Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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

346 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 931
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.49%
Wants: 29
Gots: 103 | 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
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 931
Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The store by me now has ballast point brews in cans.

This beer is one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I thought I just liked the sculpin, but after having them all can admit that ballast point is a world class American craft brewery. I love the classic beers, and quality.

Compare this to Blue Heron (Mendocino), Mirror Pond (deschutes) ...but still so unique and great malt but balanced. Actually probably not appropriate to try to compare . (451 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. About two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and fairly sweet German style aroma with citrus undertones. Upfront pale malts with hints of cereal grains, wheat, straw, biscuit, crackers, and yeast. Citrus fruit hints of orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Earthy hop hints with a Noble presence. Slight hints of spice. A pretty decent Kolsch style aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a crisp, clean, bready, and fairly sweet Kolsch style taste with some citrus notes. Upfront pale malts with notes of wheat, cereal grains, straw, crackers, biscuit, and yeast. Juicy citrus fruit notes of orange, pineapple, and lemon zest. Earthy presence of European hops linger around. Subtle note of some kind of spice. Very grain forward. A pretty decent lager like taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent take on the German Kolsch style. Has the crisp breadyness you expect. (1,185 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Toscana Cafe. Pours clear golden with nearly no head. Aroma is light fruits like pears and white grapes, sweet pale malts, light grass and yeast. Flavor follows with some light hay, honey, sweet wheaty flavors, yeast lingering on the palate. Light bodied with medium high carbonation. Not great but plenty drinkable I guess. (334 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big white head settles to a very big lacing that crawls up the edges of the glass above a clear pale straw golden golden colored beer.

Sour lemons and slightly soapy aroma.

Wet slightly sour grains taste with a little bit of lemony hops that is also probably adding to the sourness of the taste.

Wettish yet slightly dryish aftertaste with a bit of the lemony sourness remaining behind with this light to medium bodied drink.

A bit to much on the sour taste for a pale ale for me, not really what I think of when I grab a pale ale. (535 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

With a name like Yellow Tail Pale Ale, I was expecting a pale ale, not a pale yellow adjunct but that is exactly what this portrays. The body, the scent and even the taste is all adjunct despite the claim it's a Kolsch. I smell corn, I taste corn and the pale yellow body screams adjunct. As I finish it there's the metallic aftertaste that seems to always accompany an adjunct. Ballast Point is such a great brewery but this is easily their worst effort. (455 characters)

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

Pours a clear golden, with a big creamy white head. Smells of mild grain. Taste starts with some initial light caramel sweetness, then some grain husk, finishing with a flowery, earthy hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is a bit high, but not too bad. Overall a good beer. (282 characters)

Photo of matjack85
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roommate brought a few of these home to share so not sure of the price. 22oz. (650ml) brown bottle with an expiration date and blurb about the beer on the front label.

The beer poured a slightly hazed straw color, but for some reason it produced absolutely no head and zero lace. Hope this isn't a bad bottle.

Big pineapple smell along with some wheat.

The main flavor is like a can of fruit cocktail. After that it has a lemony flavor with a bit of bready malt, wheat, and a kiss of honey sweetness. There's also a bit of bittering hops.

Light bodied with moderate to medium carbonation.

Light, crisp, and refreshing, yet still not one of my favorite Kolsch's. (666 characters)

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Clear light golden straw color with a finger and a half of white head.

S - Smells like wheat, straw, and sweet corn.

T - I get wheat, lemon, corn, and a bit of straw. It is sweet and not very bitter; quite refreshing.

M - Thin body and moderate carbonation. This is a crisp, easy drinking beer that's perfect for summer.

O - A good take on the kolsch style. Nothing spectacular, but a solid brew that I could drink multiples of. (474 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Meager yellowish ale pours smoothly kicking up a white foam cap. Sticky and leaves substantial lacing. Sweetish, bready, lemony and yeasty odor. Tastes of crackers, lightly sour- lemons, and yeasty. Mildly sweet. A bit of wet earth. Body is light. Definitely has kolsch elements, it's just not my style of pale ale. (315 characters)

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

If it's a Kolsch why not call it one instead of a pale ale. I expected a lot more from this in the way of hops but now reading what it is I understand. I'm still pissed though as I wanted a true APA from BP...As a Kolsch it is decent enough...some malt sweetness....relatively clean...some bready/cereal notes....light fruitiness (apples/pears)...decent for the style but still pissed this is not an APA..I'll rate for style though (431 characters)

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

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again. (385 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
3.24/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into an english pub glass. the body was an orange-golden color. not much lacing and sheeting here unfortunately.
s - citrus hops
t - citrus hops balanced by pilsner and bready malts.
m - moderate, a little on the thin side.
o - i had high hopes for this one and while it's a decent pale ale it fell short. (350 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz : tulip
best by: 10/28/13

The label is a bit misleading, as it just says "Pale Ale", which led me to expect an American Pale Ale, but it turns out it's a Kolsch! Anyways. . .

Pours a fairly clear, golden with a foamy, bubbly white head.

Pale, malts upfront with some grainy notes, grassy hops, and light floral/fruity notes as well.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A well done Kolsch, easy drinking with a subtle, but tasty hop profile. (448 characters)

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

poured into a tulip at 46F

A: Pours gold with a fleeting white head

S: Hops, lemon, grass, bread, hint of apple

T: moderate hops, good citrus, grass and a dry, gentle hop finish

M: light bodied, unexpectedly creamy, light malt, high refreshing carb. Well balanced.

O: Refreshing and thirst-quenching, but not what I expected from a beer labeled “pale ale.” I had heard it was more of a kölsch styled brew before I drank it, but my eyes read “pale ale,” and I wanted a pale ale when I cracked it open. (Strangely, I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been labeled “kölsch.”) (602 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts are present. Taste is crisp, malts, a touch of hops, a bit of wheat, pretty refreshing. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good summertime beer. (324 characters)

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

(Served in a bowtie glass)
Best by 09/21/2013
A- This beer pours a clear glowing yellow body with a thin white film of heat that breaks up after a few sips and a slow carbonation pushing toward the surface.

S- The green bitterness of Noble hops and some dry field corn notes is all that come through this lagered clean aroma.

T- The dry pale malt has some stronger field corn taste that leads to a soft Noble pungent bitter note that lingers with a slight almost sulfury dryness. The taste also has a lagered cleanness to it.

M- The light mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz in the finish.

O- The clean beer has lots of qualities of an American adjunct lager with lots of field corn qualities and Noble hop hints. It was a bit of a let down. (749 characters)

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

Pours cloudy lemon yellow with an orange tint. A hell of a head of foam that stayed forever to a cap and collar. Great lace. Nose is dank and yeasty up front with light bread. Hops are perfumey and floral, There is a light apple smell and sweet grain with grass. Taste is smooth. Light with the apple and cracker malt. The malt is just awesome in this. Hops are noble, floral and reserved. There’s a pleasant sweetness from the malt but nothing you could point at and name and say "honey" or "caramel;" and a little sour from the yeast. A faint touch of spice and straw. The finish was dry and had a nice bitter twang. Finished malty. This is actually a kolsch and tastes like a kolsch. I t derived it’s dryness form the malt more so than from alcohol or hop bitterness. It was a cereal dryness.

I like it. Its not loud, it’s not really fruity. It has a small pucker from the sweet apple and that’s where it gets it’s sweetness. The malt sweetness is understated and behind that. A good kolsch reminds you that malt is sweet in and of itself without caramel, toffee or sugar . The malt stayed dry and breaddy . Very impressive. (1,138 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice clear golden/yellow color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramelly malts, some breadiness and faint citrus.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet bready and caramelly malts, faint citrus and some floral hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. (525 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well, I bought this thinking it would be a citrusy and medium hoppy APA since it says Pale Ale on the bottle and Ballast Point brewed it.

Come to find out, this is a Kolsch made with Euro hops. OK?

I suppose it tastes pretty good for a Kolsch, but I feel as if I have been duped.

False advertising! (302 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a nice but thinnish white head with minimal lacing and pale gold color. Aroma is sweet grainy pale malt and grassy, floral hops. Flavor starts slightly sweet with a dry wine and noble hops finish to balance it out. Mouthfeel is a bit rough for the style. Overall a great beer that is pale and an ale but is nothing like a "pale ale". I ordered it not knowing it was a kolsch. But I was pleasantly surprised. (416 characters)

Photo of natedirka
1.18/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was not good... At all. Had this on tap and thought it was a pilsner. My girlfriend ordered a pilsner and thought the glasses were switched in front of us.

It had almost no nose and tasted like dishsoap.

I enjoy IPA's more than Pale Ales and can still enjoy less hoppy ales but this was just plain bad. (309 characters)

Photo of obrike
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single at Round Rock World Market.

Poured a clean, pale gold with a minimal head. Not much retention and little to no lacing.

Pretty fresh scent of apple, pear, and hint of citrus. Some grassy hops in the background.

Taste follows... some fruit, maybe apple and lemon, just a touch of flowery hops. Uber smooth with a medium carbonation...super easy to drink. Almost downed this one in a matter of minutes. Very light, crisp and refreshing...just not a ton of personality... a very good session beer or warm weather beer however. (541 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.59/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Not much head here, a half finger white color that fades quick.

S: The malt profile has a strange biscuity aroma to it, almost like smoky meat. Not a good smoky meat, either. Some neutral malts and light noble hops hide behind this strange and even unpleasant note.

T: Very biscuity to start. This nature is honestly kind of intrusive. The finish sees a surge of mild noble hops and lemon esters, too bad the balance is out of whack. Not great overall, but better than the nose - that's for damn sure.

M: It feels a lot heavier than a kolsch should in my opinion. The hefty, creamy texture works in concert with the strong carbonation to make this one hard to drink.

O: I haven't been super impressed with Ballast Point so far, and this one is no exception. To me, this drinks like a cross between a kolsch and Fat Tire - and it doesn't really work. Maybe a fresh bottle/keg would be better? I wouldn't be averse to giving this a second chance.

Note this gets a 2.61 as a kolsch; if I reviewed it as an APA, the score would be even lower. (1,121 characters)

Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.