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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

353 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 353
Hads: 959
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 31
Gots: 123 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 353 | Hads: 959
Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter. Best by 01/19/13. Thanks for bringing these over, Matt.

A: Pours a very light shade of amber with a finger of frothy white head that faded into a soft film.
S: Big kolsh nose with notes of light malts and toasted grains.
T: Dry grains, creamy oatmeal taste, slightly sweet caramel, tons of wheat, and mellow fruity hops. Very creamy, complex (for the style) and smooth. The finish is full of pepper spices and the aftertaste is that of wheat and fruit.
M: Creamy mouthfeel from soft carbonation, medium-light body, drying and refreshing mouthfeel. Very smooth, light, and drinkable all-around. J
O: A pleasant surprise. I’d be disappointed if this was a true pale ale as the hops are too mellow and the wheat and grains are too prominent. However, if you’re looking for a very flavorful light beer give this one a try.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured in a taster at Ballast Point, in San Diego, Calif. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger thick foamy white head. Middling retention. Crystal clear pale gold color. Not very appealing.

S- Some pale malts. Wet dogfood is a smell I can't shake, unfortunately.

T- Sweet and crisp flavor. Some bitterness. Best part yet.

M- Light but crisp carbonation.

O- Flagship beer? Unfortunate. The smell especially really put me off. Not terrible, but not something I'm rushing back towards.

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Photo of argock
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear pinot noir wine glass. Best by 02/15/13 stamped on front label. Purchased as a 6-pack at Trader Joes (Mission Beach, San Diego, CA) for $9.99.

A; Extraordinarily clear amber-copper with ample 1-2 fingers of off-white frothy head with decent retention and good lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Aromas are very crackery-bready malty with some spicy herbal hops and a very light citrus fruitiness

T: Tasted like an extremely tame APA with bready and somewhat grainy maltiness that was a little less rough on the second pour but still not as smooth as it could be, especially since, after looking at the 6-pack holder it's a Kolsch! Come on BP! As a kolsch, this is pretty average with too much graininess to really muster much support. The hops are also overly spicy and not smooth enough -- this is supposed to be a beer that reaches the top of the drinkability scale, but this beer isn't even close.

M: THere are many problems here. The carbonation is way too high and contributes to an astringent feel. THe spicy hops and graininess with a light body also equate to a overly sharp beer, almost peppery, exactly what a kolsch is not supposed to be.

O: Certainly not terrible but not all that great for the style. I downgraded them for not calling it what it is -- come on BP, in hops country, do it right.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow with one-finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Okay lacing.

S: Caramel malt, citrus, and floral.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Toasted malt and bread. Light citrus.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: The taste was mild and a bit of a let down. Average overall.

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

A-dark gold with a nice frothy and sticky white head

S-smooth creamy grass and crisp biscuity malts. strong aroma. smells quite decent.

T-comes in with a great flavor of crisp and grainy biscuits. its quite a strong and flavorful taste. it does have a small hint of adjunct lager to it, that isn't exactly a turn off, i think what i'm tasting is actually the european touch to it. that comes more so in the after-taste. almost zero bitterness.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a crisp finish

O-well if you get this because you want a good fresh American Pale Ale, then you'll find that you were fooled by the name. it definitely does taste very much like a kolsch. its definitely tasty for what it is. it goes down easy, but its really missing any quality that begs me to go out and buy more.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

120z bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Pale, clear golden-yellow color. Three fingers of rocky white head cap the beer, and it doesn't budge an inch. Thick collars of lacing form on the glass. Perfect appearance for the style.

S: Floral hops, very slight herbal edge, ghost-like hint of light fruits (grape skin?). Malts are grainy with a touch of musty bread.

T: Hop tastes wash over the palate with a very mild bitterness. Floral, green and slightly oily. Subtle hint of herbal spice. Doughy malt tastes shift as the beer dries toward the finish and shift into grainy tastes and hints of cracked wheat. Light fruity notes. Dry finish of grain, bread, and a fading hop bitterness.

M: Light in body. Some firmness of malt texture. Creamy and somewhat full. Active, scrubbing carbonation.

O: This is a very good representation of a Kolsch. It should have broad appeal, owing to the care with which it was crafted and the nature of the style itself. I find it curious, however, that Ballast Point chose to call it a Pale Ale on the label. That's bound to cause confusion when someone purchases it expecting a hoppy American Pale Ale or something of that ilk.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light golden with a bubbly head, but not too thick.
Smells of light malts and yeast.
Tastes like it smells, malt presence and little to no distinct hop/ fruit presence. This I know is due to the German style of brewing this beer. For what light malts are involved here, I'd say this is a refreshing beer for what it is. A peppery aspect too. Other than that, not much blowing me away here. Crisp. Really dry finish.
Carbonation was light medium to me, Bready dry feel, spice-like aftertaste is not my favorite.
Overall a semi-interesting beer from a great brewery. Not for hoppers, but worth the try. I consumed this indoors in the late evening, and I can see my overall score bumping this up by a .5 if I ever try this in the summer heat such as after yard work.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark straw in color. Crystal clear with absolutely no head at all.

S - Very light hops. Malts kick in pretty well and leave a nice nose. Almost has a pilsnery scent.

T - Almost tastes more like pilsner than a pale ale. Not a lot of hops seem to be floating around in there. Very malty and sweet. Lots of bread in the after taste with a little bit of toffee sneaking around in there.

M - Light bodied with not carbonation to speak of.

O - Eh, nothing too spectacular here. Might as well be drinking Sierra Nevada (which I like).

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Photo of jpro
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from CBX... poured into an antique milk glass stein...

A: Honey gold with a puffy white head; nice retention leaves a few thick spots of lace.

S: Pilsner-esque malt / wheat aroma; light earthy and floral notes; a little metallic.

T: Lightly bready with a peppery dry hop bite on the end; biscuit; cracker; it has a nice little bite for a Kölsch.

M: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation; a touch viscous... more mouthfeel that I was expecting.

O: A nice little Kölsch; a bit more mouthfeel than average, but has a nice bite for the lower abv; a definite top choice for a summer beer.

*from notes 9.8.12

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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Slightly hazy golden copper with a small white head.

S - Sweet bready malt, lemon oil, floral hops, hints of caramel.

T - Bready doughy malts, bitter lemon citrus, grassy hops, herbal spice. Lots of sweetness up front, but the hops quickly lend a solid bitterness to even things out.

M - Light-medium bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Slick with a semi-dry finish.

O - Decent brew. I haven't had that many Kolsch style beers, but this example makes me want to seek more like it. Great balance and flavor, easy to drink.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stange.

A: Golden hue. Heavy carbonation. Continually rising effervescence. Pours about a 2 finger, bubbly, white head. Craters unevenly, and slowly. Pretty nice, albeit sporadic, lacing. Head regenerates fully and effervescence renews with each pour.

S: A little Italian bread, fresh flora, and dish soap.

T: Slightly bitter bready malt flavor with some slight sweetness. Pecan shells and basil.

M: Light and crisp.

D: Easy drinkin'.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice appearance including a really strong head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is simple, but comes across as fresh...light planty malt. Light and crisp combo of light malt tones accentuated with a little sweetness and some bitterness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of BOSMECH
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this before making dinner and it was very good and smooth.
A lite to dark amber in color and the head was about 1 inch then weny away.
S has a malt smell and then a hint of hoops but mostly malt.
T very smooth with the malt going down.
O very nice beer to have with any kind of party or function and very smooth to drink.

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Photo of flyers1980
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was very excited to finally try my first beer from Ballast Point. Poured into a Pilsener glass and noticed a light body, though a bit darker than an American version, most likely due to German malts. Definite fruitiness to the tone- not sure if I can pinpoint which fruit exactly but grape seems as close as any. Very crisp, breezy, and fresh upon taste- I'd call this a beach beer! Bring a cooler, watch the waves crash in and enjoy!

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

Bought it cuz of the brand name. Was not aware it's a Kolsch until now. Haven't brewed a Kolsch since the Island Blonde debacle. Let's see if San Diego can do it better than Carpenteria.

A: Murky and hazy yellowish orange with ample bleached head. Carbonation is moderate to vigorous, with two fingers head that recedes fairly quickly. Good lacing.

S: Earthy, caramel and hay like maltiness mixed with a touch of stone fruit.

T: Funky flavor that can only come from....wheat malt. Throws me off, the almost nuttiness of wheat malts in a beer. Earthy, with a rounded, slightly sweeter edge.

M: Good, ample carbonation. The ale yeast keep the body of this softer and rounder. Kinda leaves the beer feeling a little flabby. I guess I miss the crisp lager finish.

O: Yeah, it's a pretty good Kolsch. I just can't seem to get into this style like I used to. Ah, well.

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

A: Nice light amber with a very slight haze to it. Pours to a fingers worth of foam that dissipates to a thin veil of lace that almost completely covers the top.

S: Aromas of grass/grain with some bready/doughy yeast and a hint malt.

T: Some sweetness and tart up front with that doughy biscuit taste and a bit of lemony citrus tart at end with a very mild bitterness that is almost non existent. Very light with a nice amount of flavors.

M: Average carbonation works well with the flavors. Left with a slightly dry taste in the mouth.

O: Very nice and flavorful brew with crisp and clean flavors. Def a nice beer to enjoy on a spring/summer weekend with friends. I'd def get a case of this for a gathering of friends.

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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.

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Photo of happy4hoppybeer
2.68/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fizzy pale yellow, with thin foamy white head.

Aromas of bread/dough, very grainy, with some faint malt. Pretty boring nose.

Some sweetness, faint traces of malt, even fainter, if any hops. Very grainy, light-bodied. Usual high carbonation. Pretty bland and lifeless brew.

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

A pint at the Waikiki Yard House, dubbed 'Yellow Tail' on the menu.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden straw colour, with one finger of foamy, somewhat creamy ecru head, which leaves a solid wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly slips away.

It smells weakly of bready, doughy malt, a bit of aged lemon juice, and mild leafy, grassy, earthy hops. The taste is more bitter up front, sort of indeterminately, kind of leafy, kind of citrusy, with a still-strong pastry-esque maltiness providing a wholesome balance.

The carbonation is a bit peppy, the body a lightweight medium, and haltingly smooth. It finishes with more of the same - timidly bitter hops, and solid bready hops.

A decent pale ale, a bit of necessary moderation at the moment - for the rest of you - drink at will.

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

12oz bottle - from Total wine summerlin las vegas NV for 1.99$

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for maybe 2 minutes.

Smell - breads/grains, lemon

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of breads/grains, lemon juice and zest, and some very light hops. It finishes with a bready/grainy aftertaste with some very subtle hop notes.

Overall - Although very drinkable and refreshing, this beer is quite boring. I expected a little bit more from this brewer. Maybe just a touch more in the citrus/hop department.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle picked up in Asheville, NC

A - A yellow straw color, with nice lacing on the glass and 1 finger of head. It is clearly unfiltered as well with some sediment floating around in the glass

S - German malts are very prevalent. Not too much hop aroma

T - Fairly sweet, with a nice bitter aftertaste. Well balance

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated. It is very smooth.

O - An excellent, tasty, easy drinking light beer. Perfect for a hot summer day..

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Photo of rawfish
4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours roughy into a snifter glass to net nearly 3 fingers of head over a brassy gold body. Below average retention leaving clumps of lacing on the glass.

Biscuit and cookie dough malt that isn't overly bready with some hay, lemon pith and white wine notes. Very uplifting, a touch of adjunct grain but you already tell this is a refreshing beer.

Light bready, almost cracker-like malt lays down a good foundation with a touch of corn and raw grain husk before a pleasant hop profile of dried grass, lemon zest and grain washes over the palate. Not much bitterness but cleanses well like a lager. Some fruity red berry notes in the finish.

A little bit of heft in the body and unremarkable carbonation until the end of the drink where it fizzes up like seltzer and really scrubs itself dry.

This beer has exceeded my expectations, a flavorful representation of style that could easily be over looked. Will return to this one, a crowd pleaser that does justice to both a craft drinker's palate as well as the masses.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very clear amber/yellow amber color. Puffy 1.5 finger white head.

S - Mostly bread malts and caramel. A tinge of spicyness and touch of hops.

T - A bright, spicy taste. A little bit of bitter hop kick before fading into some bready, caramel malt.

M - lots of carbonation, but still smooth.

Overall - A decent beer here. Not incredibly remarkable or anything, but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Brenden
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is a medium yellow with a deeper amber hue to it. A frothy, thick pure white head starts at 2 fingers tall and eventually falls off to a sturdy foam that drops patchy lacing well down the glass.
It's not until I smell it until I decide to read the description, and it makes a lot more sense. There's a Saaz-like note of mildly sulfuric hops, verifying the brewery's claim; it is indeed like a pilsener in many ways. There's a touch of malty sweetness along with drier malts as well, and the aroma showcases a nice depth as well as proving that a gentler style can have a lot to it.
The flavor showcases those same dusty, earthy and grassy Saaz-like notes as the aroma, with a very gentle bitterness among the malty sweetness. The only thing detracting is that is goes strongly grainy.
The feel is lovely, crisp up front and continuing all the way in a flowing light but deep body with a nice, creamy smoothness that keeps me wanting another sip.
Another good one from Ballast Point.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Allagash flute on 3/29/12

The best by date is smudged but since Ballast Point just came to Ohio, I reckon it's fresh.

Lightly hazy, golden orange color with a one thumb cap of puffy foam. Head retention is thin but keeps a decent layer and lasts. Lace take a while to catch, but once it does it holds thick layers.

The aroma has an enjoyable showing of pithy citrus (orange rind and a touch of lemon) and weavings of grass and cracker. Clean and inviting. The taste is in a similar vein - spicy hop crackle tapers to a medium-range bitterness on the back end. Malts are clean a fairly neutral in light of the hops. Medium light feel. Carbonation is too high for my liking, but it does add to the zestiness of the hops. Finishes pretty clean; it was hoppy at first but as it warms it has lingerings of grain, which is a nice change of pace.

Great drinkability (aside from some of that carbonation, haha). This is one for the IPA light category. Give it a shot.

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Photo of vicsju1991
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass
A - yellowy amber colour, fairly opaque, small white heaad goes away quickly, medium carbonation
S - mostly malty,
T - crisp and refreshing, mild fruity notes at the end, but not too strongly flavoured
M - crisp, easy to drink, pretty average
O - good beer, but nothign special

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.