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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

834 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 834
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 15.01%
Wants: 18
Gots: 55 | 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
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Ratings: 834 | Reviews: 336 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JamesGWittel
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

JamesGWittel, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of SHCC
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

SHCC, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of orangemoustache
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowtail pours a tarnished gold with a bubbly bleach white head that retains pretty well,but leaves very little lacing as it recedes to a paper thin covering. The nose seems a bit understated and one dimensional,grainy,with the slightest amount of floral hops. Not realizing that this was a Kolsch style PA I thought it was a bit underpowered in the hop department. Upon reading the label and realizing the style being attempted I find this to be quite nice and balanced. A touch of grainy lightly toasted malt is backed up by an equal balance of earthy,grassy hops. Subtle lemon and spice. A slightly slick mouthfeel followed by dry,prickly cabonation and a slightly bitter finish. Yellowtail Pale Ale was not what I expected,it is balanced and very drinkable.

orangemoustache, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of dbattey
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

dbattey, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of Immortale25
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%

Had on-tap at Bier Garden Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Very sweet aroma makes me think of honey.

T- Somewhat bland flavor has notes of bread and not much else. Probably the least hoppy pale ale I've ever had. Noticeable alcohol presence. Quite lame.

M- Pretty thin with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- They really missed the mark on this one. Might as well just be an amber for how weak it tastes. My least favorite Ballast Point beer by far.

Immortale25, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of ehammond1
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

ehammond1, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of ISmith87
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - golden/amber clear color with a thin head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Nothing. Rice, wet cardboard, corn, light banana.

T - slight bitterness, rice, corn, light banana, wet cardboard, wheat, etc. c

M - light, aftertaste is basically nothing. Alc hidden.

O - yea it sucks, closer to Rolling Rock than it is to Dale's Pale Ale or any of the other greats.

ISmith87, Sep 22, 2013
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 farrago
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

farrago, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Tucquan, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, until I started typing this I had no idea this was considered a kolsch. I mean, why would they call it a pale ale if it was another style altogether? It does explain things, though... It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet biscuit, flowers, and a hint of candied orange peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more of the orange peel and some mild grass for good measure. Overall, a decent little kolsch, and a sad excuse for a pale ale, depending on how you wanna look at it.

TMoney2591, May 18, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

WVbeergeek, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of magictrokini
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden beer with a white head. Light aroma of malt and honey. Tastes sharp like a pilsner, but with equal malt flavors. A nutty character sometimes pops with a hint of biscuits. I don't know why they call this a pale ale, because its not. Oh well, its still good.

magictrokini, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
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

gatornation, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of angrygrimace
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

angrygrimace, May 04, 2011
Photo of Soonami
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Soonami, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of kellog
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow, straw, some sediment present

A: fruity, apple juice, lemon, dandelion, slighty metallic/coin smell

T: mellow apple blends wih faint hop bitterness

M: Low carbonation, silkly

Average beer overall. Some off flavors were present, but I think it would probably be better fresh. Lots of variety at Total Wine, but hard to keep up on dates.

kellog, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of beerdown77
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

beerdown77, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of BaronRogue
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

BaronRogue, May 13, 2012
Photo of ADZA
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

ADZA, May 11, 2011
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 22 oz. bomber. This is my first offering from Ballast Point. Overall, unimpressive but not that bad.

A- Light hazy straw color, very yellow and bright.

S- Very floral, earthy, and citrusy. Reminded me of a fresh garden with some lemon zest.

T- Taste was malty and toasty. Very faint hops. Very light bodied, not much going on here.

M- Crips and refreshing, but very light and easy.

D- This one was boring to me and was not fun to drink. Its an easy drinker and sessionable but nothing exciting.

DavidSeanNJ, Mar 28, 2008
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 LunaChick
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm a bit confused by this one. It pours a nice golden color with a head that dissapates quickly. Smells very faint citrus, maybe some yeast but overall its all very muted. Taste lacks the hop presence of other beer this style--a very faint hint of citrus and a finish of yeast but again very muted. Reminded me much more of a pale ale than a kolsch. Even as a pale ale I would have found the flavors subdued. In the mouth its light-bodied and overall easy to drink.
Just to be sure I wasn't nuts I tried a sample of Kenzinger for comparison.
To me this particular brew by Ballast lacks the brightness and crisp taste of other kolsch brews. And if labled as a pale ale I still would think the overall flavor subdued. Not a bad beer by any stretch though. In fact this might be a good beer to start a macro-drinker into craft beer. Its not too agressively flavored that it would scare anyone off.

LunaChick, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of spinrsx
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

spinrsx, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Straw and golden haze some thin head laces out to the sides.

Light malty nose. Citrus and wheat, light fruit.

A bite upfront that turns faintly fruity with a little light wheat.A sweet touch of some honey most likely from the wheat. Grassy bitter finish.

Light body. I was satisfied splitting a 22oz bottle with a friend.

DrinkingDrake, Feb 06, 2011
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 834 ratings.