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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

725 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.77%


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
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of NickRivers
NickRivers

California

3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A&S - Pours a golden yellow with a finger of paper white head. Not too much coming through on the nose. A few grainy malts, along with a mild breadiness and a floral hop aroma.

T&M - Hits crisp and grainy, the middle of the mouth is sweet with the faintest banana flavor. Finishes dry and clean with a small amount of floral hop bitterness. A nice, refreshing light bodied beer.

O - Overall a great session brew from BP. Calico wasn't half bad, but Big Eye IPA is their best session brew. Its got tons of malt and hops without being overpowered and makes for a great introduction beer. Check out everything BP has to offer, you won't be disappointed. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 07:33:57 | More by NickRivers
Photo of beerdown77
beerdown77

North Carolina

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

This pours slightly cloudy golden with one finger of head. This beer is quite honestly, disappointing. It tastes like a tolerable golden lager at best. Although the beer is still “crafty” in its quality, the flavor is heavy on the bitter malt side of things. It kind of reminds me of a Dortmunder from Great Lakes…only thinner and not as good. Admittedly, I was expecting an APA, and didn’t realize that this was actually a Kolsch midway through my experience; I still didn’t love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 23:00:46 | More by beerdown77
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this at a German restaurant in Ocean Beach, where it is a house draft called "Kaiserhof Kölsch Pale Ale."

Crisp and slightly hoppy. Such a nice clean taste. Very light body. Pale golden color in the mug, nice lacing. Like a lager with a rich tangy flavor. Flowery nose. Malty, yet delicate. Best Kölsch I've tried in a long time, not knowing what the heck it was. Score one for the local lads, but it really is a highly decent drinkable light beer and well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2011 05:12:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

2.65/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in La Mesa. Color was clear golden. Minimal head and minimal film on the sides. The lacing, however, stayed for awhile. Appeared to be heavy on the carbonation.

Smells were skunky malts and somewhat bitter. Grainy malts also were involved.

No improvement on the taste. Skunky malts lead the way. A tad bit bitter at the end.

Medium-to-high carbonation. Medium body.

A pretty big disappointment, considering how much I enjoy the Calico Ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 07:18:35 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz undated but very recently purchased bottle served in a pint glass. Small amount of sediment at bottom of the bottle added mid-tasting.

Near clear golden liquid with a substantial amount of fine-grained carbonation visible. Small white head has moderate retention. More lacing than expected, given the head.

Smells like a malty lager, albeit with a fruitiness that is much more characteristic of ales. The flavor is not as expected. Both the aroma and the "pale ale" labeling led me to expect something with much more hop flavor, but there's only a rather subtle touch of spicy hops in the taste. If I hadn't tried the beer before seeing the description "crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany" I would have been surprised. This beer is mild in flavor, as per the kolsch style. In fact, I had a quite similar, but perhaps even less flavorful kolsch last weekend at the Pisgah (NC) Brewery.

It has a nice, if near watery, mouthfeel with excellent carbonation and some dryness in the finish. Slightly bitter balance, yet more malt than hop flavor.

O - a highly drinkable and refreshing beer that makes an excellent substitute for a light beer ... not that you'd want one of those. Plenty flavorful for the kolsch, but not the PA style.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 00:25:10 | More by chinchill
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a kolsch glass. Had a pale yellow color and a hazy texture. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Had a muted aroma of hops, light fruit, and some malt.

T: Tasted of light hops, fruit (a little citrus), and some bready malts. Not an unpleasant flavor in the least, but certainly underwhelming.

M: A generally well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is not necessarily a bad beer, but definitely an unmemorable one. A good summer beer if you don't care what you're drinking.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 12:08:38 | More by avalon07
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On Tap

Brazen BBQ
San Diego, CA

Clear golden yellow with a thin white cap. Lots of lacing down the glass.

Simple and muted aroma--lots of bready malts, grain, and little else.

Flavor follows the aroma--very simple and plain. There's some mild bitterness, lots of bread and grain, and a touch of floral and citrus, but not much at all. Though nothing unpleasant, this beer lacks much hop character and is simple and boring.

Medium mouthfeel. Clean, dry, crisp, and refreshing.

I think Ballast Point do themselves a disservice by calling this a pale ale. This is a simple, bready ale, but there's a lot more flavor and character in Sierra Nevada and Stone Pale Ales.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2011 22:17:31 | More by ehammond1
Photo of MrKennedy
MrKennedy

Australia

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

Bomber split with the guys from work and poured into a 7oz glass. Thanks to ADZA for the trade!

Pours a very clear, bright golden colour with a nice white fluffy head of foam that levels out just above film later on. Decent head retention and the clearness of this is quite impressive.

The smell is of bready malt, clean, consistent and inviting.

Taste is very malt driven, with just a shade of Euro style hop grassiness to break it up. Like the smell, the taste is consistent and pleasant. Just a little bit of honey comes through to sweeten it up a shade.

Mouthfeel is decent, good body for the style, just a touch cloying at the end, but otherwise ok.

Overall, a clean, decent, not earth shattering Kolsch that would be a decent go-to beer on a sunny, mild to warm day.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 06:36:18 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

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

A: Clear golden color with a thin eggshell-colored head.

S: Honey and a slight hint of grassy hops. Very clean smelling.

T: Lots of honey malts with a grassy hop backbone. A slight breadiness towards the finish. A solid and very very drinkable pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 14:11:24 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: clear full gold, decent white head.
S: bready, crackery malts and grassy, spicy noble hops,
T: saa, malts are lightly sweet and well-balanced by a smooth hop bitterness. Finish is crisp, clean, and dryish.
M: just over light bodied, frothy.
O: a fine kolsch, but as has probably been said 1000 times, why call it a pale ale? I forgot this was a kolsch and got it wanting an apa.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 21:16:36 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of Preismj
Preismj

Illinois

3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a: copper/orange. Moderate white head fades away quickly with spotting around the glass. Hazy brew...lots of murk in here. Looks a bit more syrupy than anticipated.

s: sweetness and the small hint of wheat and belgian spice (clove or nutmeg...just a hint). hint of leather/grass in nose.

t: barley and wheat like presence of grain. Sweet malts, but mild sweetness. spices I cannot pinpoint...very mild flavor. grassy, earthy notes poke through and this beer finishes with a sweetness complemented with a bitter hop presence.

m: syrupy. Coats the mouth well. thick and decent carb.

o: not a bad beer, but nothing is shining through. I don't need to try this again after having once. Would not seek out. it is middle of the road, as average as you can get.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 02:03:17 | More by Preismj
Photo of t420o
t420o

California

3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- straw colored beer with a 1/2 finger white head that fizzles away quick leaving very little lacing

S- Slight bitter hop scent, toasted bread, grains, slight alcohol. Very similar to a pilsner.

T- bland! Grains, slight bitter hops, toasted bread. Everything is very light tasting and watered down tasting. Tastes like their is salt water in here. Very average

M- Slightly over carbonated. Good other than that

O- A decent Kolsch, but below average as a pale ale, which is how they labeled it and how I will grade it. Below average drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 23:03:42 | More by t420o
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Yellowtail is, in fact, yellow (but a rather dulled shade of it at that). It is actually so dense that I had thought its natural haze was condensation built up on the glass, but no, that's just what happens when you use the right amount of malt in your brew. Its head is incomplete but does make the 5-inch or so trip round the whole circumference of the glass.

The aroma showcases a very assured, wholesome maltiness that is so thick as to be almost doughy. It smells like crackers or biscuits and is deliciously aromatic, even despite its paleness. With quality malts like this I don't even want hops or yeast to interfere and I'm quite happy they don't (although others might detect a subtle fermentation-driven fruitiness).

You don't need a million different flavours for a beer to be flavourful, sometimes you only really need one. This kölsch, like most golden beers in this alcohol range - and in particular the German-style ones - is not terribly complex, but it is extremely flavourful. Cracker-like, noticeably biscuity maltiness is all you taste, but it's really all you need. These malts are highly-attenuated and very rich in flavour yet incredibly simple and clean too.

I could have a beer like this every day with lunch and be a very happy man. (I'm not sure the bomber would fit in a lunch box but this is definitely the kind of thing you'd want alongside a big sandwich.) Despite being so approachable and easily quaffed, it is still a considerably hearty and flavourful beer so far as its maltiness is concerned. A beer like this makes me think that if I never saw another DIPA again I wouldn't miss them one bit.

There's not one beer style that Ballast Point does badly. In fact, I have yet to rate even one of their beers as 'just alright'; all of their brands are exceptional examples of their respective styles and Yellowtail is certainly no exception. I don't think any other brewery makes as many of my #1 favourites when it comes to examples of different styles.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 22:41:17 | More by biegaman
Photo of gatorbreath
gatorbreath

Fiji

3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kolsch, eh? Damn I need a smartphone...

Didn't get the facts/make the connection on this until just now..probably why I didn't enjoy it to the fullest.

Got this pale ale because I thought it'd be hoppy, somewhat, and piney but not overly so, just shy of an IPA, no idea of the Kolsch style.

Appearance is golden and white head. Smell is malty/biscuity and even a little spicy. Taste is not really hoppy at all, forgive my ignorance, mostly malts and caramel, i am picking up, and the mouthfeel is thin and slick. Overall, a good entry to this style of beer. Although not my favorite, I enjoy trying new things!

Have one!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 17:50:23 | More by gatorbreath
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden with amber hues. 2 finger thick head.

S: bready and malty. Not getting too much of the fruitiness.

T: Wheat, mild fruit notes that I really have to search for. More like the bready nature of a pilsner than a pale.

M: The wheat beer character makes this more refreshing than many pale ales. A little bitter on initial feel

Overall: The refreshing aspect is a huge plus but this just isn't the pale ale for me. I love Ballast Point but this is just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 06:36:26 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate.

very drinkable in deed.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 01:31:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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

On-tap at The Hopping Pig in San Diego

Expected an APA with this one and didn't realize this was kolsch. A little dissapointing as I wouldn't have ordered it had I known it was not an APA.

A - Straw yellow with a small amount of white head.

S - A very light overall nose. Some grainy/bready notes and light bitterness but not much going on overall here.

T - Bready/grainy malts with a slight hop bitterness. Seems like a pils, not a pale ale. I don't get a lot of hops at all and the malts are very subdued as well.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

O - I can't really change my review to reflect the fact that this is a kolsch. At the time, I reviewed it as a pale ale and it didn't meet my expectations. They should change the name of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 15:32:30 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a make shift Stange, my old collins glass.

A nice simple pale lemon with green hues on the edges hints of dark buttery gold for the body. Some orange colors also A very large even foamy head of pin sized bubbles is produced which takes much time to receed but doesn't leave much lacing either.

Bouquet is subtle but nice if unexpected. Faint grain, very light and airy and dry smelling. A small toasty bread sense, some gas, even a hint of faint spritzy lemon.

Taste is strange... dry and powdery sensations of flour mostly. Powdery with some sweetness in the finish, missing bread action

Overall a real unique and nice nose, but taste doesn't deliver as much. This is not bad but I think I'd grab a different Kolsch if I could.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 00:48:52 | More by smakawhat
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well I bought this on a whim, thinking it was a pale ale, but it's actually a kolsch... so here we go.

Not bad looking for a kolsch, yellow-tan with a fair head that dissipates into a sheen, leaving decent lacing.

Kind of a subdued fruity, openly grassy/grainy smell to it. Not too much going on here hops wise.

Taste is on par for the actual type of beer it is, kinda yeasty with grains and lightly fruity background flavors, plenty of caramel and bready malt flavors, a touch of lemon, and just a smidge of hops bite.

Feel is light, slick, slightly sweet, with a lingering yeasty aftertaste.

Overall it's not a bad summer beer but it's not overly impressive either.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 23:12:42 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, caramel, malts,

taste: citrus, bread, yeast,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: refreshing beer. need better distribution from Ballast point on the east coast. Everything I've had is very drinkable.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 18:22:45 | More by THECPJ
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

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

Picked up a bottle of this one at the Ballast Point Brewery/Home Brew Mart in San Diego. More along the lines of a kolsch, rather than a pale ale. Poured a clear yellow color with a good white head. Very mild on the nose, a little biscuit and a kiss of hops. On the palate, this one is light bodied and easy to drink, yet not very interesting in the least. Flavors of light malt and a bit of hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 23:27:34 | More by emmasdad
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft service into a chilled mug at Whole Foods in Tustin.

A: Clear, medium (slightly brassy) golden color with one finger of diminishing white foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very mild, with sweet and tart apple detected most clearly. There is also a nebulous thread of honey and very pale grain, but it has to be searched for in order to be found.

T: Begins dry, with honeyed pilsner malt and crisp Golden Delicious apple. Acidity is initially muted, but becomes more apparent later. Malt becomes more husky in the middle, developing a faint citric quality that becomes tart for the style in the finish. Grassy bitterness and elevated sweetness also emerge at the end, but the palate is ultimately left tasting of honey, apple, and citric acid.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly sticky on the palate with snappy acidity, and with very low carbonation.

D/O: Possibly one of the most poorly-marketed beers currently bottled, this "pale ale" offers an experience that is nothing like all other similarly-labeled beers. If Ballast Point needed a synonym for kolsch, it seems like blond ale would have been a more apt selection. Compared to other kolsches, this beer is full-flavored but a little unrefined, coming across as heavy-handed. Early fruitiness has a definite inauthentic resonance to it, leaving behind a sense of artificial flavor. Hoppy bitterness in the finish is bold for the style, although one would never mistake this for IPA-level bitterness in quantity or quality. However, it is effortless to drink, serving as a superior form of refreshment and really holding up well when served too cold.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2011 03:55:47 | More by beagle75
Photo of ADZA
ADZA

Australia

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

This brew pours a see through golden straw hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is very similar to a pilsner with hints of german noble grassy hops and honeysuckle,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of grassy german noble hops,light jarrah honey,pale malts and finished with a slight herbal hoppy bitterness that is almost reminiscent of a fine German pilsner and not a Kolsch and overall a dissapointment in my mind and could think of other drops from this brewery that id rather revisit than this cheers.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 14:21:43 | More by ADZA
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a pint glass.

A- Pale orange color with a tan/cream colored 1 finger sized head.

S- Wheat, very pilsner like.

T- Wheat, barley, citrus, fruity.

D- Nice carbonation, light and refreshing. Very easy drinking. This is a nice pale ale, but it is still a pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 01:26:45 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of angrygrimace
angrygrimace

California

3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw orange. Very little head, less than a finger, with little retention after pour.

Aroma is mostly malts with a very small amount of spicy hops to it; maybe a little sweetness.

Taste is not what you expect from a beer labeled Pale Ale at all since it's actually a Kölsch. Very malty flavor throughout, but not a particularly strong flavor....maybe slightly watery. Very slight citrusy note, if any. I would say that it's got a slightly above average taste, but it lacks the character I've come to expect out of other Ballast Point beers. Very carbonated, slightly crisp, but not overly so on either count - definitely a refreshing beer.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but it doesn't really seem like anything particularly special, either.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 21:12:41 | More by angrygrimace
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.