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 notchucknorris
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. (256 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of Preismj
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of t420o
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (550 characters)

Photo of biegaman
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. (1,996 characters)

Photo of gatorbreath
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! (624 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (472 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
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. (716 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
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. (760 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
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. (675 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
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 (325 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
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. (397 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (1,643 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (594 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (281 characters)

Photo of angrygrimace
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (750 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle during a Kölsch tasting. While the name says pale ale (in giant letters), the description on the bottle says Kölsch, so into my tasting glass it goes.

Pours a hazy dark gold with a one-finger head of pure fuzzy white that becomes a soapy top layer, leaving tiny bit of spotted lace.

Bready biscuits and spicy German hops in the nose, in equal parts and perfect balance. There’s none of the usual Kölsch fruityness, but it’s actually a great aroma.

Same story in the flavor. Bready just-baked biscuits, a bit of lime peel, lemon pledge and other spicy German hop notes. Almost no bitterness.

High, painful carbonation, with moderate fizz and a soft medium body.

I understand the name confusion now — Yellowtail sits in an odd realm between Kölsch and pale ale, hoppy and bready yet crisp and light. It’s definitely not the most traditional example of the style, but it’s the only one that kept me coming back. (955 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Carter for this one!

Pours a gold color with a crystal white head of foam that is thick and retains well.

Pretty one dimensional nose. Pale malt, grain with a light sweetness.

Light grainy sweetness with a moderately bitter hop presence. Pretty straightforward.

Light body, decent carbonation and a dry and bitter finish.

This is a well made beer, it's just a style that isn't known for a whole lot of character. I would say it's a nice representation of the style with a little west coast hop flair. It's just not a style that does a whole lot for me, so I wouldn't need this one again. Like I said though, it's still well made. Blame it on the style. (667 characters)

Photo of sj660
4.34/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thick white foam that retains and leaves laces over a yellow clear (but not perfectly so) liquid. Smells softly of fruit, but otherwise clean. The flavor is grainy, slightly sweet, low bitterness on finish and a bit of spice. The flavors are smooth.

Lower carbonation despite huge head, lighter body, very slight pucker.

Why this is called a "pale ale" I haven't a clue. If you're making craft brews, beer snobs are your audience. Tell us it's a Kölsch! Drinks easy and has a surprising complexity of flavor without all the bitterness. Definitely fills a niche. (567 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. The beer was semi-hazy, bright, and a vibrant yellow-gold with a ring of filmy head. Mellow nose, with very slight hops characteristics. Watery flavors initially, but heavy toasted flavors on the tail end, with only a hint of hops. Slightly pale/hoppy and sour aftertaste, with a musty, lingering finish. Overall, it was a bit watery throughout. (412 characters)

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

Today Sietse (apophis666) paid me a visit. He loves the IPA beers so i cracked a few open. After the IPA's we opened this bottle of pale ale. I got this bottle in a trade with listenatjoes.

This is not a bad but also not a very spectacular beer. Just a normal drinkable beer.

Nice and decent head, foamy.

You get some wheat or corn taste in the mouth. Too bad the taste is also a bit watery. (394 characters)

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

A - Pours a nice pure strong golden color with a frothy white head that is nice and sticky and white.

S - Strong fresh grain aromas come up fast. Nice fresh baked bread with some nice grassy hops on the back. Aroma is refreshing and straight forward but delicious.

T & M - Taste starts off bready and with earthy grains. There is also some nice slight sweetness to it with some nice fresh grassy hop notes. The hop character is very european and crisp. With some slight spice and refreshing but bitting bitterness. This is a great Kolsch and a delicious beer that can be drank for longer periods. Body is nice and crisp with clean malt and hop flavors.

O - Good beer. Delicious and easy to drink with a lower ABV. (716 characters)

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

Poured a pale yellow with white head.

Not much on the nose besides a little overall "freshness" from the hops but couldn't pick up any specific flavors.

The taste is a slight bitter on the front as the malt washes through on the back.

Not a very complex beer but refreshing. Ive had it a few times but only when its my last choice. The other Ballast Point offerings are much better. (386 characters)

Photo of stimulus
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden with a one finger white head.
S: Lightly bitter hops, but not much going on here.
T: Bitter german hops, and a little bit of malt to balance them out.
M: Very good carbonation, light body, crisp finish.
O: This is a good session beer; the type you can drink a six pack of in a night, and with the somewhat low alcohol content, I think I'll keep this in mind in the future. (444 characters)

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