Aroma is of lemon, hops, and bread. The taste is somewhat sweet, and matches the aroma. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin. The beer is crisp, refreshing, and easy to drink with decent carbonation. It is also somewhat generic. Nothing wrong with this beer, but nothing which stands out either.

hardy008, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of seaoflament
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer a few times already, from tap and bottles, just never gotten around to review it since it's so widely and easily available. I ended up with an extra bomber so I thought it was a good opportunity to sit down and write up a review.

Unfortunately I don't have a strange to pour this beer into so I opted for my mug. The color is a light apple juice color with great clarity and about an inch of white foam that retains for a few moments.

The beer opens up with a combination of yeasty esters, bread, a bit of sulfur, a slight mineral water quality, and light noble hop aromas. I'm really liking the cracker and bread-like aromas on the nose. Light fruits like pears, apples, and a hint of cherry. Almost has a slight toasted malt quality in the background. Notes of apple juice and some spicy hop aromas.

The taste is very similar to the aroma with some bread and cracker malt upfront followed by some yeasty and fruitiness in the middle, some mineral and slight sulfur near the end, and a nicely attenuated dry finish with some bubbly carbonation. A tad of alcohol flavor seems to be apparent in the finish but I'm not sure if it might be some other yeast fermentation by product that's creating a similar flavor. Hints of earthy hop bitterness in the finish, slightly floral tasting too.

Medium-high carbonation with a medium body on the palate. A clean and dry fiinish makes this one very drinkable. Enters smooth on the palate and finishes nice and crisp. Hmm, after a few sips I seems to get a little rough and grainy/bitter sensation on the palate, but doesn't happen on every sip. Nice beer actually, and an interesting take on the style.

seaoflament, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear gold with a good-sized 2-finger head on top. Decent retention leaves some pretty lacing spots and rings. Smells of grassy hops, and buttery grains.

The mouth is crisp with a medium-high amount of carbonation. Flavor is of buttered biscuits finished with a sharp hop bite. This is one of the more refreshing beers I've had this summer. This will be a regular for barbecues and ballgames.

Onenote81, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single purchased at Charleston Beer Exchange. Poured it into a Peroni glass since that is the closest I have to a Stange.

A: Pours an incredible clear and light gold color with a tiny bubble head that has better retention than I would expect. Likewise, the lacing is better than I expected.

S: Lemon zest and grassy notes seem to be the main parts of the aroma. It is a reserved aroma, but seemingly appropriate for the style.

T: The only real saving grace for this style for me is its refreshing quality. This one seems a bit dry for it to really be refreshing for me. The flavor consists of pale malt sweetness, lemon zest, and what must be some grassy hop variety. Those all make sense for the style and aroma of this one.

M: Thin body with quite a bit of aggressive carbonation in the mouth.

D: The extremely low ABV and simple flavors make this one a lawn mower type beer. However, I still wish it were more refreshing like the style typically seems to be.

GatorBeerNerd, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium clear yellow with a nice foamy head that left a little lace.

Good bready and light malt aromas, with a bit of yeast in the mix.

BIg surprise with the level of sweet malt and light fruit in this one (for a Kolsch). Nice, complex shift in flavors with each sip. Light bready flavor, then some bitter hop leaf, then some sweet maltiness and light fruit, turning to a dry end. What more could you ask?

Medium body, to medium-light. This was a bomber from around the grill, and it was perfect. Great drinkable summer beer. Went down extremely easy, and had no harsh edges. Great balance between the sweet and dry. WTF is wrong with me. I'vbe been staring at this beer on the shelves for abou a year before finally pulling the trigger and buying it yesterday. Well worth it. I will definitely explore other offerings from these guys. Buy this.

OtherShoe2, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of sholland119
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear yellow gold with a generous amount of white head but no lacing.

S-A nice biscuit malt presence with some light hoppiness lingering in the background.

T-Sweet biscuit malt with light syrupy notes. The hop presence in the nose does not carry over.

M-Light bodied, medium cabornation.

D-This is a nicely drinkable summer beer.

HV

sholland119, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of GbVDave
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a pale golden color with a small bright-white head. Major chill-haze at first that finally settles down to something approaching crystal-clear. Absolutely no lace.

S: Right out of the fridge it smelled crisp and bready. As it warmed notes of sweet malt, fruity yeast, and vegetables emerged.

T: See above. Pretty toasty/bready with creeping flavors of caramel, candy, apples, and some noble hops. Slightly soapy, but in a nice way.

M: Crisp and toasty with a nice fruity/sweet edge that adds depth.

D: Quite refreshing for when the temps get up there. Don't know if I'd buy it again, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down at a party/BBQ.

GbVDave, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of charliedango
2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

charliedango, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Deep golden under a medium white head. Good lace and retention.

S: Malty, exactly like a Kolsch should smell like. Earth like, bit of bread. Maybe a little bit of pine hop.

T: Again, the malt is the big player. Medium bitterness and a hint of citrus and grassy hop. Hint of grape that isn't out of place.

M/D: Light to medium bodied, soft carbonation. Good drinkability. Overall, a solid beer. Could use some bolstering in the aroma and taste department, but it's a pretty good Kolsch despite some missing elements.

NCSUdo, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of LordofTime25
3.43/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

LordofTime25, May 26, 2009
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.