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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

903 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 903
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 26
Gots: 82 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 903 | Reviews: 346
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Tucquan
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of SDtastentune
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of claspada
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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).

Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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?

Photo of DaveHS
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of gregshead
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of wknight167
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of kflorence
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of farrago
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

Photo of tigg924
4.14/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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.

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

pours a golden yellow color with a 1 finger head..smell was light of malt and grain and fruity hops.taste was the same faint in hops and malts with a grain and bread taste..really overall just an average brew across the board..not impressive..1 and done for this one 4 me

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

Poured nice golden orange colorr. Kinda of dirty and hazy. Head was at first fairy big but died down quickly. Aroma is kind of earthy and malty. In the taste department theres not enough hops to be a kolsch. This tastes mroe like a belgian pale to me. Really yeasty. Its decent, but i don't think its a kolsch.

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

A: Pours a hazy bright lemon color with a tiny white cap. Retention is OK, and the carbonation looks aggressive.

S: Wheaty and grainy malts, a vinous character, and a bunch of different citrus fruits; lemon, orange, grapefruit. Not too bad for a "Kolsch". Also some bready characters on top of a light hop schedule.

T: I really like this beer...Lots of honey right off the bat give this a sweeter side. The flavor is definitely malt-dominant, lending some wheaty and grainy aspects. Light grassy hops to follow. Bready as it warms. Really really light, but it manages to pack in some flavor.

MF/D: Carbonation was not as intense as I expected, which is a good thing. Feel is slightly rough still, but very enjoyable. Highly enjoyable; light body and feel, but very flavorful

Notes: Definitely a new session beer for me (I love finding new session beers), especially on a hot day in the sun.

Photo of andrenaline
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time having a Kolsch beer, thanks to my buddy who hooked me up with this one!

A - A pale golden copper colour with a thin layer of head and no real lacing.

S - Grassy and bready malts are the strongest scent, with a bit of bitter hops on the finish.

T - The grassy and bready malts come through off the top, the finish has a light bitter hop flavour, much like the scent.

M - Very light and bubbly on the palette, perfect amount of carbonation and goes down very smooth.

D - A very delicious ale, I was expecting a little more in the hop department, but it was still very tasty and made for an enjoyable first experience for a Kolsch.

Photo of armock
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of light hops and bready malt

T - Follows the smell light hops on bready malt

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

D - I was a little disappointed with this one sure it wasn't bad but seeing the tap handle say pale ale I expected a good hoppy pale and I didn't get that this is a beer that I'd passover for something else

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a slightly hazy pale gold. Three fingers of foamy white head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a finger thick cap, which itself slowly dissipated to a nice spotted lacing that remained throughout the pint.

Smell: Starts off smelling like a sweet adjunct loaded with corn, but it improves as the pint warms. The adjunct aroma doesn't disappear, but there are caramel malts, lemon, and citrus hops.

Taste: Follows the smell. Corn adjunct, some light caramel malts, lemon, and a nice bite of citrus hops at the end to keep things interesting. It's like a weak British pale ale.

Drinkability: Maybe my taste buds are off tonight because I remember it tasting much better last night. It's a hybrid lager-ale, but it's trying to be more like a lager...a macro lager. It's sad, really.

Photo of Pittsburgh
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a whim the other day, and I am glad I did.

Pours a nice golden brown, a bit darker than other pale ales I have had, has a bit more flavor as well. Seems a bit thicker than others, but still has the bitterness necessary.

Very smooth and clean with a hint of lemon/citrus, nice and easy drinking as well, goes down smooth, could be a perfect version of a summer beer for me, it probably does skew my review a bit that its 85 and humid and this is a post 6 hour test review, but I am really feeling this beer right now.

I may come back for a follow up later to make sure I am not overly high on this, but I like the flavor on this pale ale, I think it has a little more flavor than others I've had and I like what they've done with it.

I am definitely getting this again.

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.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.